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2011 Annual Meeting Results

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EASI Annual Meeting Minutes – Las Vega, NV – April 12, 2011


Debby Krissinger, Executive Chairperson, opened the meeting at 8:00 am by welcoming everyone in attendance. Introductions were made to each other by those in attendance (38 registered, 36 in attendance). Nick Freitag asked for one representative from each Member Company to identify themselves for purposes of voting (only one vote per Member Company).


The Anti-Trust Guidelines were reviewed with no questions.


Nick then asked for approval of the prior year’s Annual Meeting minutes (posted on our website since last June). A motion was made and seconded, and the vote was unanimous in their acceptance.


Rob Smith then reported to the membership that he and Debby had reviewed the Treasurer’s records, statements and checkbook for the fiscal year 2010, and found them to be accurate. Rob then presented this Report of the Audit Committee to the membership for acceptance. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to be accepted as submitted.


Nick then gave the Treasurer’s report of the organization’s financial condition for fiscal year 2010. A motion was made to accept the report, seconded and the vote was unanimous as to its acceptance.


Nick then reviewed the elected office nominations, and also presented the nominations for available At-Large positions on the Steering Committee. All positions are for two-year terms, and he asked for any nominations from the floor to be made at this time. The ballots were distributed to the designated voting Member established earlier in the meeting, with the intention to collect the completed ballots later in the day.


This concluded the General Business portion of the meeting.


EASI Tech Meeting:  8:50am – Jon Clarke, Technical Advisor led the presentation


1 – Review of 2010 Committee Accomplishments - see agenda for topics reviewed:                                                    

Compliance Matrix: Jon asked for feedback regarding only 63% to report compliance? Eric answered that sometimes it is customers of the software companies to answer on their behalf? Jon suggested we reach out and ask these software companies to complete on their behalf.    


Rob suggested the Steering Comm reach out and ask all companies to participate. Dean said he didn't know about this need so now he will do so.            


Gary H suggested an annual update request. Jim B suggested adding the 'last update date' be added to the Summary tab/screen.                          


Jim asked about non-members being reported on matrix; Jon said last year we decided to include them to promote their use. They are on there.      


Nick reviewed the 2009 Annual Meeting minutes which in summary, confirmed Jon's statement that we did decide to include non-members on the matrix.          


870 Order Status: Jon asked why usage was only 24%? Jim said only mills can initiate this file; Jon pulled up summary and only 4 mills are using it.          


Rob said mills only will produce it if the wholesaler asks for it! Jane said that when product is scarce in the market, there is a lack of confidence in its accuracy.  


Jim said many wholesalers simply want to use it as a summary of Open Orders; not using it for the dates (don't trust them!)        


Exceptions need to be reviewed manually with mill; but using the 870 can increase the efficiency of this process for the wholesaler!          


Jon asked about the 810 Invoice: why is it so low @ 27%?  Jim says wholesaler likes being able to print off the mfgr's web site invoice & use to satisfy Financial audit.


Also, Jim pointed out that there are many small vendors that will never use an 810; so Finance wants one process to follow - use the manual style process!                  


832 PDD:  only 26% compliant! But don't run out and update to V6; get on new version being proposed today!                                                     

EASI Validation Site:  now updated to reflect current approved standards (retired versions not supported by this program!          


WEBINAR Update:  27 registered with more than that listening in. 97% were member companies, mainly I/T and Distribution personnel (both mill & dist)  Transcript is posted on website; Jon reviewed survey results: 100% satisfied! Jon asked for opinions? Plan to hold regularly.    


2 - Proposed updates to Standards for this year (New Business):


To 'internationalize' existing Standards; add'l fields for add'l functionality; correct inconsistencies; reflect Promotional Codes


850 Purchase Order: first Standard adopted 10 years ago! Reviewed field changes made by Tech Committee so this proposed version is V2!    


Vote on V2: Jane made motion to accept; Gary seconded - 16 Yes; 0 No        


940 Drop-Ship PO - propose V4:  same 'clean up' of old standards plus added functionality as with 850                                

Vote on V4:  Rob made motion; Terry seconded to accept - 17 Yes, 0 No          


180 Return Authorization Request: to automate a current manual process. Essentially a 'reverse PO (850) file. Limited to 2 codes: damage or RIS (1st); can't mix quality!        


Question about estimated value of return required although Unit Price is Optional.  Mills want estimated case count and return value!    


Pam cautioned that Wholesalers should make sure these values do not get reflected in your POS reporting!


Gary H asked if this file is inclusive enough to resolve the multiple phone calls, re-keying, discrepancies involved? Debby and Pam said it will eliminate the multiple                  


Non-standard RA forms now required by each mill, and automate the entering into systems on both sides. Will not handle all situations but will do the bulk!            


Led into discussion of proposed 181 Return Authorization file still under development! Questions about pricing/value of return goods was raised?              


Vote on proposed 180 RA Request file: Don J made motion, Rob seconded - 16 Yes; 0 No          


832 PDD v7: last update two years ago. Increasing field size to handle larger sku numbers length, longer descriptions, added NMFC freight class code.  Proposed Distributor SKU length 1/18 deemed too small an increase.  After a brief discussion it was agreed to change this field to 1/30.                      


Discussion on potential re-use of GTIN's? Jon said Retail was reusing after "2 years off-market"; Rob said GS-1 recommends 48 months. Consensus to go with that as a guide!                  


Vote on proposed 832 v7: Jane made motion to adopt, Rob seconded. Vote: 16 Yes; 0 No


997 Functional Acknowledgement: needs to be a total transaction integration and use, with exception reporting visible! How can we get this usage widespread?


3 - EASI Website statistics reviewed:


+8% new visitors; +55% more visits; 48% Direct Traffic (not re-directed)      


Discussed establishing Member pages with company information - Jon asked for interest? Jon said info template could be provided to be completed by Members for this purpose


Jon asked for feedback on ease of use of website? Jim thought the Compliance Matrix and the Program Checker should have their own tab rather than a hot link. No login required for most information. Anonymous commenting not allowed. Question about 'old versions' of files? Only transition versions are posted in addition to current versions.


4 - Feedback requested on these issues:


A) possible EDI 'translation platform' for use with trading partners that are not EASI compliant! Trading partner would be financially responsible, but EASI group could 'set-up' this service with a third party firm. Does group see the benefit of this? Discussion yielded strong consensus to do this!


B) Item cross-references: currently an optional field. This is up to each trading partner to manage!


C) 846 Inventory Status file: Used to provide inventory availability; concerned about future available dates! Do we want to extend timeframe to see goods beyond 2 weeks?


Consensus was to have Tech Committee to pursue a proposal to add date buckets to extend beyond two weeks as an Optional - Trading Partner arrangement!


5 - The Future of EASI: XML format and use of Web Services


Rather than creating files that are obsolete once they are created (snapshots), do we want to go to instantaneous communication versus file communication? Would eliminate ftp feeds! Instant access to information; real time data. Easier to update to new versions. Initial conversion to XML is where big workload is!  Think we should establish an exploratory committee' to select specific Standards files for conversion and testing between trading partners? Ask for volunteers: Hanes, FDM4, Gildan, Broder, Heritage, virtually everybody! Debby said that we may need higher-level management's endorsement of this initiative. Jon suggested we get the report from the exploratory committee to provide the recommendations.


6 - 2012 Goals:      


  • Promote compliance through education resources via the website, webinars; potential for regular IRC's (chat room sessions)?

  • Do we continue with Webinars? YES was resounding response.

  • 181 RA Response file to be developed for proposal at next year's Annual Meeting

  • Need to update GTIN and Case Label/Pallet Label documentation!

  • Website optimization enhancements? From feedback of members

  • Update Compliance Matrix

  • Step by step Compliance Guide

  • Library to hold past presentation materials

  • Code reference table for use by programmers (could be obsolete if we go to XML)


Jon asked for all Members to spend 10 minutes on the site & provide us with feedback and questions. Ask for others in your company to view & comment. Integrate the 997's!


7 - Debby thanked Jon for his 4 years of leadership on the Technical Committee. She asked for volunteers for serving on the integral committee? The following persons volunteered - Ellis & Austin          Winstanley, Mecca Bryant, Rob Smith, Eric Eberhard, Dean Wright, Ray Odey (Hanes)   


8 - Best Practice & Other Issues discussion:     


A) Terry Birch asked about discrepancies encountered between PO's and Invoices? If an order is entered manually without an 850 file then no 856 or 810 can be guaranteed.


Should Mfgr or Wholesaler make adjustments as a 'best practice'? Consensus of discussions was that the Wholesaler probably was most knowledgeable about the accuracy of the PO file.


B) how to calculate the volume of a product listed in PDD? Currently ask (optional) for folded dimensions of items. Debby asked if we thought it was ok to share with all on website the methodology used by Broder? Suggest showing this procedure as a Reference tab comment. Consensus was to do this.


C) 856 ASN - use of Ship Date versus ASN Date? We use the ASN Date today to show as "Ship Date" or leave "Ship Date" blank. Discussion consensus was that this was more dependent on freight terms between trading partners. Eric said XML would enable trading partners to update the Ship Date information if it is being captured.


D) Extension of EASI Standards into the customers of Wholesalers - Ellis & Austin Winstanley described their business model. They propose to be able to take our existing standards and apply them to the customers of Wholesalers.


E) Use of Optional Fields - Field 9 & Field 26 in 850 file are "required" by specific mills. This is trading partner specific arrangement. Group cannot control this.


F) 846 file issues once style has been dropped?  As a 'best practice', Terry recommended the mfgr remove the GTIN from the 846 file and the Wholesaler adjusts available to sell.


G) Discussion regarding possibility of lowering cost to attend next year's Annual Meeting, and a multiple attendee discount? Nick reported per capita cost of Annual Meeting for past four years, and said the Executive Committee would be aggressively considering these possibilities when planning for the 2013 meeting.


H) Other questions? Cheryl said she had one customer who wanted to know if a 'daily summary' of all transactions could be produced/provided? Consensus was this might be a trading partner specific request due to sensitive data.


I) Terry asked about 'bad data' being sent and if I/T or Customer Service resolves the issues? Jon reported that 'you are not alone' and realistically, I/T ends up resolving the issues.


J) group thought use of the 870 file would definitely increase!


9 - Elections


All candidates presented on the ballot (including the nominations from the floor) were elected to serve new two-year terms. Those elected are as follows:

  • Technical Advisor - Michael Roberts

  • Secretary/Treasurer - Nick Freitag

  • At-Large Members - Pam Streng, Ashlyn Green, Rob Smith, Andy Coy, Mecca Bryant, Jon Clarke


10 - Location for 2012 Annual Meeting date/location?


Rich asked about possibility of conducting tours of other operations at locations like UPS (Louisville, KY) or other locations? Would members be interested in this? Consensus was definitely YES! Maybe the tour could be a half-day the day we now hold the Dinner/Reception? Maybe tie in with ISS show site (must research this)?


There being no further business to discuss, at approximately 4:30 pm, the meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Nick Freitag


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