Last week I spoke with Patricia Meisner, CEO RedTail Solutions, Inc.  RedTail Solutions is an EDI software and services solution provider using a SaaS model to deliver its products.

Image What is the current focus of your business?

Meisner: From a marketing/customer perspective RedTail is targeting a "replacement" market in which we provide an outsourcing solution for companies who no longer wish to support the overhead associated with maintaining internal EDI and other supply chain requirements.  Technologically we are focused on building "Software as a Service" solutions that can provide transaction exchange with trading partners in support of the entire order life cycle. We are doing this with seamless integration into the supplier's ERP system and with incorporation of the most up to date standards for EDI and global data synchronization.

Image How has this focus changed in the last 2 years?

Meisner: When RedTail was founded, now more than 6 years ago, our mission was to "enable" small to medium suppliers, giving them "virtual" capabilities to compete for new business alongside much larger companies.  We did this by developing standardized or "out of the box" integration top a number of ERP systems that support middle market suppliers.  Examples of these are the Sage family of systems including ACCPAC Pro , ACCPAC ERP, Business Vision, MAS 90, MAS200, MAS500; Microsoft Dynamics ( Great Plains, Navision and Axapta), and SAP Business One among others.  Suppliers using these systems could get up and running very quickly with full integration of their EDI transactions into their accounting systems. For smaller suppliers, outsourcing makes sense because they do not need to make an up front investment in software, infrastructure and integration- an investment that often costs more than the entire ERP implantation.

As RedTail has built interfaces to larger and larger ERP systems, we realized that our value proposition is stronger for suppliers who need the integration to support multiple trading partners with high volumes of transactions. At the same time, we witnessed the "globalization" of the supply chain with the second and third waves of compliance taking shape as new standards for data synchronization and RFID emerge. While we are not yet at the rapid adoption stage, these have been catalysts for change, causing larger and larger suppliers to rethink their strategies about which business processes are core , and which are non-strategic. Business processes like EDI are mission critical, but not necessarily strategic and often can be outsourced more cost-effectively. For RedTail this means we have been able to win larger and larger suppliers and as a result the average number of transactions per customer over our installed base has more than doubled over the last 2 years.