Barbara Babati 20.03.2018 10 min read

EDI in Supply Chain

During the past few weeks, we have been publishing a series of blog posts on electronic data interchange. We intentionally put a lot of emphasis on the importance of moving EDI to the cloud to give your business-to-business operations an update and an important competitive edge. 

Another core topic that is close to Youredi is Supply Chain Management. From the very beginning, we have been strategically focusing on helping firms that have anything to do with the supply chain.

Why are we doing that?

Clearly, the role of supply chain management in the global economy is growing due to the emerging global trade. Nevertheless, supply chain processes are not sufficient enough to support global trade and economic growth adequately.

Many of the processes haven't changed since their introduction (which could be as early as during World War II); many are still paper-based and requires an extensive amount of human labor. The processes are just inefficient, and cooperation between organizations is not ideal.

Even EDI has been around for over 60 years - so you can imagine that there is space for development.

During the last few years, a lot of improvements and changes have been happening, but still, supply chain management is inefficient and could use some technological updates.

Of course, moving towards the cloud is important and firms could see enormous benefits from using cloud EDI in supply chain management.

This last blog of the series focuses on how companies of any size can benefit from moving their business-to-business data-sharing processes into the cloud.

What are the benefits of cloud EDI in supply chain management?

To better cooperate with all your partners, such as manufacturers, suppliers, third-party logistics providers, freight forwarders, etc, you need to be able to communicate with them in real time and in more transparency.

This sounds more simple as it is. As supply chain networks are getting extremely complex, point-to-point integrations are not an option, and EDI VANs are not sufficient enough either.

To share information in real time with all your stakeholders, you need to be able to rapidly and easily connect with all of them regardless of protocols and data formats that they may use.

This will not only reduce paperwork and the need for human intervention, but the cycle times will be shorter, and you will be able to automate processes and streamline your operations from supplier to customer.

You will ultimately improve your partnerships and operational efficiency while saving time and costs.

How can you shift EDI to the cloud?

Starting to handle business-to-business information sharing in the cloud can be implemented easier than you think. 

1. Connect with your ecosystem

Regardless of the complexity of your ecosystem, when you are doing EDI in the cloud, onboarding all of them can happen quickly. The better they cooperate, the faster it can happen.

Your IT team doesn't have to worry about setting up connections, it all happens through a cloud-based integration platform that has prebuilt adapters and integration schemas. It supports any protocols and it can handle challenging connectivity requests as well, such as getting data from behind a firewall.

2. Define the messaging format

Your stakeholders may use many different messaging formats from UN EDIFACT, X12 EDIFACT, ASC X12, XML EDIFACT, JSON, IMP, CSV, in-house proprietary formats, etc.

You need to be able to forward messages to them so that their systems can understand and get back information in your preferred format.

You can translate the data formats in the cloud rapidly and ensure the best possible communication with your network. 

3. Define any additional requirements regarding data management

Although using EDI has minimized the need for human intervention, in some cases, the messages include missing fields or false data. To improve your efficiency, your messages can be inspected against your business rules. This will improve the quality of the data and save a significant amount of time.

Cloud EDI Solution rapidly to production

Your new solution can be developed in a few weeks and the first end-to-end testing can take place.

Once all the processes are working flawlessly, the solution can be deployed and maintained by the professional services and support teams.

As the need for investment is minimal, you can start piloting the solution without risks and see yourself how cloud-based processes are making a difference for your organization.

Download also our EDI Transaction sets here: 

Download the EDI Transaction Sets


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