H-E-B IS PUSHING FOR TOTAL VENDOR PARTICIPATION IN EDI

SAN ANTONIO -- H.E. Butt Grocery Co. here will integrate a third-party electronic data interchange system with its own network in a push to get a majority of its vendors on-line.The retailer will be integrating the new EDI software with its existing internal EDI system in January for faster, more accurate integration of product information from vendors.H-E-B vendors using the software will be able

SAN ANTONIO -- H.E. Butt Grocery Co. here will integrate a third-party electronic data interchange system with its own network in a push to get a majority of its vendors on-line.

The retailer will be integrating the new EDI software with its existing internal EDI system in January for faster, more accurate integration of product information from vendors.

H-E-B vendors using the software will be able to automate the transmission of data .

Once electronic transmissions are received, the retailer's category manager will approve the information, and the data will then be loaded into H-E-B's mainframe system.

The retailer's goal is to greatly reduce errors in invoices. "So how do we achieve that? By having accurate information, and getting our database in sync with our vendors," said Harrison Lewis, manager of efficient replenishment at H-E-B.

The chain is pushing for total vendor participation in EDI; however, its focus remains on larger volume manufacturers. "We want a majority of our vendor transactions to be done through EDI in 1997," Lewis said.

Though introducing EDI requires an investment up front, especially for medium-sized and smaller vendors, Lewis said with critical mass the system will ultimately be more cost-effective for everyone.

"By communicating electronically, there will be less instances of discrepancies in invoices, and as a result, expenses tied with reconciliation and resolving discrepancies are lessened."

The software vendors can use to communicate with H-E-B, called Business Network EDI, was developed by G.E. Information Services, Rockville, Md.