United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) and ECRS, a Certified Evergreen transaction and retail solutions provider, announced an agreement allowing ECRS to assist new and existing CATAPULT retail users in taking advantage of the UNFI Professional Services suite from digital coupons and third-party delivery services to more affordable electronic payments.
The agreement provides for a direct and formal working relationship, particularly around electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities, and empowers UNFI field associates through ECRS retail automation technology training.
The CATAPULT retail automation solution connects inventory and supply chain, customer loyalty, point-of-sale, self-service, online ordering, and other critical retail operations technologies in real time.
“UNFI retail customers utilize our scale, insights, and innovative offerings to deliver a differentiated value proposition and our agreement with ECRS will help these retailers continue to grow and thrive,” UNFI President Chris Testa said in the announcement. “It is imperative in today’s environment that retailers use technology to simplify their business and elevate the shopping experience, giving them more time to focus on their consumers. This is another example of how our services offering and key business partnerships are making a difference for our customers and helping them compete in today’s challenging marketplace.”
With ECRS’ subscription-based supply chain software, ECRS Gateway, and UNFI’s Data Exchange program, UNFI retail customers can easily automate supply chain processes and simplify the ordering experience. CATAPULT users can electronically submit a variety of documents, including purchase orders and receive invoices, promotional files and catalog data.
“UNFI provides a great deal of technological services at a scale that can give our mutual retail customers tremendous leverage in the marketplace,” Pete Catoe, ECRS founder and CEO, said in the announcement. “This agreement allows ECRS to play an active role in ensuring our UNFI customers can take full advantage of these competitive differentiators. ECRS has been working closely with UNFI for over two decades, and we are very appreciative of the organization and its people.”
Currently, ECRS Gateway hosts over 2,000 EDI accounts across UNFI’s retail customer network. Using ECRS Gateway, these retailer accounts are expected to process over 500,000 electronic transmissions in 2023, in the form of purchasing and receiving documents to and from UNFI. Not only are these orders automatically transmitted to UNFI, but many of them are also created automatically, through CATAPULT’s advanced scheduling and computer-assisted replenishment models. This reduces the need for manual entry and puts products on the floor faster.