Why is EDI integration important to your business?

Electronic data interchange (EDI) enables the smooth, rapid, and structured exchange of important data between businesses. However, businesses have come to realize that manually entering data to be sent via a third-party EDI solution is still fairly time and labor-intensive. To further enhance business growth, companies that use EDI solutions can automatically synchronize all inbound and outbound partner data with their ERP system.

This blog post will shed light on some of the core advantages that EDI integration brings to your business.

Accuracy

Inaccurate information and failure to comply with EDI standards or individual trading partners’ internal policies can result in chargebacks or expensive errors. You might accidentally instruct a supplier to ship products to the wrong warehouse or even lose business by incorrectly processing a major customer’s order.

Sending business information directly from your ERP via integrated EDI technology greatly reduces the chance of making these mistakes. ERP platforms use various methods to validate information against a set of business rules to ensure compliance. Minimizing manual actions during inter-organization data exchange also prevents most errors, which helps your business avoid unexpected costs, reduce customer attrition, and preserve healthy margins.

Increased Efficiency

Compared to stand-alone EDI systems, ERP-integrated EDI solutions don’t require you to dedicate hours or days to manual input. Inbound and outbound partner communication can also be automated by initiating an EDI transaction on a fixed schedule (like sending an end-of-week report) or when a specific set of conditions arises in your ERP system (like requesting replenishment when you’re out of stock). This results in faster order processing and delivery, increased operational agility in response to changes in your supply chain, and improved relationships with suppliers, vendors, distributors, and other trading partners.

Reduced Costs

Automatic, paperless partner communication drastically saves costs by at least 35%. Savings can be as high as 90% with the use of electronic invoices. Rapid EDI communication also helps you control costs by allowing you to reduce inventory levels and shorten order processing and delivery times. However, manually keying business information into a separate EDI system introduces errors, delays communication, and increases labor costs.

Integrating your EDI and ERP systems allows you to send verified, standards-compliant information to suppliers and trading partners without needing to pay a worker to manually key in that information. You can avoid costs associated with SLA violations, performance gaps, and delays by using ERP integration to virtually eliminate manual error and ensure that your documentation process conforms to EDI standards.

Data Security

If an unauthorized person gains access to your business secrets, that’s bad enough, but someone manages to transmit that data, that’s far, far worse. EDI system integration helps keep your valuable business information safe by only granting EDI access to authorized ERP users. Each ERP user can be granted or denied access to EDI capabilities based on their specific role. Since most ERP platforms offer sophisticated auditing capabilities, you can also keep track of who sent or requested a specific document, and when.

Conclusion

Seamless EDI-to-ERP integration makes partner communication paperless, which results in reduced operational latency and errors, reduced costs, and better relationships with business partners. It also enables authorized users to exchange business information safely and securely. To learn more about how EDI integration maximizes the effectiveness of B2B communication, please contact PartnerLink.

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