New research reveals a key issue among business decision makers about how they can achieve efficient EDI integration with other internal systems.

The report commissioned by Transalis highlights how many businesses are looking to review their current solution for EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, over the coming months. Headline reasons include the need to be more agile and resilient in the face of supply chain shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.

So what exactly do we mean by EDI integration and how can you make it a frictionless solution?

EDI integration is all about connecting essential trading data and applications across your organisation and with trusted partners. The term is often used the describe the sharing of message types such as orders, invoices and ASNs (Advanced Shipment Notices) directly to an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or accounting application.

There are a number of options when connecting your EDI solution with other applications. There’s a one-to-one connection, typically a direct mapping of data fields, as well as an API, or an integration layer.

Is EDI addressing the challenges of 21st century commerce?

Read our latest report, containing the findings from independently commissioned research with key decision makers across a range of business industries.


Message requirements

There are two stages involved in implementing EDI integration to achieve efficient workflows and easy communication:

  1. Identify the documents, transactions and protocols that you plan to use to exchange data.
  2. Translate your EDI data into a format suitable for back-office systems and your specific business requirements.

Therefore, before choosing a the type of EDI integration, it’s important to analyse and map the current processes. This will help you fully understand the scope for the message requirements.

Targeting market growth

That’s exactly what a leading international toy manufacturer did to support a bid to achieve higher market growth across Europe.

Integrating EDI directly into Microsoft Office 365 provided much-needed connectivity between the manufacturer’s warehouse, 3PL operation, and retail network.

The EDI integration was a project supported and delivered by digital supply chain technology provider Transalis.

As well as giving new retailers immediate access to order stock from the toy maker, the Transalis eDI™ online platform harnesses ‘narrow AI’ to route orders to the correct warehouse so mitigating the need for shipping orders cross-border. This reduces time and paperwork and keeps retailers happy.

EDI integration

Reducing the need for manual

The project has delivered a new, state-of-the-art automated warehouse system linked directly with EDI data feeds and reducing the need for manual processing of orders.

The amount of time to onboard retail partners to the platform is just 24 hours. This compares very favourably with the experience of respondents in the research* who cite averages of up to three months to add a partner connection, clear evidence of market frustration with poor service quality from some incumbent EDI providers.

As a forward-thinking organisation, the toy maker has quickly realised the benefits of extending its standard message set from simply orders and invoices to include, among others, ASNs and inventory reports. By integrating EDI directly into Office 365 and making all this information visible to what had previously been a siloed business, the manufacturer is building greater business agility through better decision-making. And ensuring minimal cross-border disruption and improved stock management has reduced the amount of money tied up in transit and the risk of stock arriving in the wrong location.

All these factors are contributing to faster sales growth.

Fixed-price EDI integration

A key challenge for any manufacturer in a similar situation and looking to achieve EDI integration is ensuring costs are controlled while benefits are delivered in a timely manner. This is where a fixed-price EDI integration can prove its worth.

Further investigation into the concerns about EDI integration revealed in the research has highlighted the commonly held belief that the ‘sticker price’ for integration does not always represent the end cost of completion. To minimise this concern, Transalis provides transparent pricing for a range of integrations.

For example, Transalis’ eDI Connect and eDI Connect+ products are ideal for manufacturers who need complete visibility across their supply chain to identify waste and create greater efficiencies. These customers will typically connect with multiple trading partners, require unlimited message creation and seek efficient integration with their existing ERP system. They will also want their EDI solution to provide them with advanced analytics for performance management.

eDI Freedom is also an entirely bespoke solution, so you can select the exact functionalities and integrations required. The entire breakdown of the solution is clearly priced, with absolutely no VAN (Value Added Network) charges.


eDI Software

For more information on the integrations available, see our EDI Integrations page. You can also find the full details of each of our EDI software bundles either on our website, by calling us directly on 0845 123 3746 (calling from UK) or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or contacting us via email sales@transalis.com to discuss your requirements.

*Is EDI addressing the challenges of 21st century commerce? A report by Transalis

To discover more findings from the research and download the full report, visit www.transalis.com/reports/what-are-edi-providers-getting-wrong/.


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