Lately we’ve seen even bigger impacts to the supply chain than before, thanks to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. The transport industry has struggled with staffing issues due to many drivers being unable to work. This has caused a domino effect. Retail stores have had empty shelves, limited the number of items customers can purchase and have been forced to operate with skeleton staff. And we’ve all heard or experienced the shortage of rapid antigen tests. Chemists have had to put on extra staff just to handle the extra phone calls they’re getting.

Some of these issues are definitely unprecedented – there’s no denying that. But having efficient supply chain processes in place to start with can keep you ahead of the game when times get tough. This is where EDI comes in:

Use EDI to get faster fulfillment from suppliers

Using EDI for procurement, rather than manual procurement, speeds up the time from when you place the order to when the goods arrive. Your order is sent immediately to the supplier, you don’t need to wait for them to check their emails and enter the order in their software. The order can be picked and packed straight away by the warehouse.

Manual procurement also introduces a lot of errors. These errors can take days, if not weeks, to rectify causing delays in orders being fulfilled and shipments being sent. With EDI, you can be confident that the data you send will be what’s received by your supplier.

Use EDI to get stock on shelves faster

An advanced shipping notice, or ASN, is a fantastic way to know what’s going to be delivered ahead of time – even down to what’s in each carton and pallet. When stock arrives, your team can just scan each package to see what’s arrived – no need to open them, check what’s in there or anything like that. Imagine the time it could save!

Use EDI to keep customers informed of when stock will arrive

For products that are ordered on demand, are in transit or on back order, getting advanced shipping notices or despatch advices from your suppliers will let you know when they’re to be delivered. You could even go a step further and connect to transport companies to get even more up-to-date statuses. Keeping customers informed of arrival dates is becoming an expectation from customers these days, but many retailers aren’t doing it well. If you can keep you customers more informed than your competitors, you’re ahead of the curve!

If you’re interested in learning more about using EDI to help supply chain shortages, get in touch with our team.

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