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Textiles producer Mount Vernon Mills selects Extol Solutions
Jul '08
Mount Vernon Mills Inc has selected EXTOL business integration solutions to enable their existing IT team to manage the complex integration of both internal and external systems. Mount Vernon Mills is a $550 million diversified manufacturer of textiles and related products. EXTOL is a leading provider of business-to-business and application-to-application integration software.

Headquartered in Mauldin, South Carolina, Mount Vernon Mills (MVM) serves the apparel, industrial, institutional and commercial markets. The enterprise comprises seven integrated divisions, has approximately 3,600 employees, operates 14 production facilities in the U.S., and provides distribution services to customers in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

A guiding initiative of the company is to deliver total customer satisfaction. One of the key components to achieving this goal is the end-to-end automation of the exchange of complex business processes and transaction data.

“Automation of any kind benefits both sides,” said Lisha Ferrell, EDI Coordinator for Mount Vernon Mills. “With EXTOL, we have a lot more capabilities than other companies. As a result, we're easier to buy from.”

EXTOL enables MVM's team to manage complex integration of both non-EDI formats such as spreadsheets, flat files and XML, in addition to dozens of EDI formats and variations mandated by their customers. Just one person, Ferrell, supports EDI for all 7 divisions of MVM, utilizing EXTOL as their EDI management tool. They have 51 trading partners on ANSI X12, and process about 8700 EDI messages per month.

“Most of our customers are EDI-savvy,” said Ferrell, “but many of our suppliers are not.” Many of MVM's suppliers are small businesses and family-owned providers of raw materials such as cotton or finishing services. “What they do is send orders via spreadsheets attached to emails. In the past, our clerks had to manually re-key the spreadsheet data into our applications. This was a very time-consuming and error-prone process.”

Today, with EXTOL, XLS or CSV file data from suppliers is automatically integrated seamlessly with MVM's back-end systems, no different from a traditional X12 EDI transaction. “We are saving many staff hours per project,” stated Ferrell. “Plus we have the benefits gained from accuracy, and the fact that the data is available in near real time.”

As part of their customer service initiative, MVM helps customers create buying forecasts. “In the past, customers would send us their spreadsheets, and two people were dedicated to manually inputting the data into our systems,” explained Ferrell. “Now that we use EXTOL to automatically create the forecasts from the spreadsheets, a full half day is shaved off the process. Also, this automated process eliminates a lot of typos.”

Because of the agility afforded by EXTOL, and their expertise in using EDI as a business tool, MVM was able to take advantage of a unique business opportunity. MVM had a warehouse they were not using, and learned a local manufacturer was seeking a warehouse to manage the distribution of their products. MVM contracted with the company to run the warehouse for them, including the sending and receiving of all EDI documents and constant reporting back to business unit managers, all with the EXTOL solution.

Mount Vernon Mills Inc is a diversified and integrated manufacturer of textile and related products for the apparel, industrial, institutional, and commercial markets. Products include denim, piece dyed and flame retardant fabrics for apparel; pocketing; table linens and other hospitality products, textile sizing and finishing chemicals; paint roller fabrics, automotive fabrics; and synthetic pine straw.

EXTOL International Inc

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