Can EDI combat supply chain issues? | Transalis blog


The way that commerce is run in the 21st Century has unearthed a number of supply chain issues as of late. The combination of logistical problems, supply and demand disparity, new international trade regulation mandates, and pandemics have all put pressure on organisations across most industries.

We wanted to investigate this further and see how EDI providers are supporting businesses to manage these challenges better. Transalis undertook research, surveying business leaders across numerous industries to find out the current state of their EDI provision and asked whether they were being supported by their provider to future-proof their business. The overall response was no.

This blog outlines the findings of the research, highlighting where many EDI providers are going wrong, as well as showcasing how EDI can help combat supply chain issues for many businesses.

EDI as easy as 1, 2, 3

Connect to a new trading partner in days, not months, for just £495 with Transalis eDI Instant™


Keeping up with changing needs

Agility has been the business buzzword in recent years and it’s clear to see why. With rapidly changing conditions hitting many organisations hard, businesses that managed these challenges well were those that we able to respond the quickest and change directions accordingly.

For example:

  1. Changing consumer behaviour meant a rapid switch to online business during the pandemic. The businesses that got it right were able to turn their attentions away from the High Street and instead focus on D2C as their main source of revenue.

  2. Supply and demand also changed almost overnight, with certain products seeing an unprecedented surge in demand and supply chains being pressured to fulfil this consumer need.

  3. Brexit has also contributed to this challenge, through the introduction of new international trade regulations and requirements. Logistically this has been another hurdle to overcome to ensure goods can be supplied/delivered efficiently.

All of this has manifested itself as logistical challenges, supply chain issues, and the squeezing of the bottom line in order to remain agile.

Supply chain management

In many cases, organisations have needed to switch suppliers, connect to marketplaces, as well as automate critical business processes in order to stay afloat and efficiently run alongside their competitors. Businesses keeping up with these changing needs have, in part, turned to technology to facilitate the agility needed to keep their businesses moving forward into the future. At Transalis, we know that all of this can be provided through the use of a robust and scalable EDI solution.

But are current EDI providers meeting this vital need to combat supply chain issues?

The role of EDI in planned supply chain changes

In our research: Is EDI addressing the challenges of 21st century commerce? We examined the responses from EDI users who were asked whether their current EDI provider has been able to support them in planned changes to the supply chain.

Over 40% of respondents had planned changes to their supply chain in 2021 (see image below). Due to their EDI provider being sluggish and under-resourced, the required changes are still yet to be delivered.

In these charts we can see how trading connections will continue to change over time to include more international partners. 

In the Current Trading Partners chart, 80% of businesses currently solely have trading partners in the UK (dark blue), 4% have partners solely based internationally (light blue), and 16% have partners based in both the UK and internationally (orange).

In the Future Trading Partners chart, this drastically changes as businesses shift to include more international trading partnerships. 40% of businesses are planning to have partners based in the UK and internationally (orange). Businesses with partners solely based in the UK drops down to 39% (dark blue) and businesses with partners based solely internationally rises to 20% (light blue).

Why haven't these changes to supply chain been actioned?

Our survey respondents estimated that on average it was taking their EDI partner 3 months to configure and onboard a new trading partner connection. As outlined earlier in this blog, organisations require agility to combat supply chain issues, delays such as these in relation to onboarding new trading connections will have a significant impact on the bottom line.

Despite the widespread dissatisfaction with their current EDI providers, the findings of the research also outlined how organisations were equally hesitant to switch, even though there are more suitable providers that can offer a better service. Upon further investigation, it seems that many of these organisations are under the impression their current EDI solution is too embedded in their systems to switch.

Transalis eDI™ combatting supply chain issues

At Transalis, we have been supporting our clients in innovative and creative ways throughout these challenging times for commerce. In response to our research, we have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure we offer the best service:

Client case study

Most recently, our client, a manufacturer of pop collectables, needed to create efficiencies in their supply chain as they expanded their business in Europe.

Due to supply chain issues related to Brexit and D2C business models, it was becoming increasingly difficult to navigate the logistical aspect of shipping product and maintaining balance with the supply and demand of goods. Transalis was able to support the business by assisting with the set-up of satellite distribution hubs across the EU, through systems integration and expanding the EDI message set.

By using inventory reports and other EDI messages, the client was able to sufficiently predict demand relative to a satellite distribution hub early enough to ship stock from the UK warehouse. Using Smart Message Routing from Transalis ensured that retailers’ orders were always routed to the relevant distribution hub, reducing delays and additional admin.

White labelled EDI for your growing supply network

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, with eDI Instant from Transalis.

With our automated EDI onboarding processes, new trading connections can be live within days rather than months. If your business wants to offer your new trading partners a simpler, faster onboarding experience, we offer a white labelled version of its self-serve EDI product, Transalis eDI Instant™. The new trading partner can be directed to a branded site where they signup and are automatically connected to your EDI network.

eDI Software

Need to combat your supply chain issues? Discover how EDI can help your business by contacting our team on 0845 123 3746 (calling from UK) or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or email

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