With the current economy outlook today, feed companies are looking for ways to increase efficiencies and reduce the cost of doing business. One of the ways to increase efficiencies and reduce the costs is to reduce the manual processes that could be handled electronically by implementing changes to meet the needs of the industry and also to provide a platform to help address any regulatory needs that may be introduced. In the quest to be proactive, the industry has recognized the benefits of electronic connectivity between manufacturers and distribution to help streamline the order-to-invoice processes and reduce manual efforts and their associated costs.
The AFIA Information Technology Committee pilot tested and adopted an electronic data standard to provide a common method that all companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of animal feeds and feed ingredients could use to readily exchange the product tracking data required by both SF/SF and the FDA. Utilizing this proof of concept and leveraging that work to expand into other business processes (such as order to invoice process) would help reduce the cost of doing business long-term.
An Industry Solution
To provide electronic messaging via XML from buyer to seller for the order to invoice process in a consistent standard format.
This project has completed Phase 1 design phase. With other internal project priorities, only two companies (Mosaic Company and Southern States Cooperative) will move on to the implementation phase. These two companies are currently connected with the Order-to-Invoice process with Crop Nutrient, so with some tweaking for the feed segment, they should be in production by late summer or early fall. They have been working through some implementation issues and have taken one of the issues to the S&B Committee for their recommendation.