The Trading Partner Info Exchange

The Trading Partner Information Exchange ( emerged as logical solution to a challenge originally faced by the major retail suppliers. The best way to understand exactly what provides and why it is an instrumental tool for maintaining compliance is to look back on how it originated.

Beginning with the original UCC technical committees for UPC barcode identification, Bar Code Graphics has actively participated in numerous industry associations working on barcode guidelines. In 2003 during a VICS Floor Ready committee meeting, many of the larger retail general merchandise suppliers voiced their aggravation trying to comply with their various retail trading partner numerous requirements. The participants of this group consisted of proactive suppliers who recognized the complexity of keeping current and wanted to avoid compliance offset charges. Aside from the financial impact of non-compliance, these suppliers recognized the larger ramifications of negatively impacting their trading partners’ supply chains. The scope of non-compliance spanned across numerous areas including; EDI, Accounting, Packaging, and Transportation.

To further magnify the challenge these suppliers were facing, their retail trading partners’ supplier portals varied and requirement changes were constantly occurring. Consequently, suppliers were have having various individuals within different departments check on these requirement changes daily and some suppliers calculated their employees spend an average of 4 hours per day combined checking for updates.

At that time, our BCG testing center (now Identification Labs) was administering and supporting the barcode compliance for some of the top US retailers. Due to our barcode certification programs, we were assisting 2,000+ suppliers from numerous retailers every year. Although our exposure to compliance at that time solely consisted of POS and logistic barcode issues, we understood the true impact of non-compliance in retail supply chain. It was at this VICS meeting that the concept of an aggregated retail intelligence service was born. Four months later we sent out an email to our testing clients to introduce them to a pilot program we launched called the Trading Partner Information Exchange (

The core function of the was to monitor web portals and direct subscribers to any/all pertinent changes. Since the base function of this service was to simplify change management, we wanted to provide daily email communications directing users to specifics links and websites. Although the portal provided an in depth archive of all of a retailer’s changes categorized by update type, our subscribers really valued the ease of researching a change directly from the information and links provided in the daily emails. When we first launched, we began tracking 29 retailers and today over 140 different retailer websites are reviewed daily.

Since retail requirements span a wide variety of departments within an organization, the application allows for multiple individual within a single company to track updates either by type or retailer. Even though some of the larger retailers require their suppliers to regularly use their portals to manage supply chain functions, most mid-large size suppliers are challenged for keeping current with the vast majority of US retailers. Given the ramifications for infractions of any type, the return on investment (ROI) for utilizing is realized by just catching a single change.

Today over 500 companies, ranging from suppliers to 3rd party providers, rely on to supplement their own compliance initiatives. Additional categories, such as “social compliance” have been added to change review. A complimentary 30-day free trial is provided for all new prospective subscribers and no credit card is required to establish an initial account.

Please visit for a complimentary trial subscription or call Patti Osuoji at 312-676-7623 for additional information.

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