With a presence across North America, Europe and Australia, Lids offers officially licensed headwear from collegiate and major professional sports teams, as well as branded headwear and other specialty fashion items. The company has more than 1,700 locations worldwide, including outlets in department stores like Macy's.
With extensive operations in both brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce, B2B integration plays a crucial role in Lids’ business processes. The company engages with 189 trading partners worldwide, and timely processing of key documents—including purchase orders (POs), invoices and advance shipment notices (ASNs)—is vital to keep customer-facing services running smoothly.
As Lids prepared to separate from its former parent company, Genesco, it was crucial to deliver unbroken service continuity for electronic data interchange (EDI). Genesco had previously delivered these and other core business services for Lids, so the race was on to enable B2B integration capabilities before the sale was completed and the old platform was switched off.
Lisa Upchurch, vendor compliance manager at Lids, explained, “Before the transfer of ownership, the challenge was to quickly spin up services that had previously been delivered by our parent company, including EDI.”
Lids considered implementing an in-house EDI platform, but realized that the large amount of time, effort and resources required would cause it to miss the go-live deadline.
“Doing all the EDI development, testing and partner onboarding ourselves simply wasn’t feasible,” Upchurch said. “Instead, we decided to look for a trusted managed service provider that could take the work off our shoulders.”
With OpenText, we can onboard international vendors in as little as five working days—it’s never been faster or easier for Lids.
By engaging with OpenText, Lids utilizes a proven value-added network that allows it to quickly and efficiently onboard trading partners from around the world. Combined with OpenText™ Active Intelligence, the new way of working allows the company to gain deeper process visibility and real-time validation for B2B transactions such as ASNs.
“The cloud is an important component of our long-term strategy, and OpenText Business Network Cloud Enterprise is a key enabler,” explained Upchurch. “By choosing OpenText Business Network Cloud Enterprise, we avoid the cost, complexity and lead time involved in building our own on-premises EDI infrastructure.”
By selecting a managed services approach, Lids can transfer B2B integration tasks, such as trading partner onboarding, to experts from OpenText, dramatically accelerating the process and freeing its internal teams to focus on value-added activities such as supplier development.
“The OpenText platform is very user-friendly, both for our EDI team and our trading partners,” said Upchurch. “We were working within rigid time constraints. OpenText understood the urgency of our project and delivered the resources we needed to keep the onboarding activities on track.”
Today, OpenText supports the onboarding process from end to end, leveraging Active Intelligence to test new trading partner integrations. With OpenText™ Lens, the organization can monitor transaction information and rapidly detect and correct processing errors.
“Lids and our new parent company, Fanatics, recently entered into a joint venture with Barnes & Noble Education, Inc., called Fanatics Lids College,” commented Upchurch. “Lids and Fanatics Lids College each have their own specific trading partner integration requirements, but thanks to the versatility of OpenText Trading Grid—the integration platform that underpins the service—we can support both businesses from one central point of control.”
Working with OpenText empowered Lids to very rapidly establish a scalable B2B integration ecosystem from the ground up.
Business Network Cloud Enterprise today delivers B2B integration capabilities to support Lids’ entire North America business. To extend the benefits of managed services across the global enterprise, the company is now moving its international partner ecosystem to the new platform.
“Lids has decided to standardize on a single-vendor solution for B2B integration, so we’re working with OpenText to onboard vendors in Germany, France and the UK,” said Upchurch. “With the previous in-house approach, setting up a new international vendor could take several weeks to complete, mainly because of time-zone differences and language barriers. With OpenText, we can onboard international vendors in as little as five working days—it’s never been faster or easier for Lids.”
With the OpenText platform powering its trading partner integration processes, Lids can respond to vendor inquiries about order statuses faster and with real-time accuracy. As a next step, the organization plans to augment Active Intelligence with the OpenText™ Compliance Link tool.
“Our vendors have agreements with Lids to send EDI documents and shipments within set periods of time, and we apply chargebacks when a service-level agreement [SLA] is exceeded,” explained Upchurch. “We’re currently configuring OpenText Compliance Link for our North America business. In the future, the tool will enable us to detect SLA issues automatically using pre-configured business rules, and then apply any chargebacks that are required. This will significantly reduce our workload and help Lids ensure consistently high service levels across the organization.”
Looking ahead, Lids plans to build on its work with OpenText to enhance trading partner integration across its global business.
“Working with OpenText empowered Lids to very rapidly establish a scalable B2B integration ecosystem from the ground up,” concluded Upchurch. “OpenText continues to provide responsive services, and we’ve been very impressed by the quality of the support we receive. OpenText is helping us to improve our B2B integration processes and reduce our costs, and we’re looking forward to continuing the collaboration to add greater value to our trading partner relationships.”
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