TrueCommerce: EDI Solutions
By: Kristen Puluso
The Great Resignation is a phrase you’re likely already familiar with.
Appearing with alarming regularity in seemingly every major news source for the past few months, the rise of employee resignation has reached levels never before seen and certainly never anticipated.
But resignations are not the only factor challenging teams across manufacturing, distribution, and retail, especially since COVID-19 still looms over our personal and professional lives. As teams are disrupted in the wake of these challenges, more strain is placed on managers and team members alike, making it hard to allocate time and resources towards optimizing efficiency and accuracy.
What does any of this have to do with electronic data interchange?
Well, EDI software opens the door to reduce the strain on leaner teams in several ways. But first, what is EDI and why is it important to businesses in supply, distribution, and manufacturing?
The What and Why of EDI
Simply put, EDI is a standardized method whereby businesses (suppliers, distributors, customers, carriers, 3PLs, or other supply chain connections) exchange documents like purchase orders, advance ship notices, invoices, and more.
With EDI, you no longer rely on sharing paper documentation, whether in the form of faxed copies, snail-mailed letters, or any other physical records. Since everything is digital, information is shared more quickly, allowing businesses to operate more efficiently by use of transaction codes. This also reduces the amount of time spent on manual data entry since all the information is digital and backed by powerful autofill capabilities.
Shorter lead times and more rapid fulfillment lead to greater revenue, higher quality (and reliability) of information, cost savings, and greater productivity. Another major reason that businesses adopt EDI is to work with larger companies that require EDI for compliance purposes. There are many more upsides to implementing EDI, but this is a good start to understanding how it can help smaller teams.
Small Teams Can Do Big Things with EDI
With the right EDI integration, you don’t need a massive team to reach your goals. The EDI solution does a lot of the heavy lifting, but it’s important to understand which areas it helps the most and why, namely:
- Automation and Integration
- Reduced Manual Data Entry
- Remote EDI Management
- Reduced Strain on Your IT Teams
- Cost Savings
- Partner Transparency
Automation and Integration
To start, the ability to create workflows and automate processes through EDI has made it possible for smaller teams to work more efficiently without sacrificing accuracy and quality. Removing or reducing the possibility of human error is one of automation’s greatest perks. It’s crucial to make good use of this functionality to get the most out of your EDI solution.
TrueCommerce EDI is able to integrate with dozens of leading ERP systems, making automation and accurate order processing easy, among other things. With the right EDI integration, you can ease the strain on yourself and your team with workflows that, once started, autofill information, notify shipping teams, verify addresses, print shipping labels, and so on. That means a lower probability of mistakes, which is crucial, especially in high-stress situations.
Reduced Manual Data Entry
Falling right in line with the previous point, there is no room for making mistakes when your team size is reduced. When you’re understaffed, mistakes hurt hard and quick– and they take longer to recover from.
With all the technology we readily have access to, it comes as a surprise that some companies still require manual entry for inputting scores of repetitious data. We know there’s a better way than doing this by hand, not just because of the possibility of error but because it’s time-consuming, labor-intensive, and, let’s just say less-than-inspiring work.
In contrast, EDI eliminates the need for data entry, and therefore prevents mistakes caused by human error. With fewer mistakes comes fewer chargebacks and returns from partners. What’s more, by responding to orders quickly and accurately, EDI users can show their trading partners that they’re ready to grow together.
Remote EDI Management
Referring specifically to cloud-based EDI, another benefit is that it can be managed from anywhere. You may not be a remote team at the moment, but it wouldn’t hurt to prepare a plan in case of other widespread shutdowns or outbreaks.
Your entire team could continue utilizing EDI without having to be tied to a specific location, which could be a huge advantage if your team members need to temporarily work from home. Even outside of the context of the still ongoing pandemic, companies have been embracing remote work more and more, and a remote EDI platform might allow your team the opportunity for a more flexible work arrangement if you so choose.
Reduced Strain on Your IT Teams
You might think that managing an EDI system requires a big in-house IT staff– and that might be true if you have a legacy or non-integrated solution. But TrueCommerce’s EDI offerings include a key component for small teams, called fully managed EDI. In this scenario, you will not have to dedicate your IT teams to maintenance, security, or things like disaster recovery efforts.
We’ll handle all of it as first-class infrastructure to allow you the luxury of not having to worry about servers crashing or about all of the intricacies of EDI. We offer maximum security, delivered by Tier 3+ state-of-the-art SOC-2 compliant data centers, as well as a 99.99% uptime thanks to a combination of best-in-class network and hardware components. As for disaster recovery, we have several robust and regularly tested capabilities in place including real-time switch over processes.
How does EDI save costs? By cutting out all of the manual labor behind sending and receiving physical documentation. The cost of paper, printing, ink, toner, postage, envelopes, stamps, fees, and so on add up quickly. Not to mention the costs of chargebacks, returns, and reverse logistics caused by data errors. By implementing EDI, you cut all of these costs, and more, out almost immediately.
This cost savings afforded to you by EDI can be thoughtfully reallocated to other priorities, whether that’s investing in other supply chain solutions or supplementing your team with additional personnel amidst the worker shortage.
There’s no need to wait around for fax confirmation receipts or confirmation from your partner that the invoice you emailed arrived (it’s no secret they don’t respond the very moment they receive it – they’re busy too!). With EDI you can see document trails and statuses in real-time, allowing you to stay on top of current information.
This also means that you can provide real-time transparency to your downstream partners. The importance of maintaining a strong relationship with vendors and suppliers cannot be overstated, especially in the face of these challenging times.
Prepare for What’s Next – Get EDI Today and Do More
From less time spent typing, to better visibility, to cost savings, the benefits of EDI for lean teams speak for themselves. Whether your business is struggling with a reduced workforce, or is still growing, EDI can help your teams do more with less.
Unsure if EDI is right for your business or if your existing workflows and tech stack will integrate? TrueCommerce has a team of experts will share the solution options, so you can find the best, most suitable solution for your business. If you’re ready to learn more about how we can help you do business in every direction, contact TrueCommerce today