Creating a lean and agile supply chain with EDI | Transalis Blog

Creating a lean and agile supply chain is necessary to keep up with the challenges and changes of the current business environment.

With supply shortages and supply chain disruption set to continue for the foreseeable future, businesses need to be forward-thinking about how to ensure efficiency and rapid response to changing conditions. For some, this has meant looking at how supply chain technologies, such as EDI, can support and propel the business into the future.

In this blog, we explain how EDI helps create a lean and agile supply chain by digitising previously manual processes and improving connectivity across the entire network.

Frictionless business for the future

A report from Transalis. Read how supply chain technology has become a necessity for businesses to maintain agility in an increasingly digitised world.

The impact of the socio-political landscape on businesses

The importance of a lean and agile supply chain has become very apparent in recent years. Most businesses have not been able to escape the negative impact of unforeseen global events. This unstable socio-political landscape, including the effects of the pandemic, Brexit, and recent conflicts, has undoubtedly forced organisations to adjust their business strategies.

According to the World Bank, global growth is expected to decline from 5% to 2.3% between 2021 and 2023 in advanced economies. For fragile and conflict-affected economies output will be 7.5% below its pre-pandemic trend* 

Ultimately, failure to have products available for customers directly hits business turnover and profitability. Businesses need to ensure they are tackling the risks to their operations head-on. For most organisations, changes to the trading network have been required to mitigate ongoing supply chain challenges.

For example, these changes could be in response to product shortages from individual trading partners, or trade becoming progressively difficult within certain territories, or even disruptions along the supply chain. This has meant the need to onboard new or switch trading partners in order to fulfil manufacturing needs, and thus, meet consumer demand. For some organisations, the uncertainty surrounding high-street retail has also led them to explore other markets and channels, such as e-commerce, or new territories.

As organisations increasingly adopt an omnichannel approach, it is blatantly clear that lean and agile supply chain processes are required to enable greater agility and efficiency going forward.

Lean and agile supply chains: where to start?

With many businesses seeking new and alternative trading connections there are several factors decision makers will be considering:

Switching or onboarding new suppliers could take up time. This is, in part, due to the need for efficient and accurate data management processes. The additional time and overhead costs associated with the manual processing of order documentation can be a major barrier for organisations looking to onboard new trading partners. This runs the risk of affecting BAU, impacting order fulfilment, and subsequently, the bottom line. Therefore, a way of digitising or automating these processes is needed. However, the supplier may need to adopt new systems to connect with the contracting organisation, or vice versa. So what’s the answer?

Bringing in a software solution to ensure compatibility across the entire supply network could be the key to creating a lean and agile supply chain.

Visibility and business agility with EDI integrations

EDI for supply chain agility

Implementing a robust, scalable and low-cost EDI solution for the entire supply chain network minimises the challenges detailed above that key business decision makers need to navigate. EDI allows users to automatically and digitally communicate with each other. An EDI solution facilitates the exchange of specially formatted digital messages that make data processing much faster and more accurate. On top of this, there is very little need for manual intervention, besides the required monitoring, meaning that overhead costs are minimised.

However, existing EDI users have expressed their dissatisfaction with traditional EDI providers.

In research conducted by Transalis, 40% of respondents (key business decision makers) had planned changes to their supply chain in 2021. Due to their EDI provider being sluggish and under-resourced the required changes have yet to be delivered. 

In response to this, we developed eDI Instant. This self-service product enables suppliers to get online with their chosen retailer in as little as 24 hours. Not weeks, not months. For just £495.

We also offer a white-label version of eDI Instant. All new trading partners can be directed to a branded site with a simpler and faster onboarding experience, where they signup and are automatically connected to your EDI network.

This EDI solution ensures compatibility across the entire network, as well as flexibility, agility and scalability. Organisations can rapidly respond to changing industry conditions by onboarding new suppliers at minimum cost and delay. This results in frictionless business processes and no disruption to BAU.

eDI Software

Contact us to discuss how we could implement a white-label version of eDI Instant for your business. Our helpful team are on hand to answer your questions: call us on 0845 123 3746 (calling from the UK) or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or contact us via email


* Global Growth to Slow through 2023, Adding to Risk of ‘Hard Landing’ in Developing Economies.

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