Hello All - Cecil here;

It seems that everywhere I go I need a different set of clothes, and no matter how many seasons I pack for I'm always too cold, too hot, or too wet. This time of year always makes traveling difficult, especially since I cris-cross the country on the whims of my clients. Although I love traveling, I dislike having to pack differently for every client location I go to. Oddly enough I've been in New Jersey and Atlanta in the last two weeks and that brings me to the subject that's giving me heartburn today.

New Jersey is the home of Linens 'n Things, and one of their EDI providers, nuBridges is in Atlanta. The two seem to have hooked up in another one of these schemes that seems too obvious to avoid scrutiny. Linens n Things has mandated Inovis and nuBridges as their EDI transport providers. Apparently their first mandate letter specified no exceptions, which brought a lot of people to the boiling point (where have we seen this before?).

To recap the scenario... LNT (Linens 'n Things) issued a mandate to its suppliers to send EDI transactions through Inovis. Of course, what really irked its suppliers was the single phrase; "We do not allow interconnects." That's like pouring gasoline on the fire after all the recent bru-ha-ha about restrictive EDI practices.

After a few vendors and EDI service providers dug into the details, it turns out that while LNT may not allow interconnects, Inovis does provide the facility for them. LNT made a point of specifying that all their suppliers had to have a mailbox with Inovis (typically an annual cost of $1,500) by the end of November or pay additional charges. It seems that Inovis offers an interconnect service for those who don't want an Inovis mailbox, for which it charges $500 per year. Some of Inovis' competitors allow interconnects without a charge (the preferred price), but $500 is still a long way from LNT's "We don't allow..."

All of which brings up the point; Why come out of the gate with a hard line and worst case scenario rather than trying to have your vendors peacefully participate with your program? When all the screaming and crying is done, the end result isn't all that bad.

  • Inovis has an interconnect solution (for a price).
  • nuBridges allows AS3 interconnections once the interconnect company has tested (for a price).

But why did LNT want all their vendors to sign up for a $1,500/year mailbox? Were they getting a commission on every mailbox signup? Beats me, but I don't believe the LNT people are incompetent. They must have had some rationale or motive.

Oh well... enough for now. I'm no my way into the store to get an overcoat and boots.


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