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Supply Chain And The Best Sustainability Practices To Know

Businesses have to manufacture and distribute their products and services at a reasonable cost and low error margin. Their managers rely on supply chain networks to achieve this goal. But the complex process involves dynamic variables like people, political factors, demand, and resources. Sustaining this activity for the modern age has become a very big challenge. Pollution and new laws are the latest problem areas in this genre.

Thankfully, creative strategies, information technology, and effective designs are coming to the rescue. Also, automated workflows help in streamlining and sustaining these business transactions. 

Let us find out the best supply chain sustainable practices that can benefit every business transaction.

Software Competence

The order processing methods involve too much paper documentation, redundant manual-intensive tasks, and high-error prone calculations. This old-fashioned way is now obsolete, and automation helps to simplify this step. Computers, printers, email tools, tracking systems, inventory management, and other software are some of the multiple tools that help to create simplified billing and fulfillment processes.

Likewise, the digitized workflows are not only fast but also scalable and error-free. Electronic files help to store and handle sales orders and inventory details. Invoices and shipping manifests can also get transmitted and received online. And an integrated electronic data interchange (EDI) system can manage multiple trading partners while enforcing superior technical standards.

Efficient Packaging

Products have to be packaged, labeled, and shipped to far-away destinations. This process involves a lot of plastic and hazardous materials. Recyclable materials can replace such inept items to enhance sustainability. The right type of boxes, shipment method, and other means help to avoid heavy packing.

Specifically, using Shelf-ready casings and automatic techniques can reduce wastage. The management software can help assess the storage capacity to avoid over-stocking, prolonged transportation, and other inefficiencies. Selecting the right size and shape box for a package can save money, energy, and space. Material usage can get minimized by reducing layers and accurately calculating the parcel’s mass and volume.

Optimal Deliveries

Managing and tracking shipments is a big challenge in the supply chain. If the cargo can get consolidated, then the transportation costs come down drastically. The order requests can get combined to deliver the products in fewer trucks by choosing an optimal route. Consolidating the items also facilitates accurate last-mile deliveries. Fuel costs can reduce by using geofencing, GPS, automatic routing, etc.

Responsible Suppliers

The supply chain efficiency is not completely under a company’s control. The business has to deal with a variety of suppliers and distributors. Choosing such trading partners wisely can go a long way in enforcing sustainable transactions. Make sure the supplier sources the raw materials in an eco-friendly way. Select your partners based on their reputation, social responsibility indicators, and responsible behavior. You can take the help of NGOs and rating agencies to choose the best.

Enhanced Inventory

Implementing environment-friendly measures within the company is not sufficient. You have to partner with other tech-savvy traders too. For example, inventory processes can get automated to reduce wastage. Your vendor managed inventory or VMI system can help you achieve high standards.

The technology improves visibility and optimizes restocking efforts through superior scheduling. It can also satisfy location or regional demands faster. Also, manufacturing and distribution processes become cost-effective. You will not have to dispose of unused materials or even spend more on transportation and fuel expenses.

Analytical Support

Supply chain management is a continuous learning process, and data can be a powerful tool to ensure higher performance. You can rely on insightful analytics to identify the weak processes. Such an integrated software system can deliver timely reports to assist in decision-making.

The process managers can operate a streamlined business at a low cost with this data. They can positively identify the growth drivers and remove or modify the inefficient workflows. Regular analyses are also vital for a more holistic understanding as well as business expansion efforts.

Circular Models

In the traditional supply chain, production materials and supplier wastage were not concomitant. But with a cyclic or circular model, no item will get carelessly discarded. This non-linear scheme facilitates open access and creates more value. 

The unwanted materials get recycled, reused, repurposed, and returned. In particular, plastic is reused in imaginative ways to reduce pollution of air, water, agricultural, and forested lands. Only reputed and eco-friendly producers and suppliers actively recycle and repair the pallets, cardboard boxes, cartons, and other packaging materials.

Best EDI Transactions for Every Partner

Best EDI Transactions for Every Partner

The era of digitization has seen a tremendous change in almost all the business platforms and especially in supply chain. The shift from heavy paper documentation to the paper-less work is one of the major reasons to accelerate the rate of transaction growth between various business partners and partner systems.

The emergence of Electronic Data Exchange (EDI), has been eased up the exchange and a communication of data between various stakeholders.

With the use of codes and transaction sets, organizations are now having various options to deal with the partners and stay ahead in the competition. The security and diligence by which the data is shared are unmatched. With no leakages, one can ensure that the business is not hampered at any point of time.

In this article, we would like to shed some light on different transactions and transaction sets that are implemented frequently to achieve the desired EDI goals. In short, there is a different EDI transaction defined for every business partner.

EDI Transactions

When there is an opportunity to expand and reach far, the business never ceases to grow. Every new relationship in a business is seen as a chance to generate profit and earn better satisfaction.

With a large number of the transaction sets covering all the stakeholders, industries, and business types, EDI is in fact offering the same business dynamics. Based on the standard framework to decide how each of the messages should operate, EDI has also achieved sophistication in business dealings.

The following are the various types of EDI transactions for trading partners, that are best and fruitful to be adopted by the enterprises, small or large organizations.

Order Series

When the transactions are related to both order and payment, this particular transaction set is beneficial for both distributor and the supplier. It helps to generate the notifications of order management, tracking, creation of the bills, item maintenance, and inquiry by the buyer, agreement drafting, etc.

With the predefined set of codes, this transaction is quite crucial when it comes to the perspective of expansion and daily business running. Some of the prime codes used here are:

  • 180 Return Merchandise Authorization and Notification
  • 810 Invoice
  • 816 Organizational Relationships
  • 832 Price/Sales Catalog
  • 846 Inventory Inquiry/Advice
  • 850 Purchase Order
  • 857 Shipment and Billing Notice

Transportation Series

To reach the world faster, a well-established channel of communication and transportation is a must. This particular set of quotes is used by the logistics and transportation partners when the transportation takes place via air, sea, rail, or road.

With the information about the logistics channel and the status of booking, theses codes intimate the trading partners about the exact situation of the package, booking status, general condition, and other related services. Some of the codes here are:

  • 104 Air Shipment Information
  • 106 Motor Carrier Rate Proposal
  • 110 Air Freight Details and Invoice
  • 214 Transportation Carrier Shipment Status Message
  • 240 Motor Carrier Package Status
  • 250 Purchase Order Shipment Management Document
  • 920 Loss or Damage Claim – General Commodities
  • 109 Vessel Content Details
  • 301 Confirmation
  • 313 Shipment Status Inquiry (Ocean)
  • 161 Train Sheet
  • 422 Shipper’s Car Order
  • 466 Rate Request

Financial Series

The invoicing, account maintenance, billing, payable and receivables maintenance, and extracting the sales report, is crucial for the sales and revenue department in any business. These sets of codes assist to achieve a clear analysis of the financial position of the enterprises. Some of the common codes here are:

  • 248 Account Assignment/Inquiry and Service/Status
  • 810 Invoice
  • 811 Consolidated Service Invoice/Statement
  • 812 Credit/Debit Adjustment
  • 818 Commission of Sales Report
  • 819 Operating Expense Statement
  • 822 Account Analysis
  • 827 Financial Return Notice
  • 828 Debit Authorization
  • 829 Payment Cancellation Request

Warehousing Series (WAR)

A bulk of the stock is always stored in the warehouses and is extracted when required. The need to keep pace with the stock available to know the ordering status and future requirements is a must for the smooth business progress. The codes that are used here by the business units are basically related to warehousing team:

  • 883 Market Development Fund Allocation
  • 884 Market Development Fund Settlement
  • 886 Customer Call Reporting
  • 891 Deduction Research Report
  • 940 Warehouse Shipping Order
  • 945 Warehouse Shipping Advice
  • 990 Response to a Load Tender

In addition to theses series, there are various series for other stakeholders like government, quality, mortgage, and many more, that are used by the business for their swift operations.

Conclusion

The growing business and the never ending need for advanced as well as best method of documentation and communication is always a challenger factor. CloudGen’s SmartEDI has emerged as a powerful tool to serve all the purposes at one place with assured success rate.

Our product standardizes the communication process and enables seamless exchange of information, keeping pace with the fast-changing world. The ease of documentation and archival is now on fingertips with SmartEDI.

CloudGen

COVID 19…How Are We Rising High In Terms Of Technology Advancements

The COVID 19 pandemic has taken the world by a surprising storm. It took some time, but nations are settling down back into a healthy routine. Yes, the lockdowns and quarantine requirements continue. But people and societies are getting back on their feet with renewed vigor and a newly found normalcy.

Digital technologies are playing a pivotal role in helping restore global normalcy. They include robotics, blockchain, digital payments, and e-learning. Telemedicine, remote work, online learning, and 3D printing are also contributing and picking up the pace. These tech advances are ushering in a new outlook and lifestyle choices. And experts predict that these innovative trends will become a norm in the future.

Top Tech Trends

Distance Learning

Billions of students around the globe are lagging in their curriculum because of the pandemic. The abrupt closure of schools and lockdown measures put a stop to formal education in physical classrooms. But at the same time, online tutoring is bringing the middle ground. Schools, as well as private companies, began to offer distance learning courses.

They use Artificial Intelligence-enabled robots as replacements for teachers. Also, e-learning systems, augmented, and Virtual Reality technologies are currently setting the stage for a future realistic virtual education. 3D Printing is honing the students’ creative skills. However, the pressure on parents both in terms of time and monetary resources is very high. 

Remote Work

A large number of companies shifted to work from home model. The employees find it flexible and convenient. Employers find it productive and cost-efficient. But security and privacy issues are also cropping up now and then. Thankfully, the right kind of technology can help in overcoming these hurdles.

Some of the enablers include virtual private networks (VPN), cloud storage, video conferencing tools, and collaboration tools. Facial recognition, data encryption, Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) are helping to improve workforce productivity by enhancing data security. 

Autonomous Deliveries

The internet and mobile devices have become ubiquitous in recent years. They are ideal tools for online retail shopping. E-commerce sites, web stores, drop shippers, and online marketplaces are flourishing during this pandemic. You can browse products, make orders, and complete the payments online.

The top sellers have also gone hi-tech with their shipping services to ensure package safety and social distancing. They rely on robots and drones to facilitate contactless deliveries. Although not yet in the market, many major players, including Amazon, are in the pursuit of creating man-less delivery systems via autonomous trucks, drones, AI-assisted delivery systems, and so on. 

Cashless Transactions

Cash and banknotes are becoming virus-spreading sources. Consequently, cashless transactions are finding widespread favor among consumers. Both central banks and private companies are assisting in these digital payment modes.

Customers can easily order and pay during the online shopping session. Besides, funds transfers and bill payments have also become convenient. The cards and e-wallets are playing a pivotal role in curtailing the spread of the coronavirus. Mobile apps and online portals make it easier to pay anything from utilities to simple transactions between friends.

Telehealth

Tech literate people are warming up towards telehealth services. Yes, insurance and service costs are high. But they are willing to rely on Chatbots for initial diagnosis. Personalized, wearable IoT devices are also crowding the market for preventive and diagnostics treatments. They promptly record the vital signs and share data with the healthcare provider.

Online Recreation

Cloud concerts and online event streaming are becoming very popular. They ensure social distancing, but also entertain the consumers in large numbers. Films are getting released online to attract modern movie watchers. Museums and heritage sites offer virtual tours, while online gaming is seeing a sharp surge in recent times. 

Supply Chain 4.0

Big Data, cloud computing, IoT, and blockchain are gearing for the next industrial revolution. The supply chain systems are getting overhauled to usher in modern, digitized processes. The automation ensures data accuracy, faster workflows, and increased profits.  

5G Networks

Without the internet, none of the above changes are possible. For example, if telehealth should become normalcy, the healthcare provider must be able to access patient data in real-time and without any delay. The 5G networks are faster, extensive, and more efficiently connected. Once 5G becomes market-ready, virtual reality, AI, and IoT device connectivity will reach a new revolution.

Conclusion

To sum up, COVID has copious amounts of disadvantages but also acted as a catalyst for innovative changes. Modern technologies, driven by digital control and communications, are at the forefront. Nations that show foresight and digital preparedness will prosper. Their IT infrastructure gives them a competitive edge in business and social affairs. Besides, they can also administer their populace through effective e-governance. Unfortunately, there is also a flipside that requires adequate attention. As per ILO, more than 400 million jobs disappeared in the 2nd quarter of 2020. More innovation might bring in new jobs, but not without eliminating more blue-collar jobs

SmartEdi

Short-term and Long-term Cost Savings with EDI

The digital footprint enhances the business transformation these days, eases up the communication, and allows a better flow of information and is facilitated by the stunning technological advancement – EDI.

The productive and efficient collaboration between the supplier and distributor at all stages removes the unwanted data movements. The perfect and seamless integration of the large and small suppliers enable their EDI operations to be more simple and smooth.

But, the crucial and the most important factor to consider her is about the cost savings and how implementing EDI in the right way enables us to do so.

Our article helps to get a clear picture of short and long term cost savings with EDI..

Short Term Cost Savings with EDI

The benefits that EDI offers are unmatched with any of the other business implementation strategies especially in supply chain. The cost reduction attained is partly due to reduced expenses. With the elimination of unnecessary toll and errors, the running cost or the working capital cost decreases.

The amount of time invested in reconciling the manual errors can be reduced to a great extent by employing digitization. The charges related to data tracking and transmission also decreases drastically. Also, the reduced storage needs, the area required to keep the paper-based documents intact, can be minimized, which in turn provides space for stocking and expansion.

With the significant cost-saving, one can expect to grow and enhance the business in the manifold and with ease. The space that the vocation need today for expansion and to get the same at the minimal cost and without additional investment, the best option is to opt for EDI.

Long Term Cost Savings with EDI

The long term benefits of installing EDI for the business are:

Advance Shipping Notices

With a significant reduction in time, the cost of manually storing the data related to the shipping and logistics for the long run can be reduced. An approximated reduction of around 2 percent per order is a huge benefit for the business in the long term.

Easy and Quick Order Processing

There is a tremendous increase in customer satisfaction because of easy and quick order processing procedure through EDI.

Transaction Cost Saving

A business process is indulged in a variety of transactions. Right from the preparation of the invoice to the generation of receipt, there is cost involved at all stages. The more the number of transactions, the higher will be the returns or cost investments for the business. The various transactions involved in business whose cost is reduced are as follows:

  • Time invested in the transit of the communication
  • Time spent on the manual reconciliation of accounts
  • Money spent on manual errors
  • Cost related to archiving and storing invoices
  • Reduced cost of labor for value-added work (like of data entry).

Chargeback

The most expensive and costly segment for any organization is a chargeback. The penalties levied for non-compliance is a huge loss for the business. With everything digitized, the instances of the chargeback related to early/late delivery, ASN/EDI violation, improper labels, purchase order violation, and shortage of products can be reduced to a great extent.

New Integration

With real-time integration, on-boarding of new partner at any point of time is easy and quick. Without the need to implement any new structure, one can easily add to the existing model without any additional expense. The standardized format of communication ensures a smooth and steady communication channel without any hassle and disturbance.

Storage Cost

Accurate and brief ordering blended with reduced paperwork cuts down the need for space to store and keeps the data. It, in turn, brings down the cost of sorting and handling the data. With the idea of go green, as you decrease the storage needs at one end, the space for the business expansion, on the other hand, is released.

Conclusion

With the global connectivity and digital mode of communication, the interaction between the various trading and business partners has been streamlined a lot. The speed and efficiency is everything for small organizations and strategy of managed business is the key for large organizations.

The best and the most effective implementation of the EDI lead to a sophisticated and well implemented channel of communication. The high EDI standards help in easy implementation and adaption of business.

EDI is an absolute game-changer for decades. The EDI is proven to be the best, creating long-term associations with various stakeholders, evolving new products and services, and initiating new marketplaces, and ensuring the eco-friendly working culture.

CloudGen’s SmartEDI, a Cloud-Enabled EDI solution is completely meant to cut-down the complexity as well as the costs associated with EDI implementation. SmartEDI is designed to add true business value to the core B2B transactions with world-class visibility.

EDI Business Advantages

EDI Business Advantages…Supplier or Distributor…You are Always at the Advantage End

Electronic Data Interchange or EDI is the most advanced way to interchange the data between the business partners. The exchange of data between buyer and supplier, usually consist of purchase orders, invoices, shipping documents, payment receipts, and other related documents.

With the advanced facility of EDI, the ease of virtual connectivity between the businesses has grown in manifolds. With no hassle and quick communication, the EDI offers a series of benefits to the suppliers and distributors.

The EDI has ensured the seamless flow of information, and advanced technology, it has opened up doors to various benefits that are listed here for you.

Business Advantages to Suppliers or Distributors

The EDI has developed a lot in the past few years. With the foundation of automated processing and hassle-free management, it improves the overall trading partners’ relationship and enhances overall productivity. With a multitude of benefits to suppliers and distributors, this has emerged as a proven means to better supply chain predictability. With this, let us have a look at the benefits EDI offers.

Reduced Paper Usage

The furthermost benefit of EDI is reduced paperwork. With the facility to process all the transactions online, the need for printing is quite minimal. Additional to minimized paper usage, it also leads to a reduction in the expenses related to storage, print, postage, mailing, and recycling.

Better Data Quality

Manual data entry is slow, and the chances of the clerical errors are high. With the usage of EDI, there is a proven reduction in data entry errors. The management of accounts receivables and payables also gets a lot streamlined. With the accurate data fed, the forecasting about the business prospects and trends can also be done.

Improved Timelines

With the real-time processing and data transfer, the timeline of communication and processing enhances too. With the elimination of the manual transfer and order processing, the time-lag of dealing shortens. The smooth dealing between the various trading partners involved in the business helps to open up new doors for better and profitable business opportunities.

Inventory Management

The use of EDI shifted to offering better visibility of inventory. With everything available at one place and digitally accessible, it is quite easy to access the stock available at any point in time. With the quick and correct analysis of inventory, one can easily ensure that there is no instance where you have surplus or markdowns. With EDI automation, the check on the backorders can be ticked timely.

Reduced Turnaround Time

The businesses are considered to best when the request and order turnaround time is least. With the better business cycle and quick processing of records, the time lapses are reduced significantly. Compared to the time invested in manual processing, processing through the EDI automation, the time required reduces to just half. Time is the essence of business and order processing, which is taken due care in EDI automation.

Secured Transaction

With less paper usage and all data kept intact in digital mode, the security of the data transmitted increases. With the secured data sharing protocol and high-security standards, the digital movement of data between trading partners ensures the application of secured communication protocol to reduce data leakage and loss.

Operational Efficiency

With a bunch of benefits and enhanced business practices under the EDI automation, the time taken by the staff to create and process the invoices manually is optimized a lot. Quick and efficient processing leads to better operational processes and efficiency.

Go Green

Less of paper and more of efficiency is the concept on which EDI automation operates. With the migration from the paper-based to electronic mode of transactions, that reduces CO2 emissions and promotes corporate social responsibility, which is the need for today.

The Advantageous End

To stay on the peak in any business, it is a must to keep pace with the advances and technological up gradations that come in between. With the changing business environment, the need for a smoother and quicker communication cycle has also increased a lot. The most common benefits include:

  • Exchange of business documents like invoices and receipts
  • Transmission of data
  • Better management of inventory and stock
  • Error-free documentation
  • Refined logistics information
  • Self-populating order fulfillment

Modern EDI solutions are cloud-based, and with the open computing system, the simple and affordable implementation is sure to help you a great deal. Businesses with EDI implementation enjoy the benefits of better lead time, profitability, accuracy, and seamless processing. These are the utmost advantage to distributors or suppliers with added cost-savings.

Conclusion

With tremendous ways to increase the business and a bunch of benefits to suppliers or distributors; EDI has emerged as a boon for all the business units. With smooth processing and quick response channel, managing vendor relationship and customer service have benefited a lot.

In this regard, our CloudGen’s SmartEDI solution helps the customers to overcome many complex scenarios by reducing the implementation time, simplifying the setup task and enhancing the ease of use. We offer:

  • Easy and Quick rollout of EDI project
  • Fast track partner on-boarding
  • Minimizes failed transactions
  • Maximizes efficiency
  • Reduces time required for manual setup and mapping
  • Increases operational efficiency and cost savings
  • Reduces EDI implementation time
  • Elimination of manual errors
  • Supports multiple standards

A well-established communication channel and seamless sharing of transactions and documents, EDI has emerged as a powerful tool with rich features for distributors and suppliers. Adopting it in business will act as a turnaround point, surely.

Supply Chain and EDI

Supply Chain and EDI

The Never-Ending Bonding

Combining EDI with the supply chain can transform a company’s productivity and visibility. Contemporary global commerce gets driven by their bonding. Trading partners who rely on electronic communication need proper techniques. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) ensures standardization in this regard, while supply chain automation creates a reliable ecosystem for business productivity. These two critical processes of any commercial organization are brought together by innovative technological trends.

Benefits of EDI-Supply Chain Integration

Many companies cannot let go of their legacy IT systems. They struggle to integrate supply chain workflows with EDI. But once they do so, the benefits far outweigh the initial costs of automation and electronic integration. Primarily, their B2B data exchange becomes much more reliable.

The company’s procurement and cash order processes become efficient. Its shipping and logistic services perform much better. The company communicates effectively with trading partners and customers. It can also optimize deliveries and reduce expenses associated with compliance rules.

The business achieves service level metrics and satisfies the partners. Not only do the liabilities go down, but contracts get honored accurately and promptly. Digitization will also integrate applications and ensure reliable end-to-end data processing.

Positive Technology Trends

Emerging and established technologies are becoming more and more reliable. Their functionality and accuracy also deliver the required performance metrics. As a result, B2B data exchange and supply chain workflows become more efficient and productive. These following trends eliminate silo mentality and strengthen the bonds that create a productive business ecosystem.

Bringing together API and EDI

In the world of B2B communications, API and EDI were once the leading adversaries. APIs are lightweight and connect easily with databases, applications, and other systems. Whereas, EDI plays a significant role in achieving integration with external B2B systems of trading partners.

Modern companies changed track and chose complementarities. Yes, they treat EDI and API as equally significant technologies. They leverage the power and functional appeal of both to evolve superior communications. Businesses that seek expansion and growth follow this policy to the tee.

Integrating the two technologies ensures multiple advantages for a company. It can leverage the power of both without compromising data quality. Moreover, it can follow flexible approaches for integrating cloud storage platforms and legacy systems.

Consequently, there will be support for diverse applications in the ecosystem. These include cloud-based models like SaaS, AaaS, PaaS, etc. Moreover, scalability can also get factored into the solution at an early planning stage of the integration process. Scalability is an area where every business faces a series of challenges. In this demand-motivated market, the company’s ability to change its capacity regarding the demand is paramount.

Cloud expertise

Enterprise-level systems require robust IT infrastructure and consummate professionals. But the experts are not easy to come by. Thankfully, the emphasis on cloud computing solutions and EDI integration has been extreme and encouraging.

Skilled specialists who can handle emerging technologies are increasing in number. The IT pros can also handle legacy system integration. Moreover, these well-trained professionals can carry out business analysis and EDI data mapping.

They can design cloud-based solutions to generate superior business intelligence. They can also factor in partner requirements and analyze the latest trends, and they help the company achieve its targets by improving productivity and key performance metrics.

EDI modernization

EDI is revolving over the years into a refined and standard technology. It is not just about the digitization of invoices and purchase orders. The modern features do not stop with standardized data formats, either. They deliver secure, reliable, and conveniently governable data flows.

The data interchange and supply chain integration bond is also strengthening. Partner relationship management and business process consistency are becoming more efficient. There is support for ad hoc data flows and non-EDI to allow a degree of freedom and flexibility.

Today’s EDI can easily support mobile and web-based communications. It also offers diverse approaches, including VAN, FTP, Point-to-Point, or Direct data exchange. The B2B system is also optimizing to speed up logistic timelines. Moreover, it eliminates redundancy and non-compliance.

An example: Top-Class Online Marketplaces

Without a doubt, Amazon is the market leader in tech innovation. It evolved disruptive solutions and revolutionized the e-commerce business by combining EDI into the supply chain. Retail or online shopping experiences have also become more memorable. Amazon, in particular, transformed logistics, distribution, and supplier demands. Customer experience, competitive pricing, and reliable shipping have become paramount. And the trends suggest that real-time tracking and mobile support are here to stay. 

Conclusion

In summary, every modern company requires EDI- supply chain bonding. It requires a viable strategy to optimize business operations. But the integration process has to be secure, scalable, and reliable. Yes, marrying a legacy system to cloud service is not very easy for the project team.

But modern technologies are facilitating and speeding up this integration process. These developments augur well as data integrity gets enhanced. Besides, the complex workflows and business processes are becoming more streamlined, standardized, and even simplified to a certain extent.

Retail Industry and The Facts to Remember

Unknown facts of Retail Industry…know where to invest and How

A small shop at the corner of the colony or the big stores offering you everything from pin to electronic gadgets, the retail industry has changed a lot. With the customer-centric approach and better services, many retail stores are experiencing the real boom in their business.

With the advent of the e-commerce, and linkage to the digitization of the retail industry; especially in the area of online order and home delivery, the consumers are now getting inclined towards businesses that offer easy shopping ways.

The need to scrutinize every moment in the shopping experience right from the start of the moment customers enter the store to after-sale services is a must to meet the level of competition. But what makes the Retail Industry as a strong competitor to other industries? Ever checked with the facts? We help you to know few…

Facts of the Retail Industry

With the ample opportunities and options, the retail industry has scope and space for a lot of people to enter. The savvy retailers know very well that the information is key to success. With the perfect vision and updated system, analyzing and transforming it into the application, focusing on targeted market communication, product descriptions, pricing, and promotion, is the solution to the best retail business.

The facts that one needs to be aware of the retail industry before planning to invest in it are listed below.

Customer Experience

Customer is king- this is the basic idea on which any retail business sticks on. Knowing about the customer’s needs and expectations, and fulfilling them is must, to grow and reach the peaks. With the customer-centric approach and reaching the highest level of customer expectation, the retail industry aims to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

Digitization – the need of today

In the current fast-paced world, the time has shrunk to the least. Ordering all the prime consumer durable goods at the comfort of home is more preferred. With the online ordering method and home delivery, the businesses are fast shifting their model to an e-commerce portal. With the ease of tracking and opportunities to get feedback, the retail industry has shifted in recent years.

Bottle-necked Competition

The entry of the foreign direct investment and opening of the giant retail stores, the competition for the small local retail vendors, has increased a lot. With the opportunity to check and buy, compare and contrast, the products at the mega-stores, a paradigm shift has been seen. Consumers feel it better to buy when satisfied with the product features which are offered by all multi-brand stores around the globe.

Inventory Movement

Managing inventory is crucial for any business. Excess or short of inventory hampers a lot. Also, the focus on the trends, the market demands, customers’ preference, and brand value needs to be focused while buying the stock to arrange on the shelf. The products preferred by the majority are sure to get a positive response.

Human Touch

The businesses are considered to best when the staff and owner communicate with the customers to know their needs better. The speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, positive attitude, need-based understanding, and friendly service are the most crucial elements of positive customer experience. A positive attitude reflected towards the customers is sure to go a long way.

Secured Transaction

There are so many available options to transact and pay where the customer-experience has been always smooth and better. The online payment modes, payment via cards, and cash have given the options. With no need to run to ATM every minute you go to market, the satisfaction level of customers has increased in manifolds.

Invest in Retail Industry

Retailers face several key issues. The major ones are poor economic conditions, increased regulation and competition, and channel disruption. To stay on the peak in any business, it is a must to keep pace with the trends and advances as well. The investors who look forward to investing in the retail industry focus on the four R.

The need to quantify the returns is the prime concern for all the investors. To understand the business metrics, to better understand profitability and financial health, the prime analysis points are listed for you.

  • Return on Revenue: The cornerstone of all the retail operations that guide on the revenue made in the form of the gross profit on the inventory and investment.
  • Return On Invested Capital: The amount of the profit generated based on the initial investment is arrived by using this.
  • Return on Total Assets: The total value of the operating profit generated from the assets invested in the business is ROA.
  • Return On Capital Employed: The efficiency by which the capital is utilized and the net earnings before tax arrives, is obtained here

Understanding these R’s, one can move ahead with the plan to invest and get benefits from the retail industry. With so much scope, the best sector to invest in retail in consumer durable goods. With the least investment and stock management, one can get higher returns and profits.

Conclusion

The tremendous business opportunities in the retail industry and the basic knowledge of the trends, one can move ahead with investing in the retail industry. The use of available data and focusing on the key customers is prime factor of success mantra. The booming retail industry filled with savvy investors always outperforms the broader market.

SmartEDI Challenges Small Companies Face to Overcome the Supply Chain Hurdles

Challenges Small Companies Face to Overcome the Supply Chain Hurdles

Small companies operate a tight ship due to various limitations. Their budget, workforce, cash flows, and client base are some of the constraints to consider. Also, they struggle with taxation policies, government regulations, and compliance rules. Moreover, their profits and productivity depend on the quality of the supply chain.

Unfortunately, small company managers encounter many problems here. Procurements get plagued by miscommunication and unnecessary delays. Every trading partner does not give too many pricing breaks to suit small companies, and any little inefficiency in product delivery and shipping models will cause significant backlog and loss. 

Thankfully, computer and internet technologies are all prevalent in the world. By investing in automation and digitization, some hurdles can become smaller. The supply chain workflows can become streamlined and electronic data interchange (EDI) can create efficiency. But the problems also become more diverse and challenging for the supply chain managers.

Main obstacles

Manual processes

Data entry and retrieval using manual methods are inefficient and slow. It is challenging to generate error-free reports, invoices, and purchase orders. Also, the paperwork has to get organized, managed, and archived using tedious procedures. An increase in manual labor and complexity to do all this work would be tremendous and redundant.

In contrast, computerization and mobile access are accurate and fast. The manager can retrieve pertinent data in real-time. By adopting new technology and automation (RPA), data storage, processing, and management also become simplified. And cloud connectivity, mobile data collection, and voice-controlled solutions offer superior strategies.

IT security

Supply chain processes require regular network access for data. The integrity, accuracy, safety, and security of data come into question. The best supply chain solution with security leaks is a significant liability and a costly lawsuit. Hackers target weaker networks and ransom a heavy price after stealing essential data.

Automated solutions with due diligence for preventive security is essential. Cybersecurity has to be a priority, and encrypted methods are becoming basic standards. The best security software assures the manager’s peace of mind and productive efficiency. 

It is not just about the security of your infrastructure. The data security of every partner in your supply chain is essential. Data leakage can occur at any point in the supply chain if you do not have trade partners who take data security as seriously as you do. It is better to break off a relationship with such weak trade partners. If their IT infrastructure is not fool-proof, then you, too, will become vulnerable. The other challenge here is the budget to incorporate those changes.

Third-party logistics

Some companies have the infrastructure, resources, and expertise in storing and shipping products. Partnering with them is not as straightforward as it looks. Third-party logistics can quickly turn into a nightmare even for proficient managers. But the advantages are one too many to ignore, so many businesses go ahead.

You can save storage space, reduce costs, lower risk, and save time. You can also improve the productivity of supply chain workflows. But do not rush into signing a contract with any 3rd party partner. Look into their credentials and proceed after doing a thorough cost-benefit analysis.

There are too many third-party logistics services providers in the market. Yes, they manage the warehousing, inventory, and fulfillment processes. For small companies, this may seem like a great relief. But such outsourcing brings challenges related to contracts, tools, data security, management, and automation.

Cost efficiency

Supply chain operating costs grow with new technologies. They also rise because of fuel, energy, and HR expenses. But cutting down costs is not an easy hurdle to cross for the management. Small companies have to introduce innovation without creating workforce resentment.

They can rely on mobile data collection tools to lower inventory mistakes. It will help improve the company’s sales in the long run. Tools like product trackers, barcode scanners, and digital forms are vital for controlling costs. Cost efficiency also is possible with cutting unwanted resources, automation, outsourcing, and so on.

HR and teamwork

Reducing HR costs is always high on the agenda of a small company. But supply chain processes are not only crucial but also complicated. Besides, the data-intensive workflows have to be accurate, prompt, and reliable. Such an activity requires teamwork and efficient duty delegation.

Supply chain managers can get vexed by the dynamic environment. Real-time events are unpredictable, and experts are essential. Scalability becomes a nightmare in many cases. Every company aspires to change its capacity to adapt to the seasonal change in demand. But finding experienced candidates and recruiting them can be an expensive affair. Besides, they have to be on-boarded and acquainted with the office culture.

Building a reliable team takes time, and managers have to be patient. They should factor in business needs, inter-departmental conflicts, training costs, etc. Ultimately, hiring the right person for the right job is essential to ensure productivity and profits. 

Conclusion

To sum up, small businesses have to do a fine, balancing act. They have to manage the supply chain for qualitative and cost improvements. At the same time, they have to deliver customer satisfaction and lower the risk of doing business in a competitive environment.

Otherwise, the company not only loses customers but also trading partners. With technological infusion, efficiency improved a great deal. But the threats are also equally alive, and overcoming these hurdles is paramount.

SmartEDI, can be your partner to easily onboard the customers to kick start the EDI transactions in a smarter way. Our solution is easy to install and run efficiently irrespective of any infrastructure challenges while being highly portable, flexible and scalable. An assured increase of 80% to 90% is observed in on-boarding new partners. The time and money invested are drastically brought down to 10% to 20% for existing solutions. Check out the link to know more.

SmartEDI Strategy

Understanding When and Where to Implement an EDI Logistics Strategy

With globalization, the export and import of goods and services have grown tremendously. To cater to the demands of the global market smoothly, the requirement for a well-structured and sophisticated communication and supply chain channel is required. To answer this need, we have the EDI logistics strategy.

To improve the overall efficiency channel, and increase the visibility; a well-structured logistics channel is a must. The EDI logistics strategy must take a comprehensive plan that involves supply chain and communication.

Right from the stock management, shipping service, invoice creation, bill payments, and logistics tracking, every task has become so quick with the advent of the logistics EDI. Especially in case of the overseas business involving export and import, the EDI logistics has the crucial role to play as the manager of logistics operations.

With being time savvy and budget-friendly, the EDI logistics strategy has proved to be effective in reducing the business’s environmental footprints.

Benefits of EDI Logistics Strategy

With a bundle of benefits and ease of communication, EDI has become an integral part of the business world. The industry standard and B2B transactions, the reaping benefits of technology that the EDI offers, many large-scale suppliers are already using the EDI logistics strategy.

The benefits of the application of the EDI Logistics strategy for the businesses are jotted down for you.

Automation

With the automation of the messaging processes related to generation, sharing, and recording of electronic data related to shipment and dispatch, without any human intervention, the logistics EDI is a boon.

Better and Quick Management

With the business catching up high, the need for error-free processing is a must. The data with the help of the digital generation and sending of commercial messages, the communication related to logistics management is at best.

Traceability

With the traceability of the product dispatched throughout the transit period, the person in charge can easily monitor and track the movement of the product. With the ease of validating the information, the trust factor between the supplier and distributor is managed too.

Standardization

With the standardization of the message and the exchange of information through the electronic mode, a standardized message to share with the receivers can be formatted. Without any language barrier and a predefined format, communication has eased a lot.

Supply Channel

Maintaining the stock is a tedious task. And to keep track of the order by the distributor, the EDI logistics strategy can control a lot. When the product is perishable, the EDI strategy can ensure that the product reaches its destination well on time, and no damage occurs.

Real Time Integration

With real-time integration with all the modes of transport, the chances of delay in services diminish. It henceforth streamlines and provides secure administrative procedures. It reduces lapses in services and better coordination between the business partners.

Need of EDI Logistics Strategy

In any business, the need for updating and advancement as per the trends and pace is a must. Still, some will contradict the fact stating that what is the actual requirement of the EDI logistics strategy?

The basic answer to this question is to streamline the process and to ensure seamless working. Apart from these, various other factors come to limelight as the need for EDI logistics.

With the bulk of need that the EDI logistics fulfill for its users, the major ones can be categorized as below:

  • Better and complete synchronization between manufacturer and distributor.
  • Well-managed and flourished channel of communication between various stakeholders of the business like manufacturer, distributor, transport, storage, customs, and others.
  • Perfect end-to-end supply chain coordination.
  • Transparency and traceability of the merchandise in transit
  • Real-time information about the status of the product, especially beneficial for perishable goods.
  • Ease of on-boarding new logistics partners or distributors based on the existing framework.
  • Common codes used by the EDI logistics software that enables better understandability.
  • The standardized format of invoicing, receipts, and messaging to ensure synchronization and sophistication in business.

Conclusion

With the global connectivity capabilities and the scope of reach to every nook and corner of the world, EDI logistics has proved that a business has no boundaries. With limitless area and unlimited exposure, a business can enter the market of any location with the ease of logistics.

To enter the export or import segment, safe and efficient communication between the origin and final destination of the product is a must in addition to the pricing. With the effective relationship built by the EDI technology between the various actors of the business world, the administration is simple.

The dream of a more sophisticated and controlled business backed by real-time traceability and transparency, quick delivery, and communication, is now possible. The EDI logistics strategy with standardized code and framework to suit business organization is ready to change the face of the business world most unimaginably.

As a solution to all the above questions of implementation, CloudGen’s SmartEDI’s Automated Trading partner agreement enables our customers to roll-out their EDI projects quickly and efficiently by reducing the time invested in manual setup & mapping. Also, our Automated EDI On-boarding process helps the customers to increase their focus on overall business development of organization.

EDI Everywhere

How fortune 500 corporations widely use EDI

With the footprints traced to decades back, Electronic Data Interchange is one of the swiftest and simplest modes of data transfer. The ease of communicating online and sharing the details with the various stakeholders in real-time, EDI has proven to be one of the tools to benefit all the business sizes.

With years of successful implementation in large Fortune 500 organizations with measurable returns on investment, EDI has a proven track record of positive impact even when the revenues hit the low trail.

The efficiency of data integration increased turnover, and reduced cost, the paradigm shift of business on profits due to the EDI implementation has been a prime point of success. With the dramatic cost-saving and better benefits linked to modest operations, the EDI is extensively applied by the Fortune 500 companies.

Benefits and Use of EDI

The benefits that the EDI offers are unmatched with any of the other business implementation strategies. Developed to solve a multitude of problems, the EDI is now widely used by various organizations. By facilitating automation and smooth functioning, EDI has multiple benefits to offer to the companies.

The use of EDI is related to environmentally sustainable practices in several ways. The reduced chances of the errors and quick processing of the request, has ensured retailer compliance and better product distribution. The great time to reduce the throughput of processes and reduce the potential errors, EDI is very supportive of the fortune 500 companies.

The benefits that these companies have extracted from the application of EDI are:

Quick Transaction processing

With reduced paperwork and digitization, the speed by which the transactions are processed, and communication is established is enhanced to a great extent. With quick and easy retrieval of files, allowing faster turnaround times, and higher customer satisfaction, EDI is used by Fortune 500 companies.

Reduced errors

Manual data entry is slow with the chances of a high clerical error. With the implementation of the automated data entry and all the system related to data processing in the digital mode, the possibility of human error decreases.

Attaining Accessibility

With the real-time processing and the access of data round the clock, the tracking is stratified a lot. With such an implementation of EDI, the company can get the benefit of staying at the top of the competition. The streamlined servicing and standardized processes, businesses can manage accounts and inventory more accurately.

Enhanced Efficiency

The paradigm shift that has been seen in the wide usage of the EDI by fortune 500 companies is in the area of productivity. With increased efficiency, the business can directly impact customer relationships and add value to the company.

High Security

The businesses are best when they assure the high security of data stored and transmitted. With the EDI integration, the data is secured end-to-end without any leakage. EDI makes it easier to track and store data for auditing purposes to meet industry compliance standards.

Companies using EDI

The decades of implementation ample number of industries are already using EDI in their day-to-day operations. With the extensive usage of the EDI, the businesses are getting benefited from various advantages. The top sectors in the Fortune 500 companies that have widely implemented the EDI are:

Pharmaceutical Industry

Relying on the extreme level of accuracy, the pharmaceutical industry needs the highest level of data security and accuracy. With EDI integration, the channel of communication is streamlined a lot. The electronic process has significantly reduced errors and turnaround time.

Retail Industry

The customer being the centre of the business of the retail industry, the need to reduce the overhead costs by reducing errors, turnaround times, and labour costs is a must to ensure the best pricing. With the implementation of EDI, the companies in this segment have assured the best services at a premium cost.

Automotive Industry

The weekly analysis of stock required to ensure no shortage in the manufacturing process by improving communication with material suppliers, and eliminating the need for invoices is the key area of improvement that has been focused by the EDI.

Financial Industry

With a wide area of financial transaction and operations which are customer-driven and the need for accurate data, the EDI integration in the financial companies is magical. With the swift and quick communication that takes place between banks and customers or between banks, EDI ensures no data leakage and high security of the companies.

Tech Industry

Allowing quick and hassle-free communication is the key to the success of various tech companies. The use of EDI is the prime factor that the tech industry has favoured to handle numerous business processes right from design to manufacturing and supply management.

Conclusion

With global connectivity and extensive implementation, the Fortune 500 companies have benefited a lot from the EDI. Electronic data interchange is a hassle-free and quick way to stay connected in the business world.

A tool that is seen as the game-changer for a decade, has proved to be effective, efficient, and smart in various aspects and sectors. Working with the industry specialist, EDI can help to identify potential improvements and earn a big fortune by the analysis of the same. Thus, implementing EDI is one of the core competencies of the Fortune 500 companies and various small enterprises in today’s scenario.