BACKGROUND: Moseley Corporation is a full service provider of branded merchandising solutions and consulting services for leading international corporations and emerging entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry. As part of its services, Moseley designs and develops equipment such as the kiosks and food carts that have become fixtures in malls, convention centers, airports and hotel lobbies across the country. Moseley works with clients such as Starbucks, Burger King, Einstein's Bagels and Au Bon Pain, to develop innovative business and market strategies.

PLATFORMS: PFN FirmLink is running on Sun Solaris 2.7, with integration to a front-end Web server running Solaris 2.7 and Intershop 4.

PROBLEM SOLVED: As Moseley's customized foodservice merchandising systems and related consulting businesses continue to grow, we recognized capacity constraints in our sales force and order management groups that threatened to severely limit growth. We needed a system to increase our overall capacity while improving customer satisfaction.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We aim to fully integrate our Web product catalog with our network of suppliers in order to dramatically improve the entire order fulfillment process. FirmLink has the ability to create an open, intelligent communications infrastructure which leverages our existing technology base, our ERP system running on AS/400 V4R4 and other supply chain investments to link our customers, suppliers and trading partners. FirmLink will enable Moseley's customers to directly place customized orders through Moseley's interactive Web catalog. FirmLink's intelligent communications infrastructure, which currently tracks the order through its internal organization, will enable further distribution to departments such as product development, customer service and accounting. In addition, FirmLink also will allow Moseley to electronically drive corporate purchasing from the desktop to preferred suppliers based on updated vendor pricing, performance and inventory information. Because of the flexibility of the PFN solution set, the system sets the groundwork for each of us on the network to leverage that connection for future sales and savings. PFN's FirmLink solution enables the Moseley Corporation to create an open, intelligent communications infrastructure that leverages standard technologies and augments existing supply chain investments without excluding valuable trading partners from participating in our digital marketplace.

STRENGTHS: PFN's FirmLink solution provides us with a quick-to-deploy, easy-to-use, scalable and affordable solution that eases communication across enterprises without requiring our partners to install new applications or reconfigure their networks.

WEAKNESSES: As one of PFN's first customers for FirmLink, application features, documentation, training and Intershop integration were updated in tandem with our implementation, forcing our project plan to evolve as we developed the solution.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Our key selection criteria included a Web-based platform, XML output, existing or creatable agents for major manufacturing and ERP systems, standards based, ease of administration, customizable orders and parsing of orders to supply chain partners. At the time of our selection, we found no other product that could effectively meet all of these needs. We were particularly impressed by PFN's ability to rapidly develop a working prototype.

DELIVERABLES: FirmLink provides XML-based sales orders and purchase orders, usage reporting, e-mail notification of new items reaching FirmLink, ERP connector interface and SQL report generation.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We received a high level of front-line support during pre- and post-implementation, and PFN acted as a project manager for the Intershop integration into FirmLink. Overall, PFN has provided product support with a clear eye to ensuring our success implementing and using their product as a key element of our complete solution. They have also provided leadership in helping us expand and realize a greater market vision. We greatly value that kind of innovative partnership.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is complete and customized to our needs. We could run the product easily with the documentation provided; however, certain aspects of server administration could be improved.

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