By Paul Hayes

SYDNEY, NSW: In an effort to streamline its ordering communication, Harvey Norman this week implemented an automated purchase ordering system to work between franchises and suppliers.

The Sterling Collaboration Network is an integration-as-a-service service that enables Harvey Norman stores to connect with suppliers, even if they are not using electronic data interchange (EDI).

According to the company, by moving its purchase order process to near real-time it can expedite order processing, reduce lead-time in stores and streamline supply chain operations.

“In the past, franchisees had to print and then fax their purchase orders to us,” said Harvey Norman eCommerce business development manager, Gordon Nugent.

“This will greatly benefit our supplier community as they will have guaranteed order delivery in near real-time.  In addition to saving us time, money and streamlining our supply chain, the new solution frees up time for our people to do what they do best, service our customers.”

The managing director of Sterling Commerce, Australia and New Zealand, Michael Vulcan, believes the new system will give Harvey Norman the leg up on its fellow retaiers.

“Most electrical and IT suppliers in this part of the world are already EDI-ready, but Harvey Norman will have the advantage by automating its other suppliers, especially in the furniture and lighting industry, which have been slower to adopt electronic trading.