By Lisa Maxwell on June 7, 2018
As we all know times are changing and at a rapid pace. Technology is expanding into artificial intelligence and an IoT (Internet of Things) marketplace. Business growth is happening with manufacturers and distributors moving product faster than it has in the last several years. I hear all the time from customers “if only we could expand into the large retail space we could sell more”. Many of our customers want to know how to get their product into the large retailers or eCommerce giants while meeting retailer requirements. In today’s business profile, both consumers and retailers are becoming more demanding and as a savvy business person, you need to know how to handle their requirements within your organization. With this goal in mind, EDI or Electronic Data Interchange is something you’ll need.
Let’s say you are currently trying to sell into big-box retailers such as Amazon and WalMart, but you don’t have the manpower to handle their requirements, nor do you want to do it incorrectly and get charge backs which can be super costly. How do you as a small to mid-size business comply with the requirements from these retailers? We know that smaller sized companies run lean and try to get ahead while limiting expense. In this case, fines for not following regulations are an expense a smaller sized business can’t handle. It’s just like the old British saying “Penny wise, Pound foolish.” In other words, scrimping on complying with retailer’s requirements will ultimately cost you in fines.
The best way for any business to comply with retailer EDI requirements is to implement an EDI software solution. Why? It is seamless and gives your business flexibility. EDI also lowers costs, improves speed, accuracy and business efficiency. Did you know that by using an EDI system you can get early payments discounts? You can have a stand-alone EDI system or, for maximum savings, implement this system into your ERP or business management system if it is available. The savings increases when you have it connected into your ERP or business management system and your team across the company will have all the information they need to provide superior customer service in one system. Here are some benefits:
No more paper printing and mailing to get orders done. This will save you about 20%-30% in transaction costs. No more processing orders manually by an employee. Now it will be done in seconds electronically. Calculate that savings in your head and you will understand that it’s a major cost saver, not mention the elimination of an error point!
Speed and Accuracy
EDI can speed up business cycles. Transactions are done in minutes as opposed to manual processing. Errors are eliminated because everything is done electronically with coding. You will have fewer stock-outs and less canceled orders because of the quicker processing.
Better Business Partner
EDI will provide you with real-time visibility and allows you to adapt to market demands for your customer. Lead times are accurate and product delivery is transparent. This will also put you ahead of competitors who don’t have an EDI solution in place. Your business will be able to work with others who speak this business language of EDI.
Think about the future of your business and the technologies available to you, not only for EDI but for other areas of your business. If you are not working with a business consulting firm or software provider you may want to consider doing so. These resources can point you in the right direction and provide you with solutions to the problems you face daily in your business environment. The best part of working with a business consulting firm or software provider is that most of the time they will analyze your business needs and target money-saving solutions, usually at no cost. Also by working with you, they get to know you and your company and they can help customize solutions to make your business more profitable.