Electronic Data Interchange 101: What Does It Mean To Be EDI Capable?

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EDI capable

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the lynchpin of modern business communication. This may seem strange to hear, as even successful entrepreneurs don’t immediately recognise the term.

That’s because many businesses are engaging with the concept without realising it. (If your business has basically any kind of document automation, you’re at least somewhat EDI capable.)

Automation can save you vast amounts of time and money. Join us today as we outline what exactly it means to be EDI capable and how to improve your own capabilities!

What Does It Mean to Be EDI Capable?

Traditionally, businesses handled data transfer physically. If you needed information, it had to be mailed (or otherwise delivered) to you. Then, in many cases, you’d have to also send a return invoice or other response document back as well.

While we tend to think of data as something scientific or in some way related to statistics, remember that it just refers to information. A purchase order is data, as are customs docs and inventory docs. In short, if you had information you needed to get somewhere, one used to need to physically transfer it, have another person read it, and then wait for that person to respond appropriately.

The invention of email sped up this process in many cases, but it still required that you send a document and have it read and processed.

Data transfer in this fashion is slow. And this is where EDI shines.

Electronic data interchange occurs when one sets up automated systems to process incoming documents. An EDI system detects a compatible document, will read it with perfect accuracy (and basically instantly), and then will begin the appropriate process.

Once set up, such a system beats out the old way of doing things in every way. We’ll review why in the section below but the biggest advantage is time saved.

The Many Advantages of EDI

The advantages of EDI over traditional methods come both through the speed of processing and also through fewer errors. Human error loses businesses somewhere in the billions each year! A fast, precise machine doing the job instead will mean more profits for your business.

For one thing, customers tend to despise waiting. Automated data interchange can reduce customer wait times for things like order processing. This, in turn, leads to a better customer experience and more returning customers.

Customers also have little sympathy for errors. Being sent the wrong product all but guarantees they will consider using a different business the next time they need something.

EDI vastly reduces the potential for such errors to occur. If a website is automated so that when customers choose to purchase a product, EDI takes care of the rest, the only thing left to happen is for the supplier to send out the product. An EDI system can make sure your business is notified regarding what the customer ordered, seconds after they ordered it.

B2B interactions are improved by EDI too. Your system can be designed to automatically send or receive supply requests, transfer critical information, or detect anomalies in your data and alert the necessary parties.

Where to Get Started

The above may be alluring, but we understand it can also sound intimidating. Even a tech-savvy business may not have the expertise required to set up EDI managed services.

You don’t have to settle for out-of-the-box EDI solutions. Here at AdvanceFirst Technologies, we can make sure your data interchange system is customised to your needs.

Whether you’re just becoming EDI capable or wish to improve your current system, we’ve got a solution for you. All you need to do is find the appropriate service that matches your needs.

Consider what exactly it is you’re seeking to automate. So long as it involves data transfer, EDI is probably the way to go. However, the exact nature of your solution is going to change based on your needs.

For example, Amazon vendors and sellers have been seeing an uptick in business due to the recent pandemic. This has put serious pressure on many businesses, as the boost in sales also means a boost in complexity.

Amazon’s transaction portals aren’t really designed to interact with a given merchant’s applications. EDI solutions like the ones we offer can help you get the two systems working more in tandem to simplify processing.

Getting the Most Out of EDI

Our EDI services are only the beginning. With time and experience, you can push the solution we set up for your business even further. The trick is to try and always think about where your business can evolve.

We have a collection of useful information on EDI available for those interested in learning more. It helps to keep up with the latest statistics and innovations in this fascinating field!

You also should be considering if there is anywhere in your current system that could be automated. Wherever information is being transferred, there is the potential for an EDI solution to speed it up.

Successful Businesses Evolve

EDI is the future. It represents automation at its finest, allowing you to save time and money.

An EDI capable enterprise can process data interchange almost instantly and without error. A human in the same role simply cannot complete.

If you’re interested in succeeding in this digital age, EDI is worth considering. Contact AdvanceFirst Technologies to learn more. We’d love to discuss your personal needs and how we may be able to tailor our services to help!

AdvanceFirst Technologies

AdvanceFirst Technologies

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About AdvanceFirst

Since 2003 AdvanceFirst Technologies Ltd has rapidly become one of the most successful specialist EDI companies in the UK. With over 300 clients in more than 20 countries and five distributors around the world we now also have an established global presence.

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