Ironside brings suppliers into the enterprise

Ironside Technologies is scheduled to announce this week a new solution designed to allow suppliers to integrate seamlessly into the enterprise systems of their trading partners.

Ironside's Buyer Integrator enables file acceptance directly from individual purchasing systems, translating them into the required format for Ironside customers' back-end enterprise resource planning systems, according to company officials.

This enterprise-to-enterprise connection between buyers and suppliers will improve order efficiency for businesses interested in creating private marketplaces for collaborative commerce, said Dave Dalton, Ironside's vice president of marketing. The product is designed to integrate into any exchange, e-procurement system or inventory system that's using XML, he said.

"They [suppliers] need to be able to say to their customers, 'I'm going to provide you with the ability to place orders with me however you want,'" Dalton said. "We've already done a lot of work to make sure we're integrated to a lot of different file formats. XML is the most common right now that we're facing. Any XML format that's out there, we're going to be able to take these files and convert them."

SERCA Foodservice, a Toronto-based distributor to restaurants and institutions, is leveraging Ironside's new technology to directly integrate with its customers' enterprise systems. The aim is to eliminate the need for customers to double-key orders from their inventory management system into the SERCA system.

With more than 1,100 customers connected to SERCANet Online and 1,400 more customers expected to join by next year, Ironside's Buyer Integrator has helped SERCA set up direct connections with its customers and dramatically reduce transaction costs, said Craig Simpson, the company's vice president of information technology.

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