You may feel overwhelmed when learning a company requires electronic data interchange (EDI) for business transactions. Especially if you do not have EDI already in place. But, the advantages you gain are tremendous, and EDI's impact on your business is immediate.
There are different ways you may approach implementing EDI. You may hire EDI experts and buy the necessary hardware and software to handle EDI in-house. You may outsource you EDI service to a value-added network (VAN), simplifying setup, and reducing initial costs. Or, you may take a hybrid approach and download mapping tools that operate right from your ERP.
Whatever method you decide, the benefits you earn with EDI are similar. Let's look at what EDI is and the benefits it presents.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the process used by trading partners' computers to electronically exchange documents and data. Transmitting data and documents between computers replaces outdated business processes such as fax, postal mail, email, and phone calls—many companies are still using these antiquated methods, hindering business-to-business relationships.
Benefits of EDI
Fostering active and productive business-to-business relationships are the most understated and the most valuable benefits EDI provides. Instant document and data transmission to appropriate departments generate productivity. Trading partners enjoy productivity. Also, not having to wait to gain vital documents creates certainty companies appreciate. Just having EDI in place will help attract new customers.
No More Errors
The computer-to-computer process eliminates errors introduced by manually handling materials. People make mistakes by data entry, mishandling documents, illegible writing, and mismanaging faxes and phone calls. The automated and systemized process of EDI allows accuracy and transparency.
EDI enhances efficiency exponentially. Sending a purchase order once took days or weeks, EDI reduces the process to minutes. Simplifying the purchase-to-pay method expedites cash flow. EDI also facilitates suppliers to operate with a small inventory by giving the ability to anticipate upcoming orders and demands of trading partners. Moreover, a faster rate of return is experienced.
Printing Costs Reduced
Your paper costs will reduce significantly through EDI. Electronic Data Interchange replaces fax, postal mail, the obligation to make copies, and the requirement to store various forms. Thus, you reduce paper costs because documents are not lost, meaning you will not need to replace them. Printer and fax ink are also significant savings EDI yields.
Once EDI is in place, labor hours can be reduced and redirected. Staff no longer needs to manage filing documents, faxing forms, mailing materials, phone calls, and document retrieval (for data and documents transmitted via EDI). EDI is now comparable to email: you can retrieve and view transmissions and documents in the same fashion as email applications.
Alpha EDI provides affordable, easy-to-use EDI mapping tools. All products come with a one-hour consultation with an EDI expert. Alpha EDI is great if you're new to EDI, want to manage EDI from your ERP, or want more from the EDI data your VAN sends you.
How can Alpha EDI make EDI easier for you?