Electronic data interchange, which is commonly abbreviated as EDI, is a process that enables companies to move data between organizations or within the various levels of the organization via internet and the telecommunication technology. There are set and structured format to be followed in the process, therefore it can be easily retrieved using a computer. It makes the transfer of information from a computer program in one location to a computer program in a different location, without any manual intervention possible, making it a huge hit with most companies. Over the years more and more companies have adopted EDI integration and many are on their way already.
Before the advent of EDI a piece work which would take ages manually, can now be completed within only minutes or even seconds, electronically. Since EDI works in real time it ensures that every single action is being performed and recorded in real time, thus saving hours of slogging over records.
Lower chances of errors
Every transaction happens electronically which helps in reducing errors to a great deal, thus improving a company’s overall accuracy. When an information is manually copied or relayed, there is a chance of error. Electronic transfer minimizes the chances of such human errors, thus saving a company from sustaining huge losses that a tiny error could have cost the organization.
The most prominent change a company notices after the implementation of EDI is the immediate cost reduction. The moment the company implement EDI, it save an immense cost of thousands of tonnes of paperwork a well as human resources which is required to update and maintain it. It also saves quite a lot of money on transport, postage and freight charges, inventory costs, losses due to error as well as several other overheads and human resources such as mail room sorting and circulation, manual collection and reconciliation of documents, repeated keying of information etc.
Higher employee satisfaction
All your boring, repetitive and redundant functions are performed by your EDI solution, leaving the brains of your organization to do the important work involving major decision making, actions and creations which helps them make a real change. As they get to the real and challenging work instead of mindless and boring ones, it ensures a higher job satisfaction among employees.
Improved Customer Service
All the information is available in real time and can be accessed in seconds. It is invariably more accurate and quicker, thus the queries of the customers can be addressed and solved more effectively, in a much lesser time, which results in a higher customer satisfaction.
Stronger Supplier Relationships
It is much easier to maintain a regular relationship with the suppliers, vendors and partners since all the electronic transfer of data happens in real time. It also lowers the risk of fraudulent practices within and outside the company owing to improved transparency.
Due to severe climate change caused by deforestation going paperless is a corporate social responsibility. EDI not only improves your business it also helps the planet by reducing your carbon footprint.
When it comes to picking your EDI software, choose one which is unique because it enables the automation of not just system-to-system and partner-to-system data flows, but also the more common human-to-system business processes where actual people need to interact with running data flows to view information, correct errors, and resubmit data if needed. It is important that you can automate data flows that generate EDI messages from internal data or process incoming EDI messages and integrate them with your internal applications and databases, improving process control.