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J. Ennis Fabrics

They're very responsive and quick to get me an answer. All in all, it's been a very good experience. They've made us feel like a big customer."

j ennis fabricsJ. Ennis Fabric is a wholesale textile distribution market leader with a well-earned reputation over 40 years for delivering the right products when needed. During that time, the company has built numerous valued partnerships by maintaining an unrelenting commitment to keeping its promises and doing things the right way.

To foster continued growth, J. Ennis Fabric's leadership set its sights on fresh opportunities and new relationships. In doing so, the company encountered new technological requirements and strict EDI demands from its newest partners.

The Problem

Over the decades, J. Ennis Fabric became a thriving business. To reach the next level, however, the company would need EDI capabilities which would allow it to become a top vendor. Unfortunately, the company's staff had little to no experience with EDI, which meant they needed a reliable, trustworthy partner who would provide solutions at a reasonable price.

"We had never done EDI before, so we were starting from ground zero," said Curtis Whitelock, IT Analyst. "Some of our partners recommended a specific EDI provider, but their rates were way too high and they did not offer the kind of flexibility we were going to need to quickly get up to speed. When we first started looking for an EDI provider, I didn't know how we were going to accomplish our objectives."

CovalentWorks Solution

Fortunately for Whitelock, CovalentWorks had solutions that provided the exceptional value and versatility he was looking for and had extensive experience with their newest EDI partner, Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Scalability was a major selling point of the service for Whitelock. J. Ennis Fabric was able to take small steps to steadily move the company to fully automated EDI integration with their internal systems. They began with MyB2B, which provides a web-based portal with email notifications and pre-populated forms that require minimal data entry to complete.

"I was really happy when I found Covalent," he said. "They provided an easy path for upgrading from the web-based MyB2B service to B2BWorks file integration with our Oracle systems. We started by entering required data into Oracle using MyB2B and then moved to automation using B2BWorks as soon as we were ready."

Whitelock says CovalentWorks has been a reliable asset for his company, delivering attentive, courteous customer service whenever it's needed.

"The customer service has been great," he said. "They're very responsive and quick to get me an answer. All in all, it's been a very good experience. They've made us feel like a big customer."

Oracle Integration

"Shortly after we started using MyB2B, the CovalentWorks team showed us how to select Purchase Orders from the MyB2B portal and download data as a CSV file that we could import into our order system built on an Oracle database. That feature made it possible to populate our orders without retyping data."


"Eventually we reached a tipping point with so many orders to process that we wanted to fully automate and integrate EDI with our systems. Covalent's B2BWorks service converts all incoming Purchase Orders to CSV files that are automatically input into our system. We also upload Advanced Ship Notices and Invoices data files that are converted to EDI and then automatically sent to our partners. Confirmations of receipt are easily viewable online so we know our partner has the transactions we sent."


"If anyone had any questions about B2BWorks during implementation, we still had the MyB2B web-based system to rely on. That really helped with the level of confidence around here. The first guys we called were going to charge us a lot more money for a lot less flexibility. With Covalent, we got great value. There are no issues. Everything works just as it's supposed to. Plus, any time I have a question, I always get a timely response, and it's spot on, which really helps. Now, J. Ennis Fabric is ready to grow at a faster pace, thanks to data integration and full-fledge EDI capabilities that didn't cost an arm and a leg."


"When choosing a restaurant, I'd rather pay for what is on the plate instead of the ambiance," said Whitelock. "CovalentWorks gave us a cost-effective solution, along with the flexibility we needed to hit the ground running and then take our business to the next level."

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EDI Solution Comparison

Comparison Item




Web-based portal
Interfaces to other systems Optional
Complete turnkey solution: ✓*
GS1-128 bar code labels Optional
Web-based software
Works with 3PL
Phone and email support
Online help
Transaction mapping
Trading partner testing

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