EDI outtakes: Brown-Forman chooses Crossgate B2B services for streamlined e-invoicing

Brown-Forman, which sells its 35 wine and spirits brands in more than 135 countries, soon realized it had a steadily increasing backlog of EDI project requests, with each transaction requiring multiple weeks of internal effort. It found a way to decrease the complexity by outsourcing the EDI processes to B2B specialist Crossgate.
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff March 10, 2009

B2B integration specialist Crossgate will streamline EDI and e-invoicing processes for Brown-Forman , the largest American-owned spirits and wine company.

Brown-Forman, which sells its 35 brands in more than 135 countries, soon realized it had a steadily increasing backlog of EDI project requests, with each transaction requiring multiple weeks of internal effort, and increasing complexity associated with integrating trading partners in locations around the world.

“Hiring new employees or training existing ones to include new global EDI requirements would have been cost-prohibitive for us because it would have been so resource-intensive,” explains

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Kathy Pramik, Brown-Forman’s director of enterprise systems. “We want to keep our internal resources focused on value-added strategic business activities, so outsourcing our B2B enablement was the perfect solution.”

Ensuring regulatory compliance was another pressing concern for Brown-Forman.

“Many countries we work with have created their own requirements for e-business processes, like Mexico’s Tax Authority E-Invoicing mandate,” says Pramik. “Some of these regulations are very complex, such as requirements for mandatory digital signatures and archiving. We can’t afford to overlook any details when we go to enable a new business partner, or everything grinds to a halt while we work out the compliance issues.”

Brown-Forman selected Crossgate because it could provide professional B2B methodology and experience in addition to a well-developed repository of ready-to-run B2B mappings, a strong SAP relationship, and 24/7/365 first-level support. In the spring, Crossgate will complete replacement of Brown-Forman’s existing business model with B2B 360 Services Powered by SAP, providing Brown-Forman with a platform that enables rapid scalability to meet current and future business EDI enablement needs.

The Crossgate solution will allow Brown-Forman to leverage its resourcing model to scale easily to meet business time-line and project needs as the company continues to grow and expand its offerings around the world.

“Outsourcing our B2B enablement to a proven industry leader such as Crossgate will help us deliver EDI projects more efficiently and cost-effectively,” says Pramlik. “Crossgate EDI and E-Invoicing Services are exactly the solution we need to support our global business requirements both now and in the future”