GXS Extends Visibility into Supply Chain

Global Exchange Services Inc. announced the availability of two new services.

Global Exchange Services Inc., the former business-to-business software and services arm of General Electric Co., announced last week the availability of two new services designed to extend the companys supply chain management offerings.

Interchange Services Version 4.5 offers users proactive alerts, order status, and tracking and reporting capabilities. Order Lifecycle Visibility supports collaboration among multiple trading partners, end-to-end order life-cycle management and functional acknowledgments.

Through functional acknowledgments and exception alerts, Interchange Services 4.5 maximizes operational efficiencies by gaining visibility into the status of a transaction and by managing by exception.

An intelligent collaboration and event management feature helps streamline the management of supply chain processes through improved inventory planning, said GXS officials, in Gaithersburg, Md.

Order Lifecycle Visibility allows for the real-time tracking of a document (for example, a purchase order or an advance shipping notice) through the entire business transaction process and allows for flow analysis, error correction, reconciliation and reporting. It also features functional acknowledgment management, which facilitates tracking, reporting and event notification.

The service expedites document turnaround and allows for self-service status inquiries and the ability to manage by exception. It also offers aggregated supply chain data and shared visibility of multiple trading partners.

In addition to being able to provide a connectivity platform for the exchange of business documents—GXS is a big electronic data interchange provider—the products allow the company to now also provide critical information about the status of those documents.

The new services are pretty straightforward in that they solve basic supply chain issues, said Shawn Willett, principal analyst at Current Analysis Inc., in Sterling, Va.

"The [software] they announced is all part of that," said Willett. "Its expanding transactions into visibility and collaboration around the network so you can go look up your order ... and if something is wrong, you can check and see why [its wrong] and how to fix it. The analytics provides intelligence around suppliers."