Electronic Data Interchange was not born yesterday. It has been around for decades, and in spite of several developments and revolutions, EDI has remained a pillar in the realm of B2B communications and collaborations.
And as new technologies develop, it is critical to reevaluate the role of electronic data interchange in the supply chain.
Let’s take a look at how EDI is changing the world especially B2B landscape, along with some EDI trends for 2020 and beyond.
As per the International Trade Administration, less than one percent of the 30 million US companies export goods, and 58% export to only one country. These stats indicate that companies should focus on more international collaborations and compete in the global market. And for the suppliers to adequately meet the changing demands of the customers, automating the processes electronically is essential.
Implementing EDI automates the supply chain process, which allows buyers to pay suppliers easily and quickly without any potential supply chain disruptions. In the case of suppliers, the supply chain automation offers easier compliance with tons of buyer standards, which significantly alleviates the risk of penalties, like chargebacks.
Therefore, more and more companies are likely to enter into global-scale collaborations and expand their presence across borders.
The Rise of the Cloud
Firstly, the cloud is not a new or emerging concept anymore, but still, there’s a lot of progress to be made to systemize it as a global business practice. Currently, 64% of distribution centres have a warehouse management system, but only 8% of them are cloud-based. In a few years down the line, more organizations will transition to a cloud-based infrastructure.
Besides, the cloud allows you to scale seamlessly. For example, let’s say you’re a sports product manufacturer, and you’ve recently moved from district sales to a broker model. Now, you’re targeting large clients like multinational sports retail outlets, and your brokers are being incentivized to close big clients. Your sales and revenue surged, but so did the demand of the consumers.
In order to distribute the products to thousands of distribution centres and millions of customers, you and the retailer will require specific EDI compliance capabilities. By utilizing the power of the cloud, you would be able to scale your resources and meet fluctuating demands without batting an eye.
Further, this seamless scalability has made the cloud an essential aspect of warehouse and logistics companies around the globe.
The Revival of In-House Competencies
Until recently, most companies outsourced their EDI initiatives. As of today, several businesses have shifted to in-house EDI processing. It helps save costs and power, along with increasing the level of security and customer experience.
But on the whole, the expense of in-house shifting could still be quite expensive. Therefore, this shift might take some time, starting with large-scale companies and enterprises. The trends, however, suggest that most companies will sooner or later embrace in-house EDI integration.
Electronic Data Interchange has enabled improved data capabilities for proactive management. When organizations operate together, the chances of losing forward momentum are high.
As more data enters a business, decision-makers improve their forecasting capabilities, enterprise resource planning, and visibility. It, therefore, becomes a predictable way to manage something unpredictable.
For instance, the rise of eCommerce has made the demand of products increasingly predictable. But with EDI, organizations can better manage how a product will reach its end customers.
A Shift Towards Omnichannel Capabilities
The major suppliers have their inventory sitting in distribution centres across various locations and divisions. To allow customers to purchase products through a range of connected interfaces, companies must manage their inventory across an array of global distribution points.
Omnichannel selling is one o the ways businesses can use to expand their distribution. More often than not, it is impossible for supplies to hold the inventory of all their buyers 100% of the time. By leveraging an omnichannel strategy, organizations can expand their number of stock-keeping units and cater to the various tastes of their customers.
Let’s take, for example, dropship retailers who must provide the suppliers with continuously-branded packing slips. Besides, they should also continuously update their inventory to make whatever is in the stock at the moment available to the retailer.
EDI allows suppliers to shift smoothly towards omnichannel capabilities by providing actionable insights. This helps in protecting the buyer’s brand, ensuring customer satisfaction, and promoting B2B integration. Moreover, the increased use of EDI has encouraged organizations to embrace omnichannel selling to create an endless aisle for their customers.
It’s too soon to say what the future holds for EDI. The rise of the internet, IPaaS, and technologies like blockchain, on the one hand, suggests that EDI will soon equip more power by merging itself with smart technologies. But on the other hand; EDI itself is still the reigning choice for businesses as it gets the job done, and everyone else is using it. So, in conclusion, it’s worth the wait to watch what EDI will offer in the future.
CloudGen’s SmartEDI product enhances the efficiency of EDI to the next new heights which completely focuses on implementing EDI with ease at every stage. Our product provides a simple solution to overcome the setup complexities with reduced cost and time investments assuring the productivity rise.