Unstable supply chains and soaring input costs can make the search for frictionless business seem elusive.

Both the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit have transformed market conditions for many businesses. Yet, as this case study about a toy manufacturer shows, leveraging EDI can help you to connect new technology to existing infrastructure, deliver supply chain resilience and even explore new channels to market.

The toy manufacturer was met with some supply chain challenges when attempting an to grow its European market share for the sale of licensed pop collectables .

The company was already familiar with EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, harnessing its benefits for the processing of order and invoices. With this new business strategy to expand in Europe, an opportunity arose to extend the reach of the software to many other document types and processes and truly achieve frictionless business.

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Wrap-around support

As its EDI partner, digital supply chain technology provider Transalis was responsible for the essential wrap-around support for the company to move at pace and react to changing market conditions.

Among the main challenges first identified in the project were:

  • The need to automate manual processes
  • Expedite the onboarding of new retailers to the trading platform
  • Deal swiftly with Brexit-related delays affecting cross-border shipping
EDI for toy manufacturers

The manual side included labour intensive pick-and-pack warehouse processes, limiting the ability to scale-up distribution in line with sales growth objectives.

To begin to meet the various challenges, Transalis first integrated EDI directly into the company’s Microsoft Office 365 suite. This has provided much-needed connectivity between the manufacturer’s warehouse, third-party logistics operation and its retail partners.

Navigating Brexit

Part of the company’s Brexit strategy involved setting up satellite distribution hubs inside the European Union. By extending the standard EDI message set from purely orders and invoices and applying it to other message types such as inventory reports and ASNs (Advance Shipping Notices), the company has been better able to predict demand relative to a hub sufficiently early enough to ship stock from the UK warehouse.

Using Smart Message Routing from Transalis has ensured that retailers’ orders are always directed to the relevant hub, reducing delays and additional administration.

The company’s use of the Transalis eDI™ online platform gives new retailers immediate access to order stock, while ‘narrow AI’ automatically directs orders to the correct warehouse. The advantage here is to minimise the need to ship orders across borders, so reducing time and Customs paperwork and keeping retailers pleased with how the manufacturer operates.

At the same time, a new, state-of-the-art warehouse system, linked directly with the EDI data feed, has reduced the need for manual processing of orders.

Retail partner on-boarding has been reduced to just 24 hours, which has enhanced the scope for faster sales growth.

Minimal cross-border disruption and improved stock management has reduced the amount of money tied up in transit and reduced the risk of stock arriving in the wrong location.

Taking full advantage

Integrating directly into Office 365 has enabled the company to take full advantage of the valuable information now coming into the business. It has made the information visible to what had previously been a siloed business, leading to greater agility through better decision-making.

The benefits of combining a broader range of EDI messages, directly integrated with internal systems, are clear.

Onboarding of new customers has been central to developing robust sales growth. Transalis recommended the company give all new retailers access to the Transalis eDI™ online platform as a simple and effective way to place orders and receive invoices and ASNs.

Setting up new customers via the online platform has reduced the average onboarding time amongst other EDI providers from several weeks to just 24 hours.

A second phase of the onboarding strategy has involved identifying high-order frequency. This has allowed the company to identify their most valuable customers and recruit them for the roll-out of a one-to-one EDI connection, thus optimising the ordering process further.

Transalis provides clear pricing for a range of integrations that can help you achieve frictionless business. Build your own bespoke and transparently priced bundle with all the functionalities and integrations you require with eDI Freedom. Or choose from one of our pre-packaged bundled EDI solutions depending on your unique business needs.


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Want to find out how EDI can help you achieve frictionless business? Call our knowledgeable team who will be happy to talk through the best options for you: 0845 123 3746 (calling from UK) or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or contact us via email sales@transalis.com.


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