Art Cook

Art Cook headshot

A little bit about Art

Earlier in my career, I held sales and management positions with several electrical manufacturers, before joining the Buckles-Smith team in 1995 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. I’m now the CEO at Buckles-Smith and have served on the NAED Western Region council, numerous industry boards and committees, and distributor advisory councils of several leading manufacturers. Given my background working for both electrical manufacturers and distributors, I bring a unique perspective to the table and try to remain a very active player within this industry.

Why he loves the IDEA Exchange

We have been using the IDEA Exchange as an information hub between Buckles-Smith and our vendors and customers, and to exchange EDI documents, for over a decade – it’s the most reliable part of our eBusiness infrastructure.

With EDI, simpler is better, and IDEA Exchange has made our EDI processes much simpler. We don’t need to think about Exchange – it’s just a part that works for us.   Recent improvements, such as the Exchange’s ability to track and display EDI documents as they enter and leave our mailbox, have further enhanced our experience.

Cost-effective connections

The IDEA Exchange has made it more economical for us to conduct EDI. Before using the Exchange, we had to contact our EDI Value-Added Network (VAN) each time we needed to set up a connection with a new trading partner. With the Exchange, we already have everything in place to set up those new connections; in fact, we don’t even need to notify IDEA when we start trading with different partners! The interface and training we received enable us to be self-sufficient. Additionally, there are no individual charges for each trading partner, and we don’t have to deal with different charges for trading partners outside of the Exchange Network.

Increasing efficiency with EDI

When properly done, EDI enhances time management, reduces human error and gets us the products we need much quicker. It also makes the process easier for our vendors who, in turn, pass their efficiency savings onto us. For example, we have agreements with our key vendors in which they actually manage our inventory via EDI: we send them our stock numbers, while the computers on their end take note of when they need more inventory and place the order automatically. Likewise, we can enter a purchase order for one of our vendors in our system and have it sent to them electronically, with little to no human intervention. Buckles-Smith has been improving business processes with EDI for more than 20 years, and with efficiencies like this, we plan to continue for the next 20 years and beyond!