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2012 Annual Meeting Results

2012 EASI Annual Meeting Minutes can be viewed below or downloaded here: 2012 EASI Annual Meeting - Minutes
EASI Annual Meeting – Orlando, FL – Monday, April 16th Preliminary Meetings Minutes:
9:30 am – Technical Committee meeting
11 Members present: Michael Roberts, Debby Krissinger, Jon Clarke, Pam Streng,
                               Ray Otey, Ashlyn Green, Jim Beale, Rick Carter, Terry Birch
                               Susy Boulanger, Joelle Hotte
Secretary/Treasurer (Nick Freitag) also present
The group reviewed all items/issues that Michael will be presenting at the Annual Meeting later in the day.
10:30 am – Steering Committee meeting
10 Members present: Debby Krissinger, Don Johnson, Nick Freitag, Michael Roberts, Pam Streng, Rich Weisbrod, Rob Smith, Ashlyn Green, Jon Clarke, Jean Scruggs


1 – Debby reported on the recently held GoToMeeting that was meant to take the place of the “Newcomer’s Meeting” traditionally held on this date. We had 9 members to attend via the web, and we received positive feedback on this effort.
2 - Debby reviewed the agenda for the Annual Meeting with the Directors.
3 - Debby discussed the need to balance the Board with representation of both Wholesalers and Manufacturers. We are currently skewed towards Manufacturers! We also discussed the need to get more people to agree to serve as Directors “At-Large”.
11:30 am – Review and Audit of the Financial Records

Don Johnson and Rob Smith reviewed the financial records (monthly statement of our checking account, the check book itself, and the Annual Financial Summary presented by the Treasurer). All was found to be in order and officially signed a document stating such. 


EASI Annual Meeting

1:00 pm – General Session


Debby Krissinger, Executive Chairperson, opened the meeting by welcoming all those in attendance, and allowed each individual to introduce themselves and briefly describe their company represented. We had 33 persons in attendance out of 34 registered (the 34th person did attend by the second day’s proceedings), representing 21 different member companies. Debby made sure to recognize the first-time attendees, seven in number.

Nick Freitag, Secretary/Treasurer, asked for each company registered and in attendance to please indicate the Voting Member who would be casting ballots in the upcoming elections to be held within our sessions.

Debby then explained to the membership that on April 5th, she and Nick hosted a GoToMeeting version of the traditional “Newcomer’s Meeting” that used to be held the morning of previous Annual Meetings. This year, due to a small number of persons indicating interest in attending this meeting (5 persons as of the time of discussion), the Board decided that we could hold the meeting via the internet and conference call in advance of the Annual Meeting instead. So on April 5th, this meeting was held. By doing this, we actually enabled more persons to participate, not limiting the audience to just those who were physically attending the Annual Meeting in Orlando.

Debby described the Early Bird Registration incentive offering of a room upgrade to the lucky winner of a random drawing of members that had registered and paid before March 15th. The winner this year was Dyenomite Apparel, one of our newest members and registering with two of our first-time attendees.

She reviewed the organizations’ administrative structure as defined by our By-Laws, including explanation of the functional committees: the Technical Committee and the Executive Steering Committee. At this time Debby formally recognized Pam Streng, of Hanes Brands Inc. as a retiring member of her company and therefore from our EASI organization as well. Debby thanked Pam for her many years of faithful service to the EASI group and the group expressed their appreciation in its applause.

At this time, Nick reviewed the organization’s formal Anti-Trust Guidelines through a PowerPoint presentation and asked if there were any questions or items of discussion surrounding these rules? Being none, the meeting continued.

Nick asked the membership to review and approve the Minutes of the 2011 Annual Meeting from April 2011 held in Las Vegas. These Minutes have been posted on our website since last June, and there was no discussion. Pam Streng made the motion to accept the Minutes as presented, Rich Weisbrod seconded the motion, and the call for acceptance was passed unanimously.

The next item of business was the Report of the Audit Committee, which is a review of the current financial records kept on behalf of the EASI organization by its Treasurer. The audit review includes the checkbook, monthly statements and Treasurer’s reports and records. The Audit Committee is appointed each year by the Chairperson, and this year it consisted of Rob Smith (Committee Chair), Don Johnson and Debby Krissinger. Rob Smith reported that ‘all was in order’ with no concerns or discrepancies found.

The Treasurer (Nick Freitag) then presented the Treasurer’s Report via PowerPoint. He reviewed the receipts, expenditures and explained the beginning and ending balances for the period of April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012. Jane Tonkin made the motion to accept the report as submitted, and Rob Smith provided the second motion. With no further discussion, the report was accepted unanimously.

Lastly, Nick showed a slide of the chart depicting the elected positions and officers of the organization, with emphasis on the expiration dates of each slot. He told the group that ballots would be distributed later during the meeting, but to give thought to those who may want to be nominated from the floor for opportunities to serve the organization.
Technical Committee Session – 2:00 pm
Michael Roberts, Chair of the Technical Committee led the discussion by providing a summary overview of accomplishments achieved by this committee.

Jon Clarke, immediate past-Chair of this committee and current Technical Committee member, then proceeded to discuss the enhancements made to the EASI website. He explained that much of the expanded capability was due to the migration away from our former ‘Wiki’ platform to the current service provided by Mindtouch. Enhanced capabilities include “Page Notifications”, “Recent Changes” and ‘EASI Blog’ to improve communications between Members and interested parties. John Cutsey asked if he could blog about ‘Updates’? Jon suggested all Members should visit the “Group” section, then select “Members” and ensure that your specific website link was posted and current. He also told all that we now had some analytics available to us regarding web traffic to our site. Jon told all they could send an email to to request set-up or assistance.

Michael Roberts and Jon Clarke took turns in leading discussion regarding the following updated Standards:

a)    846 Inventory Status: expansion of estimated inbound inventory timeframe to 24 weeks.
a.    Question was raised about whether the quantity shown was ‘gross’ or ‘net of orders/commitments’? Discussion was that ‘gross’ was a useless number. Pam made motion, Pete seconded and vote was unanimous to show ‘net’ quantity as the Standard.
b.    Another question was ‘should this quantity be ‘incremental’ or ‘cumulative’? After discussion, motion made by Pam with second by Jane for the number to be ‘incremental’ only. Vote was unanimous.
c.    With these decisions made concerning this Standard, a motion was made by Jane with a second by Terry that we adopt this modified version to be known as “V.2” of the 846 Inventory Status file. The vote was unanimous in favor of its passage.
b)   181 Return Authorization Response: this was to be file that serves as the response from the Mill/Mfgr to a formal 180 Return Authorization request file (approved at the 2011 Annual Meeting). There was considerable discussion about the real potential use for subsequent process files that could accommodate the natural progression of the return process (to include confirmation of shipment of returned product, acknowledged receipt of the returned product and ultimately the issuing of credit for the returned product). Jon thought it best that the committee go back and review these requests and send out to the membership a ‘clean’ version to be considered. This would occur within one month.
c)    850 Purchase Order:  some fields were revised that caused little concern. Rob made the motion, Jane seconded and the vote was unanimous to accept this as V.2.
d)   940 Drop Ship Order:  reviewed V.4 which was actually adopted at the 2011 Meeting. No questions or discussion.
e)    832 PDD : several ‘corrections’ needed to be made to the current V.7 needed to be reviewed and discussed. The NMFC (National Motor Freight Council) code was overlooked & left out, so it has been added to the file form. Also, the field size for the Pantone color needed correction. These ‘fixes’ have been made. As far as enhancements for a V.8 is concerned, Jon said that in addition to the corrected PMS/Pantone fields, we really needed to allow for use of Hexadecimal values. He proposed we add 6 additional fields (#40-45) and that all fields accept the proper number of digital entries (20). This proposal was seconded by Mike Leibrand and then passed unanimously.
a.    Terry Birch raised the question about the possibility of notifying Distributors of discontinued styles? Inactive SKU’s are dropped from the PDD and this causes issues as inventories and sales usually continue for some time. Do we need to adopt a new standard to reflect the ‘closeout process’? Jon said the thought the use of XML language in hopefully the near future would help us with these types of issues, but suggested the Tech Committee investigate the matter further and recommend a solution.
f)     945 Drop-Ship Confirmation: the question put forth was ‘should it be retired’? FDM4 stated that they had no clients using the file. Broder said they do not use it. After some further discussion, consensus was that it ought to ‘go the way of the 855’ and ‘archive it’! Ashlyn made the motion to formally retire the 945 and Don Johnson seconded. The vote was unanimous to do so.
Debby Krissinger then led a group review of the outdated “Master Carton and Shipment Label’ specs. She recommended the following actions be taken:

a)    Correct the name of our organization on the title page!
b)   Correct the field numbers being referenced on pages 9 & 10 (label illustration)

Jim Beale recommended we make a statement that the shipment label must include both the GTIN and the SSCC-18 barcodes!

Mike Cutsey made a motion we adopt the changes discussed to this document, and Jim Beale seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Discussion then followed on the topic of “Step by Step Compliance” – a proposed structured approach aimed at encouraging compliance for both Manufacturer and Wholesaler. Comments such as ‘ there is too much information on the website”, and “it’s overwhelming for Newbies” were heard. Jon recommended we ‘beef up our Support Page’ to be more responsive to new members, and to resubmit a compliance strategy to the membership in another month.
The meeting was suspended at this point for the day. On Tuesday morning (April 17th), the agenda was resumed:
The current Compliance Matrix was reviewed via PowerPoint without further comments or questions.
Michael & Terry led discussion over the continuing top of the inevitable migration to XML (Extensible Markup Language). He said advantages included the fact it was used by computers that normally could not communicate between each other while also being human readable. XML generated immediate responses, and updates in ‘real time’. It utilizes ‘tags’ <> to indicate beginnings and endings. Changes were made through ‘versioning’ of information between trading partners, and that it was an ‘open architect that was not machine dependent’.

The Technical Committee recognizes that the EASI group made the decision at last year’s Annual Meeting (2011) to move forward using XML as the ‘language of choice’. Two questions remained: ‘what framework or architecture should be used?’ and ‘which file/Standard should be converted first?’ The Tech Committee was suggesting we start with the 846 Inventory Status file.

Discussion over the ‘architecture’ followed. XSD or commonly referred to as “Schema” describes data contained in the files plus the rules for protocol and language. REST is a web service with a specific URL or internet address. EASI group would need to define a standardized URL structure. It was recommended that we would change from FTP to SSL secured socket, with the web service address being “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP”. The Committee suggests going with the REST architecture.  

Questions and discussion followed with a reminder that XML is a language format, and not the Standard or the process! A comment was made that ‘instant or mobile data is where it’s at today!’. Did we want to replace our existing files with XML versions or just augment our Standards to include XML versions? Debby emphasized that we should only consider augmenting the existing files with XML versions rather than replacing existing files.

Mike Leibrand then made a motion that we proceed with the development of some existing standards into the XML format. Pam seconded the motion. Further discussion ensued. Debby suggested the Tech Committee hold a web-based meeting for all interested parties to participate in approximately six months, to be able to review progress made on this endeavor. Don Johnson expressed concern that only 20 member companies were represented at today’s meeting (out of 37 paid memberships) and therefore many were not a part of the dramatic change in direction we are making. Debby said we should make sure we invite all members to the proposed web meeting in order to review and comment on the new XML version. Dean Wright then suggested the Tech Committee should hold quarterly web meetings like the one being discussed. Debby suggested we allow the Tech Committee to meet amongst themselves, then decide just when is best to hold these follow-up web sessions? She also wanted to clarify Mike’s motion such that we develop the 846 Inventory File as the ‘proof of concept’ for XML conversion.

With there being no further discussion, the modified proposal was voted on and passed unanimously.
Michael then reviewed with the membership the Technical Committee’s Objectives for 2012. They are as follows:
1)   XML development work as discussed
2)   Assist Wholesalers with internal systems to utilize XML throughout the supply chain
3)   Develop an “EASI app”? Or at least optimize EASI for mobile use – some disagreement here on this topic!
4)   Continue to review website content; validate and update information to include changes made from this meeting!
5)   Archive old Standards
6)   Create EASI domain account for server hosting direct billing
7)   Host web meetings as discussed for those not in attendance and to review ongoing work
8)   Potential of face-to-face Tech Committee meeting?
Nick Freitag then presented the slate of officers and Directors to the floor for election purposes. He reported that during the course of the meeting (two day’s time), there had been five individuals that approached him and put themselves into nomination ‘from the floor’ for At-Large Members to the Executive Board. Nick called for any further nominations from the floor in addition to these persons, and there being none, he distributed the ballots for voting. As per our By-Laws, only one vote per Member Company was eligible, and only Voting Class Members could cast a ballot (Distributors and Manufacturers only). A simple majority of voters would win election as per our By-Laws, so of the 19 voting members present, a nominee would require at least 10 votes to be elected.

All candidates were elected that were presented on the ballot, with no one candidate receiving less than 16 votes. Those persons elected are as follows:

-      Chairperson: Don Johnson
-      Vice-Chairperson: Rob Smith
-      At-Large Members: Rich Weisbrod, Jean Scruggs, Mecca Bryant, Saul Hernandez, Thomas Hasty, Jane Tonkin, Mike Leibrand
Wrap-Up Discussion –

Debby asked the audience if they liked the two-day, split agenda format that was employed this year? Also, if they liked the Tompkins tour scheduled in between? All comments expressed were definitely supportive of continuing with this scheduling format. Everyone was very much in favor of attending business related tours such as we did at Tomkins, with 31 out of 34 registered EASI meeting guests attending the Tompkins tour plus other guests of FDM4. It was very popular and informative experience.

Debby asked about continuation of the East Coast/West Coast alternating pattern for future meetings, and the consensus was ‘yes’, continue following this pattern. FDM4 (Joelle) volunteered to produce an online opinion survey that we could use to solicit destination choices from our membership in order to help the Board in determining a location for the 2013 Annual Meeting.

Timing was discussed, and consensus was that we were picking the perfect week: after Easter and Passover, and avoiding Spring Break in general. Only one person in attendance commented that they thought we should meet earlier in the year than April.

Debby reminded us that we should always be focused on ‘improving business efficiencies and relationships’ as opposed to thinking only in terms of technical processes as a group.

Debby then thanked everyone for their support in her closing act of her two-year term as Chairperson of the organization. The membership acknowledged Debby for her commitment and leadership over the years, and thanked her with their applause.

Debby then declared the meeting to be adjourned.

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