Cecil here...

When I last reported to you I was leaving New Jersey for the flatlands of Texas to check out the accommodations for the upcoming UConnect conference in June. If you haven't been to the Gaylord Texan, you definitely owe yourself a visit to these sumptuous digs.

But back to my point... and back to New Jersey. I've received calls from several of you describing a troubling policy that you're coping with regarding testing fees and locked-in service providers. If I sound like I'm on my soapbox again, maybe I am, but its for your benefit.

eC-BP.org is about making eCommerce and EDI accessible and affordable enough that everyone can participate. That's why the tenets advocate the elimination of testing fees and an open market in choosing EDI service providers. And that's what your calls have been about.

It seems that Party City has a different agenda, or at least a different take on the definitions of "affordable" and "open." According to your comments, their current policy is to require three testing cycles for which their trading partner antes up $300 for each cycle. That comes to $900 for the privilege of testing EDI. The supplier then has to pay for Party City's side of the VAN charges unless they use their EDI provider, eb2b.com, who is also the one collecting the $900 bucks in testing fees. Does this sound like the most efficient way to take cost out of the supply chain?

Recommending a transport provider is fine, but when there are so many strong and viable companies to choose from, you have to wonder why Party City chose eB2B as its preferred provider. One of you pointed me to eB2B's SEC 8-K filing dated 3/30/2005 where the petition for bankruptcy chapter 11 reorganization was granted.

I thought you were collectively pulling my leg, so I called both Miles Tedder, the EDI manager, and Nancy Pedot, CEO to understand how they arrived at their recommendations. Unfortunately, neither returned my calls, even after a dozen attempts.


Well, nice chatting with you, though I do wish it were on a more positive subject.  I'm trying to recover from jet lag before I'm off again.  Maybe I'll take the train this time.

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