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Research Abstract
Herding Geese: The Retail Supply Chain
by ComputerWeekly.com

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Published on: April 22, 2013
Type of content: BOOK
Format: Unknown
Length: 23 pages
Price: FREE



VANs and Internet EDI


By Steve Keifer


On September 9th, 2002 Walmart announced that it had selected software from a small company called iSoft to power its new Internet-based EDI system. This was the shot heard round the world in the EDI industry.


The new Internet EDI technology, called AS2, would circumvent the VANs, enabling businesses to exchange transactions directly over the Internet.


Walmart’s announcement had catastrophic impacts to the EDI VAN business that had a virtual monopoly on supply chain B2B transactions for decades.


Most analysts would place the EDI VAN sector in the category of a melting ice cube. In fact, in 2002 experts predicted that EDI VANs would be dead by the year 2010, if not 2005. However, the EDI VAN business is still a $1 billion sector in the year 2012.


This extract is taken from Steve Keifer’s book; Herding Geese: The Story of the Information Supply Chain.




  • Walmart’s influence on the supply chain.

  • AS2 and the Shot Heard ‘Round the World

  • The Retail EDI model

  • AS2 Kills the Value Added Networks (VANs)

  • Herding Geese at GXs

  • The Melting Ice Cubes

  • Get Off the VAN

  • Cream Skimming AS2

  • The Network Effect

  • VANs are Dead. Long Live the VANs.



Steve Keifer is author of the book entitled Herding Geese—The Story of the Information Supply Chain, and Vice President of Global Marketing at GXS.

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