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Commonly unknown to many EDI users, robust and efficient solutions can go beyond just the digital exchange of order data. Integrated EDI offers greater business insight, with complete visibility of data. This subsequently leads to a better informed business strategy.

In this blog, we explore how organisations can harness the full potential of an EDI solution by integrating with key business applications.

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EDI in business today

EDI is not a new technology, although it has evolved over the years. Typically, businesses will implement an EDI solution to digitally exchange business data (orders, ASNs, invoices) with their trading network.

This has led to greater efficiency overall; fewer manual processes, data errors are dramatically reduced, and processing is much slicker. Many large organisations with a complex supply network mandate an EDI connection across their trading network. This ensures they can maintain consistency with their documentation, rather than receiving information from and/or sending information to multiple sources in multiple different formats.

For many businesses, from SMEs to global corporations, implementing an EDI solution in this way has been sufficient enough to do the job. But what organisations are unaware of, is that EDI can go much further than this.

Visibility and business agility with EDI integrations

However, due to widespread dissatisfaction with the service EDI providers have historically offered their clients (falling short in a number of areas, including delivery within adequate timeframes), organisations have been hesitant to explore all that EDI has to offer.

In the recent research conducted by Transalis, which investigates whether EDI is supporting businesses to mitigate the challenges they are currently facing, 42% of respondents stated concerns about integration projects. Further investigation into this finding highlighted the commonly held concern that integration projects often overran and costs increased accordingly.

Misconceptions holding businesses back

Recent research, conducted by Transalis, interviewed a range of EDI users across a number of business industries to investigate whether their current provider is supporting them to mitigate the challenges their businesses are currently facing.

Overall, the findings of the research showed that, in large part, businesses are being let down and misled by their service providers. In addition to other shortcomings and misconceptions surrounding their current EDI solutions, 42% of respondents stated concerns about integration projects. Further investigation into this finding highlighted the commonly held concern that integration projects often overran and that costs increased accordingly.

As a result of these commonly held beliefs surrounding EDI service providers, organisations aren’t harnessing the key benefits of integrated EDI. In contrast to these commonly held beliefs, well executed integrated EDI solutions offer greater business insight. Ultimately informing better business decisioning and strategy.

By not expanding their EDI provision, EDI users are limiting their ROI, as well as limiting their business efficiency. Without an integrated EDI solution, organisations are missing out on complete data visibility across business systems and departments – beyond procurement and finance teams. For example, integrated EDI can offer the likes of detailed sales and stock reporting, which could lead to improved marketing and logistics strategies for the following financial period.

EDI integration

Harnessing integrated EDI

Forward thinking organisations have already realised the potential of an integrated EDI solution and have extended their standard message-set to include these additional items. As mentioned before, the ability to distribute this invaluable information across a siloed business via an integrated EDI feed provides clearer data visibility.

Where this information would normally only be available to the departments specifically accessing/managing the EDI solution via a dedicated platform, integrated EDI offers this information to the wider business as well via other business applications. Integrations are available for ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning systems), WMS (Warehouse Management System), and OMS (Order Management System), as well as accounting systems. Integrated EDI also removes the need for any rekeying of data or downloads for reporting, as this information is fed directly into the selected business applications for the relevant departments to view.

The organisations that are expanding EDI message sets to include warehouse, sales, and product catalogue reporting are realising the increased value this offers to informing business decisions and future strategy:

  • Supply chain management is more agile, as teams are able to assess consumer demand and potential purchasing behaviour changes

  • Marketing campaigns can be forward-planned around the expected peak periods for specific product categories

  • Global logistics and warehousing is more efficient, with the forecast stock required being housed at international distribution hubs for reduced shipping costs

The benefits of combining a broader range of EDI messages and directly integrating with internal systems is clear: overall, integrated EDI leads to frictionless business. To discover more about how organisations are harnessing integrated EDI to benefit their businesses, see our case studies.


eDI Solutions

Contact our dedicated team to discuss how integrated EDI could benefit your business. Call us on 0845 123 3746 (calling from UK) or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or contact us via email sales@transalis.com. To read our reports and case studies visit our knowledge hub.


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