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Standards for distribution-centric software focus of effort
November 10, 2005
The Distribution Solutions Council - a group of software vendors focused on the wholesale-distribution industry - is looking to adopt standards for software that it hopes will cut costs for wholesale-distributors.
Steve Epner, founder of Brown Smith Wallace Consulting Group, said he plans to establish a working committee at a Standards Summit in Dallas Jan. 9-10. In the next year the committee will create a set of standards with the help of GS1, or the Uniform Code Council, which will provide expertise in creating standards that work and conform to international requirements.
The council is inviting industry associations and their standards committees to attend the summit. Participants will include IDEA president Mike Rioux, Infor, Intuit Eclipse, Activant/Prophet 21, Microsoft and International Business Systems.
Standards can be the engine that drives cost out of the channel. Whenever we can communicate electronically, it reduces errors, speeds up action and usually costs less. That is the theory," said Epner in a release. "In reality, there are so many standards today that there is no standard.
"What can we do that makes sense to simplify this Tower of Babel?"
If standards setting committees would conform to basic designs, software vendors would be in a better position to make the standards part of their base packages, Epner said. This would make the cost of accessing this standard more affordable for most manufacturers and distributors. It would also encourage the adoption of the standard since it would be integrated into software packages already in use, he said.
"Everyone will recognize the opportunity to save money," Epner said.
Jeff Gusdorf, principal at Brown Smith Wallace Consulting Group, said the implementation of standards could have an enormous impact on the wholesale distribution industry. "If the end user can avoid the expense of software customization, then adoption of the standards will be faster and the savings greater," he said.
To attend the Standards Summit or to learn more about the DSC, contact Steve Epner via email at email@example.com or call 314-983-1214."