By January 6, 2011News

Founded in 1956, Nichiha Japan began operations as a hardboard manufacturer supplying the automobile industry. Fueled by superior manufacturing technology and a constant drive for innovation, Nichiha Japan developed fiber cement claddings and now offers over 800 different products, textures and colors for both commercial and residential applications. In the late 1990s, Nichiha USA was launched, opening its headquarters in Atlanta and a manufacturing facility in 2007 in Macon, Georgia.

The company is gaining a significant market share, in part by distributing its products through major retailers such as Lowe’s. To compete in this market, Nichiha USA requires a flexible, reliable, accurate EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) solution. For Nichiha USA, that solution is MAPADOC EDI.


When Troy Holland joined the company as IT Manager, the company just implemented Sage ERP MAS 200 as a replacement for the entry-level application it had outgrown. “EDI was not even on our radar then,” recalls Holland. “We sell to major builders and wholesale distributors, but did not use EDI in our transactions with them.”

Some time later, the company’s Vice President of Sales came to Holland with an urgent request: a new customer, Lowe’s, required the company to become EDI compliant in order to win their business. “We had very little time,” Holland says. “So we did a quick search and bought a popular EDI package that said it integrated with our ERP software.”


The implementation was in trouble from the beginning: “It was a nightmare,” says Holland. “The vendor we worked with created the trading documents we needed, but simply couldn’t get them to work. One problem would get fixed, but it would introduce another. Nichiha was facing substantial financial penalties and it was putting my job on the line.I needed a functioning EDI system in place, and fast!”

Nichiha USA gave the software vendor a drop-dead date for a functional solution, but the provider missed it. A month later, the company finally received approval from Lowe’s for the invoice (810) document. “Soon after we received notice that Lowe’s needed some changes and that there were additional documents they wanted to add,” Holland says. “We could not afford to go through that trial-and-error cycle again, so I called our Sage Authorized Partner for help. They researched all the available EDI solutions and unconditionally recommended MAPADOC EDI.”


Unwilling to take chances, Holland asked for references and received glowing reports from the MAPADOC EDI users he contacted. Armed with strong references and competitive pricing, Nichiha USA made the switch to MAPADOC EDI. “We turned off the other solution and turned on MAPADOC without incident,” Holland says. “Happily, I can say that we now have a 100 percent accuracy rate.”

The threats of charge-back fees are a thing of the past. In fact, Nichiha USA receives the highest rating in Lowe’s monthly report summarizing trading activity.

“In my opinion, the team at MAPADOC can do no wrong. The product works flawlessly, integrates seamlessly with our accounting software and the service is exceptional. My questions get answered immediately and it is clear that they understand the stakes involved.”


MAPADOC EDI supports all of the trading documents Nichiha USA needs as part of its business with Lowe’s, including the Invoice (810), Purchase Order (850), Purchase Order Acknowledgement (855) and Advanced Ship Notice (856). In fact, MAPADOC EDI is working so well for Nichiha USA, that the company is encouraging its other customers to incorporate EDI. “MAPADOC is so efficient and so accurate,” says Holland.

Holland received in-depth training from MAPADOC and now feels confident in making routine changes to the documents as required. “MAPADOC’s support team has been a huge help to us,” he says. “They have given me the tools I need to create and edit the maps, but they are always ready to assist me if I get stuck or have a question.”

Trust Matters

“I would recommend MAPADOC to any organization,” concludes Holland. “There is so much on the line for companies who need to adopt EDI. For many of us, our very existence rests on our ability to successfully trade with our customers via EDI. I wouldn’t trust this company with anything else.”

For a PDF copy of this case study, visit our MAPADOC Customer Solutions page.

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