CHICAGO - Nothing irks a consumer more than walking into a store and not being able to consume because products are out of stock, according to the National Housewares Manufacturers Asso-ciation. Sometimes the problem is with electronic data interchange. EDI uses computer communications to link manufacturers and retailers. But EDI can be daunting to small manufacturers.
Different retailers can use different data systems, NHMA said.
The Rosemont, Ill., trade association has formed a Value-Added Network.
The VAN serves as an electronic post office that allows exchange of information despite different data systems.
At the International House-wares Show, held Jan. 14-17 in Chicago, NHMA announced a 25 percent discount to join the network.
Besides transmission of documents and services such as advance ship notices, the VAN offers educational and technical support, plus information about software and services.
NHMA launched its network in late 1994 through GE Information Services. By mid-1995, 100 companies had signed up and aggregate monthly dollar volume of goods traded through the network reached $60,000. In early January, the VAN had 300 member companies and a monthly volume of $85,000.
The trade association said the group discount could reach 50 percent as volume increases.
For information on the VAN, contact NHMA at (708) 292-4200.