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2016 Annual Meeting Results

Minutes of 2016 EASI Annual Meeting – New Orleans, LA


Day 1 - March 31, 2016

Technical & Steering Committee Meetings – 9:00 am:

Following these meetings, the Secretary/Treasurer (Nick Freitag) opened up the check book and reviewed the past year’s monthly checking account statements and financially reports with four members of the Steering Committee (Jean Scruggs, Nick Blanchard, Jane Tonkin & Michael Roberts) . They examined the records presented and found no irregularities or discrepancies with the accuracy of the books and reporting. They all signed a document stating this fact.   

General Session - Day 1

Beginning at 10 am, the Annual Meeting commenced by a welcome from the incoming Executive Chairperson, Michael Roberts, who was subbing for Rob Smith (unable to attend this year).  Michael asked for individual introductions and offered a special welcome to our first-time participants. Below is a listing of those in attendance (27 in total of 29 registered) with an * to note a ‘first time’ attendee, and ** to signify a ‘non-Member’ in attendance:

Nick Freitag, Bill Griffin*, Michael Roberts, Janell Sealy*, Carlos Caballero* (Gildan Activewear)

Jon Clarke, Nick Blanchard, (Color Image Apparel)

Joelle Hotte (FDM4 International)

Mike Cutsey, Carl Brewer* (FDM America)

Jane Tonkin, Joe Kane*, Loriann Melendez, Jay Zimmerman*, Keith Schneider* (alphabroder)

Leslie Utt, Jim Henricks (Hanesbrands, Inc.)

Jean Scruggs, Ricky Carter (Fruit of the Loom)

Betsy Burton, Clarence Wiggins (Heritage Sportswear)

Tom Pepper*, Mike McGuire* (Century Place)

Beth Villa (Big Accessories)

Celina Ruhala* (J America)

Steve Mitchell* (TSC)

Mark Raborn ** (Roochi Traders)



The meeting began by showing a PowerPoint presentation detailing the Anti-Trust Guidelines, and then Nick presented the Treasurer’s Report for fiscal year 2015-16, discussed the audited bank statements process and the subsequent Report of the Audit Committee verifying these statements as being correct, and finally the current slate of officers and At-Large Members of the Steering Committee showing expiration of terms. It is important to know that this year, due to changes in the industry, we have to elect a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and multiple At-Large Steering Committee members.  The ballots will be distributed during the afternoon session at which time, we will entertain volunteers for inclusion on the ballot, and also we would accept nominations from the floor during the voting process to be held later in the afternoon.


At 10:45 am, Jon Clarke began the Technical Committee’s presentation. Jon began by expressing his appreciation to the 15 participants on the Technical Committee.  

Jon then reviewed the most recent website enhancements that had been accomplished since last year’s Annual Meeting such as:

  • 1 – Re-built the links to the Standards pages

  • 2 – Simplified the Online Compliance Matrix

  • 3 – Optimized the site for mobile usage

Jon Clarke gave a summary of our new web site’s analytics:

  • 3500 visits in the last year, flat to prior year

  • 2000 users; 54% are new to site

  • Top Pages: “Standards”, 856, 850, 940 pages

  • Nick Blanchard serving as Webmaster

  • Added 7 new subscribers to Newsletter distribution

Next Jon presented a summarized “Year in Review” of the new versions of existing Standards that were developed.  A new ‘wrinkle’ though was that during this review, Jon asked for ‘volunteer Trading Partners’ to step-up and make a commitment for their companies to utilize these ‘new versions’ of existing Standards in their normal course of business together, and to report at the 2017 Annual Meeting on their experience. 

Below is a listing of these updated Standards and alongside them, the trading partners that committed to making this happen over the next year:

  • 850 P.O. V.3 - “drop-ship capable” (intention to sunset the 940 file) – Broder/Color Image/Gildan

  • 856 ASN V.6 - “drop-ship capable” – Broder/Color Image/Gildan

  • 810 Invoice V.2 capable of consolidating invoices – Broder/LAT Apparel

  • 832 PDD V.8 – multi-color garment capable – Color Image/Broder

  • 846 Inventory Status V.2 – DC ID coding enabled – Broder/Gildan

  • 846 Inventory Status XML format V.1 – FDM4/Broder/Color Image/Gildan

Next, Jon & Joelle continued by presenting the NEW Standards for 2016 and the similar commitment made by trading partners to implement them during the coming year:

  • 821 Account Statement V.1 – Open A/R statement from Seller to Buyer – Broder/Color Image

  • IMG Spec V.1 – linking GTINs to images for Marketing

Jon then reviewed some recently adopted Standards, their benefits of usage, and then continuing the trend established in this session, he asked for volunteer trading partners to commit to implementing their usage. Those Standards and the companies that committed to use over the next year and report at next year’s Annual Meeting the results of their experiences are as follows:

  • Product Locator URL Link V.1 – adopted in 2014 with no current users – Color Image/Broder/TSC

  • 852 POS V.4 – with Product Locator URL & other enhancements – FDM4/J America/Broder

  • 180/181 Return Authorization files – automated RA process – Broder/Color Image

  • 861 Receipt Advice V.1 – Open order reconciliation tool – Broder/Gildan

New Business

Jon began discussion of several topics beginning with a review of the EASI Validation Site hosted by FDM4. Under the topic of New Business, Jon reviewed a proposed new Version 2.0 of the 855 PO Acknowledgment file. After much discussion regarding its contents, it was decided we should table the proposal.

He then discussed the virtues and capabilities of the proposed 997 Functional Acknowledgement file and why every trading partner should be using it.  Mike Cutsey made the commitment on behalf of FDM4 to ensure that this file would be completed and ready for use within the next year.

Jon then began a discussion concerning whether to add pricing information to the existing 846 Inventory Status file, or to add inventory data to the 832 PDD file? After much discussion concerning the required information and the fields to include, it was consensus that we should pursue development of the enhanced 846 Inventory file to incorporate pricing in terms of Eaches, Dozens and Cases as well as an open field to be determined by the trading partners. The goal is to have this ready for proposal and adoption at next year’s Annual Meeting.

 Jon then reviewed the current Online EASI Compliance Matrix V.2. Use of the color ‘green’ will illustrate when a trading partner is current with the most recent version of the EASI standards. The Tech Committee will be sending out communications to all Members to ensure their own matrix is up-to-date as to reflect your company’s capabilities in an accurate manner.

Discussion turned to possible creation of a “Non-Product” 180/181 file to accommodate the requests to return items other than finished goods. It was determined that many in the audience could not make this decision without the input from their Financial departments. It was agreed that coding to flag this file in the header as being a ‘Non-Product transaction’ and further coding must be better defined.

Next topic of discussion was concerning the credit claims of drop-shipped merchandise.  Consensus was for the Tech Committee to pursue developing such a file to support this need.

Michael & Jon then opened the floor for New Tech Business ideas to be presented by the attendees. Topics suggested to be addressed included the following:

  • Trading Partner portal to be established between two Members

  • Standardized formatted pricing by SKU (whether by Each, Dz, Case, etc.) – requires internal discussions with Member’s Finance/Sales/Marketing management


It was the consensus of the at-large membership in attendance to pursue both of these ideas.


Following the afternoon break, the election of Officers and Steering Committee Members was held.

Consistent with our By-laws, only Members of companies that are either Wholesalers/Distributors or Manufacturers are eligible to vote. And each Member company is granted one vote, regardless of the number of representatives present for that Member Company. The following persons were elected unanimously (7-0) by secret ballot:

  1. Executive Chairperson – Michael Roberts

  2. Vice Chairperson – Diana Priebe

  3. At-Large Members -  Debby Krissinger, Jean Scruggs, Rob Smith, Leslie Utt, Joelle Hotte


2017 Tech Tasks:

The Committee discussed the following objectives to be accomplished during the coming year:

  • 846 Inventory Status file with pricing (as previously discussed in detail)

  • API/XML formatted implementation of two current standards: 850 PO, and 870 Order Status

  • EASI standards ‘education document’ for distribution to all interested parties/users


Final New Business:

Michael asked if there were any other new business issues to come before the membership.  Nick Freitag said that following the procedures put forth in our By-Laws in Article XII, Section 13.01, he would like to propose the following amendment to the By-Laws be made:

“Pertaining to Article III, Section 3.02 that currently states, “Voting privilege is restricted to Wholesalers and Manufacturers” and further in sub-section A, “While third parties, such as software and technology companies, are welcome to participate in general meeting discussions, they are not allowed to vote on issues being presented”; I hereby propose that we modify Section 3.02 to read, “Voting privilege is granted to all Corporate Members, regardless of their classification.”

He explained the history for this clause in the current By-Laws, and the young organization’s concerns that we did not appear to promote any one company’s services or to give appearance to endorse a particular service over another’s. At this stage of the organization’s maturity, our Corporate Members all had made their decisions to either work with one another on the basis of the mutual benefit to their businesses, and we did not need to restrict the energy and support of these proven Member companies based solely upon the fact that they were not a Distributor or a Manufacturer. Little discussion was held regarding this proposal as everyone who spoke agreed that this restriction seemed no longer needed, and Mike Cutsey spoke on behalf of his companies by saying he appreciated the group recognizing the intention of his people’s hard work and the dedication to the success of the EASI standards that FDM4 has made over the years and will continue to make. Jon Clarke seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimously in favor of adopting the change in wording to this section of the By-Laws. 

Download the Updated By-Laws


Final Wrap-up - questions posed to the membership for open discussion:

  • How important are tours to the Annual Meeting format planning? Not critical to a successful meeting it was determined, reaffirming last year’s discussions. We like them but if we don’t have them, it’s not a ‘deal-breaker’

  • Did we like EASI Annual Meeting be consolidated into one day without a tour? YES

  • Consensus was that the combined FDM4 & EASI formal dinner was a great success!

  • Suggestions for next year’s meeting:

    • West Coast location as alternating location

    • Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco – we will solicit the membership choice via Survey Monkey

    • Timing was discussed quite a bit as this year, with Easter/Passover occurring so early in the year (March), we found ourselves needing to meet in late March (the earliest we’ve ever met!). After group discussions and consulting the 2017 calendar of holidays, it was determined that we would target the April 16th week for our meeting next year.


There being no further business to conduct, Michael made the motion to adjourn. Jon provided the ‘second’ and without further discussion, the meeting was officially adjourned at 5:25 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Nick Freitag

Secretary/ Treasurer EASI

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