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5 Common Obstacles of EDI and How to Overcome Them

by | Apr 11, 2023 | Blog

When it comes to B2B supply chain management, EDI is the magic ingredient that can make or break its success. EDI compliance lowers operating costs, reduces order entry errors, improves efficiency, increases transaction security, and optimizes inventory levels. However, there are a few obstacles that some companies may encounter when bringing their distribution processes into EDI compliance.

Scalability

Although EDI is considered the standard in distribution supply chain management, individual trading partners can still have their own preferences regarding invoice formatting and document types. To ensure seamless communication between all vendors, a business should scale its EDI program to accommodate multiple rule sets, document types, data fields, and more. Smaller companies may be fine with manually entering data into their ordering/invoicing systems, but eVantage has developers on hand to help scale your EDI program to fit your needs.

Bad Data

Incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated customer or inventory data can cost businesses $12.9 million annually. From canceled orders to lost customers, bad data can affect not only your bottom line but your reputation as well. eVantage can implement specific business rules in your EDI processing system to monitor transactions for any data discrepancies in real-time, such as price differences, inventory and product availability, and delivery addresses.

Real-Time Transaction Flow

Information moves quickly, and thanks to advancements in technology, customers expect their orders to arrive just as fast. With the global EDI market expected to reach almost $3.5 billion (USD) by 2027, pulling orders once a day won’t cut it anymore. With eVantage, you’ll get real-time invoice delivery with alerts and notifications to notify the necessary people of any processing errors as soon as they occur.

High Cost

One of the biggest complaints about EDI is how expensive it can be to implement. Although there are considerable upfront and maintenance costs associated with conventional EDI solutions, eVantage offers a modern solution that combines the use of running transactions through the cloud while keeping knowledgeable EDI developers on hand to streamline and customize the process for every customer.

Conflicting EDI Types

As mentioned before, EDI is considered the gold standard in supply chain management, but did you know there is more than one type?

Direct EDI, or Point-to-Point EDI, is a single connection between two businesses and can provide the most control and be a cost-effective option. However, it requires a lot of in-house expertise to implement and can be challenging to change or update with multiple business rules or protocols. A Value Added Network (VAN) is a third-party private network that transmits electronic business documents. The VAN operator typically provides companies with virtual mailboxes and handles the network. Mobile and Web EDI options are also available for smaller businesses, simplifying paper documents into web-based forms.

Businesses that use conflicting EDI types may have supply chain issues due to an inability to import or export accurate order information. With our knowledgeable developers, eVantage can accommodate them all by taking EDI data and translating it into a more accessible format. Conversely, some distributors can’t send EDI formatted data at all, and in this case, we have them send it in a CSV or flat file and then translate it into the proper EDI format.

No matter what your EDI obstacle may be, eVantage can help. Give us a call and let one of our software professionals walk you through a demo today!

 

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