EDI SOFTWARE & SERVICES

  • Consolidate

    Operational Procedures

  • Eliminate

    Manual Re-entry

  • Automate

    EDI processes

  • Mitigate

    All Chargebacks

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The Benefits of Doing EDI with Orderbot

We are now living in the age of a global marketplace and for any retailer or service provider it is almost a given that you will be dealing with companies both nationally and globally. In addition, it is also very common to have many different sales channels for your products and services – for example, retail outlets, online store and also third-party outlets such as Amazon.

There are some issues that come along with this global marketplace and dealing with multiple sales channels and one of the most common ones center around managing stock levels across these different outlets and also managing the logistics of order management. This may seem trivial for some, but when you are processing hundreds or thousands of orders the entire process really needs to be efficient.

EDI or electronic data interchange is a communication method that has been around for more than 30 years – originally being developed by IBM in the late 60’s. Whilst the system has been around for a long time it is still very much relevant today. EDI has stood the test of time because it is a framework for managing the order process and as technology has moved on the methods used to facilitate EDI have changed while the overall process has remained the same. Over the last 30 years, the process of making a sale, invoicing for the goods, and shipping them out has changed very little; it is just the technologies that we use to facilitate each part of the process that has changed.

For that reason EDI is still one of the most popular methods of order processing and management and is used by some of the largest retailers such as Target.

The way that EDI works is that each party involved in the transaction – typically the trading partner (the retailer) and the EDI vendor (the manufacturer) and then you have the EDI VAN (value added network) which is the middleman that brokers the connection between the two parties either side.

There are a set of standardized documents that are used during the transaction process which include a purchase order (850), a functional communication (997), an advanced shipping notice or ship notification (846,56 or 860) and an invoice (810). There are some other documents as well depending on requirements, but these are the main ones. When an order takes place a large part of the transfer process pertaining to these documents is automated – meaning no manual involvement in the order process – which translates into efficient order management as well as lower costs.

While it is possible for manufacturers to implement the EDI process themselves, communicating directly with the trading partners would be an extremely complex process and would not be a cost effective way of doing things, especially when there may be many trading partners involved.

At Orderbot we have fully integrated EDI into our existing order management systems and we can work with our clients to set up and implement EDI into existing systems or to create an EDI process from scratch.

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Why Do EDI with Orderbot?

  • Consolidates operational procedures

  • One of the greatest benefits to using EDI, and the foundation that defines its importance, is the consolidation of operational procedures. When Orderbot implements EDI on behalf of customers, we look at the entire ordering process from initial sale generation to invoicing and delivery of the end product, and we create an EDI document trail that brings the entire process together. This means that there is now a standardized way of carrying out the entire process which ultimately means that it will run more efficiently. In addition to it running more efficiently, having a set process in place for all operational procedures also means that if there are any issues or delays in the process they are easy to pinpoint and the process itself can then be tweaked and further optimized.

     

    Due to our experience with order management in general, and specifically with the implementation of EDI systems, we are able to make this process a very smooth one by drawing on our knowledge of the benefits and pitfalls to using and implementing EDI.

  • Eliminates Manual Re-entry

  • When we implement an EDI system, we will look at the entire order management process beforehand and work to eliminate any manual re-entry of data. This manual re-entry is very common on businesses where multiple sales channels exist purely because there are often different systems being used in different areas and when these systems do not fully integrate there is no choice but for manual re-entry. With an EDI system implemented by Orderbot we can remove all of the manual re-entry by putting in a standardized communication process that links all order systems together.

     

    In addition to removing the manual re-entry, implementing EDI can also remove much of the data entry in its entirety by automating the order processes and document exchange between parties.

  • Automates EDI

  • Orderbot takes automation very seriously. When implementing an EDI system, the automation of existing ordering systems is one of the key goals. It is the automation that really makes EDI beneficial to any business. Rather than manually processing orders, EDI allows for many of the stages to be fully automated. This means that the order process from initial sale to delivery can be very fast, very efficient and also cost effective.

     

    In addition to these benefits, having the process of EDI automated means that the error rate is extremely low. Once the system is in place and has gone through initial testing, it will then be a constant process that will not change, and therefore is very unlikely to fail or cause any issues.

  • Mitigate Chargebacks

  • When implementing an EDI system, there are some pitfalls and potential issues that need to be addressed. As with any automated process, the management and quality control is essential and everything must be accounted for so that it can be allowed to run smoothly without requiring constant intervention.

     

    Specifically when dealing with EDI, one of the common issues is chargebacks – because of the nature of the system and the fact that it is automated it is extremely easy for trade partners to issue chargebacks. For example, if there is any type of problem with the order or with the product, then the trade partner can easily issue a chargeback for that transaction. In an automated system, these chargebacks need to be monitored and handled correctly.

     

    At Orderbot, we work closely with manufacturers when integrating EDI. We can put additional processes in place that will automate the handling of chargebacks and ensure that only legitimate chargebacks are processed, querying the others automatically.

EDI is not for everyone – if you are only handling occasional orders or you only have a couple of trade partners that you deal with then EDI may not be the correct solution. However if you are a large manufacturer and are dealing with a large volume of orders across many different channels and with many different trade partners then EDI is definitely something that can benefit and facilitate business growth.

If you would like to find out more about EDI and how we can integrate it into existing order management systems please get in touch with us.

Automate Your EDI