Case Study: Wayne Pipe’s Journey with EDI Managed Services

Transforming B2B Communications

Wayne Pipe & Supply, Inc., a leader in plumbing and industrial supplies in Northeast Indiana, transitions to IDEA Exchange EDI Managed Services, enhancing efficiency and reliability in their mission-critical B2B communications.

A Legacy of Innovation

Founded in 1896, Wayne Pipe and Supply has established itself as a key player in the plumbing, heating, and industrial supply sectors. With a history of embracing technological advancements, Wayne Pipe’s products are essential in various applications, notably in schools and institutions across Northeast Indiana. To learn more, please visit

Case Study Highlights

  • Company: Wayne Pipe & Supply, Inc.
  • Industry: Plumbing and Industrial Distribution
  • Focus: Wholesale distributor of pipe, valves, fittings, and plumbing supplies, kitchen & bath showroom
  • Location: Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Solution Provider: IDEA Exchange EDI Managed Services
  • ERP: Prophet 21
  • Key Strategy: Adopting a user-friendly and interactive EDI solution to improve both vendor and customer communications throughout the quote-to-cash process.


  • Seamless integration with minimal operational disruption.
  • Enhanced end-user interaction with a human-readable format.
  • Strengthening B2B communications efficiency and reliability.


  • Successful implementation of IDEA Exchange EDI Managed Service solution.
  • Streamlined operations.
  • Strengthened reliability in supply chain communications.


  • Significant reduction in error rates.
  • Faster order processing and turn-around times.
  • Improved communication with vendors.


Wayne Pipe’s Struggle with PO Errors and Supplier Communications

When the pandemic hit, the team at Wayne Pipe experienced a surge in purchase order errors, as suppliers’ staff shifted to remote work. These miscommunications with suppliers led to frequent and serious mistakes—including when an order for four individual fittings resulted instead in a delivery of four pallets.

These errors highlighted Wayne Pipe’s need for a more efficient and accurate way to manage their supply chain and order processes.

As a company deeply rooted in innovation and customer satisfaction, Wayne Pipe faced the challenge of expanding their Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system. The company had been using EDI for many years, but the existing system wasn’t meeting the needs of their growing business.

Wayne Pipe needed a more robust, interactive, and reliable EDI solution that could seamlessly integrate with their operations and streamline their ordering processes.

“Wayne Pipe & Supply was looking for a more interactive partner for our EDI solution to increase our usage of EDI from both a vendor and a customer standpoint. In our EDI functionality, we were looking for a way to be both hands-on, and yet, not have to deal with the day-to-day functionality, and to be able to view it in a human readable form.”

Don Alfeld, IT Specialist at Wayne Pipe & Supply


Discovering the Right Partner for EDI Managed Services

During Wayne Pipe & Supply’s journey to enhance their EDI system, a chance encounter at a conference expo blossomed into a comprehensive discussion. This interaction showed Wayne Pipe’s IT team IDEA’s extensive experience in providing flexible EDI Managed Services tailored for distributors and manufacturers.

A key attraction for Wayne Pipe was IDEA Exchange’s capability to make EDI transactions human-readable.

“To be able to view an EDI transaction and understand it without having to know how to program EDI is great,” said Alfeld. Not only can the IT team manage EDI easier, but order information can be shared with Wayne Pipe staff without having to involve IT.

Implementing IDEA’s EDI Managed Services was a straightforward process for Wayne Pipe & Supply, according to Alfeld. Wayne Pipe added EDI transactions 810, 850, and 855, in addition to existing 820 and 856 transactions.

The migration itself was seamless, particularly in extracting information from Wayne Pipe’s ERP and integrating new EDI transactions.

“Our experience with IDEA Exchange integration and migration has been very smooth. Not to downplay the migration, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. All the way around, the migration was fairly stress-free,” said Alfeld.

While Wayne Pipe & Supply smoothly transitioned to IDEA Exchange’s EDI Managed Services, the company encountered challenges in obtaining internal buy-in and supplier adoption. Some vendors were hesitant, despite the benefits. IDEA Exchange’s support and experience reassured vendors about the reliability of the new system and moved implementation forward. Wayne Pipe’s experience underscores the significance of collaboration and trust in successfully integrating EDI with new partners.

—Don Alfeld, IT Specialist at Wayne Pipe and Supply


Tangible Outcomes: The Success of Wayne Pipe’s EDI Integration

After transitioning to IDEA Exchange’s EDI Managed Services, Wayne Pipe & Supply experienced several significant results, improving their business processes.

The company found what it was looking for: an interactive EDI partner that would enable Wayne Pipe’s IT team to be hands-on without having to manage the day-to-day functionality. With this solution in place, Wayne Pipe has pursued its goal to increase its usage of EDI with vendors and customers.

Through IDEA Exchange Managed Services, Wayne Pipe & Supply gained:

  • An experienced EDI partner to provide proactive EDI monitoring
  • Knowledge of distributor and manufacturers’ trading partner requirements
  • Daily EDI management
  • Software updates
  • Trading partner onboarding and product mapping
  • A primary contact and backup members
  • 20+ years of distribution industry experience

  • Enhanced Order Accuracy: Dramatic decrease in order processing errors, streamlining operations and avoiding expensive snafus and returns.
  • Quicker Turnaround Times: Vendors often give EDI orders higher priority, leading to better terms and reduced order processing time (from 72 hours to less than 24 hours for some orders). According to Alfeld, “Anytime you can double or triple your speed, that equals cost savings,” he said.
  • Human-Readable EDI Format: Easier management and understanding of EDI transactions, plus reduced IT dependency across departments.
  • Exceptional Service and Support: Wayne Pipe’s Alfeld noted, “I would recommend IDEA Exchange because it’s a great solution and the communication is amazing.” At Wayne Pipe, the team sees communication is key, and appreciates having a partner, like IDEA, with the ability to communicate.

Now that Wayne Pipe has experienced increased efficiency and reduced errors, the team is now extending EDI to its customers, aiming to fully streamline its supply chain communications. By leveraging the IDEA Exchange system, Wayne Pipe can extend the value of its EDI platform and build closer, more productive relationships with customers.

——Don Alfeld, IT Specialist at Wayne Pipe and Supply

IDEA Exchange Retains 98% of Customers for Good Reason

IDEA has extensive experience in eBusiness. It’s our mission to make it easy for manufacturers to expand product content, EDI automation, and become more competitive.

  • 20+ Years of Experience
  • EDI VAN & Managed Services
  • Professional Services Team
  • Industry-owned and Supported
  • Best in Class Customer Service
  • Distribution and Manufacturing Experience

IDEA is here for you. We can help you navigate the complex world of eBusiness for maximum results.