All businesses today are looking for ways to unlock greater efficiency and flexibility. This is more important now than it ever has been. Competitiveness is at an all-time high, so companies need to do everything in their power to separate themselves from the crowd. One of the ways you can go about doing this is with EDI integration. Continue reading to discover everything about this and how it can benefit you.
Before we explain what EDI integration is, it is important to know what EDI is and what it stands for. EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. It basically refers to business documents being exchanged from computer to computer in typical electronic format. This will replace the likes of fax, postal mail, and email. Although email is also an electronic approach, people still need to handle the documents exchanged via email, rather than computers doing everything. Not only does this slow down the process, but it can result in errors as well.
What is EDI integration?
Integrated EDI or EDI integration refers to the link between an EDI system and an ERP system, warehouse, or back-office accounts. It enables data to be exchanged automatically, which means that there is no need for messages to be re-keyed manually, be it ASNs, credit notes, invoices, or orders. With EDI integration, it is all about experiencing the benefits of EDI without the need for manual data entry, bringing about a whole host of benefits to your business.
What are the different types of EDI integration?
There are three chief types of EDI integration that you could implement at your business. This includes the following:
- Direct integration – With this approach, you are going to be able to transfer EDI data to and from your ERP, warehouse, or accounting system automatically. You can either do this at timed intervals or at the click of a button. Your own systems will use a direct link to a number of databases, and this will be supplied by your selected EDI supplier, and these links are part of the complete EDI system.
- Text-based CSV flat file – Another option is flat-file integration, which is considered the most basic out of all of the options. Text-based CSV flat-file integration is similar to direct integration, yet an intermediate file is used, such as a defined text-based file or a CSV (Comma Separated) file. Again, this is something that you can do at timed intervals or at the click of a button. The ERP systems, warehouse, or back-office accounts and the EDI supplier will use an agreed format.
- Binary – The third type of EDI integration that you may want to consider is binary. This approach is similar to the flat-file integration mentioned above in terms of the approach. However, when it comes to data storage, a more complicated structure is used, such as a Microsoft Access database table or an Excel spreadsheet. This will often apply to back-office systems that are older or have predefined or limited options.
The many benefits of EDI integration
Now that you have a good understanding of what EDI integration is and how it works, we are going to take a look at why you should care about all of this. What are the benefits?
EDI integration will enhance visibility across your entire business
Firstly, EDI integration will enhance visibility across your entire business. As all of the trading partner transactions related to your company can be managed via your ERP system, this means you can have real-time visibility over everything that is going on. You are not going to have to log into individual web portals for all of the information relating to your company’s financials and trading partners.
Lower your company’s inventory cost
The increased visibility we discussed above will help to lower any unknowns within your supply chain. This can, therefore, help you when it comes to lowering the amount of inventory you need to hold at your business.
Get rid of manual processes in your supply chain
As touched upon earlier, one of the significant features associated with EDI integration is the fact that you will be eradicating manual processes from your supply chain. By automating the flow of messages between your EDI and ERP solution, you are able to redeploy valuable resources into areas of your company that are more strategic. At the same time, you also enhance accuracy. As humans, we are all prone to a mistake from time to time, yet such errors can be costly in business. With EDI integration, you can remove errors so that your business runs as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Increase your return on investment (ROI)
Aside from the points we have mentioned so far, you will be able to increase your return on investment by implementing EDI integration at your business. All of the benefits we are discussing in this post will drive your bottom line.
Improve the customer service your business provides
The good news does not end there either. EDI integration will also give you the power to enhance the level of customer service that your business delivers. You will be able to use advanced error checking and stringent business rules to underpin your message automation, which will ensure that the accuracy of your messages is enhanced and that you do not end up missing any trading deadlines.
Contact Integration Inc today for more information
If you would like to find out more about EDI integration and how it can benefit your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today for more information. Here at Integration Inc, we have many years of experience in the industry and we have helped many businesses to grow in an effective manner thanks to our integration services. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call us on 860 623 0004 to find out more. Alternatively, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.