When it comes to EDI, a lot of us think about procurement-related messages – orders, invoices and sometimes even product data. But I’d like to shift your thoughts to another use for EDI… transport messages.

As a consumer yourself, you’ve probably received notifications when your shipment has left the warehouse, when it’s about to be delivered and even when it’s been delivered. In the B2B world though, things are quite different.

Many companies have very little visibility into where their shipments are and when they’ll arrive.

Sure, they may have received an ASN (advanced shipping notice), which may state the expected delivery date, but it generally doesn’t mention the time, nor does it account for any shipping delays.

This means your receiving staff need to be ready all the time, interrupt their work or take themselves away from other tasks they should be working on. If no staff are available to receive a delivery, or if too many deliveries arrive at once, shipments may even be turned away. This is costly to any business, not to mention the impact to customers and your reputation.

By establishing EDI connections with your transport companies, you can book shipments (transport instructions), query its whereabouts (responses) and have notifications triggered at various stages of the journey.

You’ll be able to plan for the arrival of shipments, manage your staff’s time more effectively and you’ll have the ability to let customers know when their goods will be delivered.

For those of you who use drop shipping, you can use this data to give your customers a seamless omni-channel experience, letting them know where their products are and when they’ll arrive.

For companies who send a large amount of goods, you’ll never have to logon to your freight company’s portal again.

Use these transport messages to book and track everything from your existing ERP or freight management system.

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