Flowchart: Follow the steps to find the right EDI solution for your business

Retailer requirements can seem daunting when you’re facing them for the first time. One of the things retailers often ask is for their suppliers to trade with them via electronic data interchange, or EDI. It's important to look at your options to comply with EDI requirements and what to think when making a decision on what's best for your business.

What is EDI?

EDI is the electronic exchange of business information, like purchase orders and invoices. This information goes straight in and out of the retailer’s software. It’s of benefit to the retailer because it’s more efficient than paper or PDFs, it gives them real-time visibility of their purchases and products, and it reduces costs. You can find out more about EDI in this whitepaper. For suppliers, it’s important to be aware of your options when it comes to EDI and to choose the best option for your business.

What are my options?

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EDI webforms

The simplest solution for compliance is EDI webforms. This allows you to logon to a web portal to view purchase orders and respond by sending back the required information such as purchase order responses, advance shipping notices and invoices. The information input into the web portal is sent directly to your customers’ software. EDI webforms has a number of benefits:
  • No establishment costs
  • It’s easy to set up
  • It has an easy-to-use interface
  • You can trade with many retailers from the one portal
  • It’s accessible anywhere with internet
  • It’s cost effective.
  • No support cost.
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EDI gateway

A more automated option is an EDI gateway. The fully integrated solution exchanges information with your customers directly to and from your ERP or accounting software. This option has the least impact on your current process and requires minimal manual processing because it takes the data from your software to send EDI documents to your customers. To gain even more benefits from your EDI gateway, it can be used to update other systems in your business. For example, when an order is despatched to one of your customers, it can automatically update inventory levels in your warehouse management system. This information can even be sent via EDI to your partners to keep them up-to-date with your inventory levels. Some of the benefits of using an integrated solution include:
  • using your existing software
  • no need for data re-entry
  • automating your manual processes
  • improving data accuracy
  • faster order processing.

Which option is right for my business?

Follow the flow chart below to find what option might be best for you.Interested in implementing EDI for your business? Get a free consultation from one of our EDI experts by filling the form below.

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Prevention is better than a cure: Here’s how to prevent issues when implementing EDI

Putting some effort in before embarking on your EDI journey will put you in good stead. Think about your processes and what you’re trying to achieve up-front, and it’ll help you navigate through the stages of implementation with ease. Here are our suggestions of things to consider.

Get your relevant teams involved

When you’re going through the implementation stages of EDI, it’s important to have a core team that includes a representative from all relevant departments of the business. Having all teams involved in the EDI process ensures communication and transparency of the EDI project. It also ensures understanding and consistency of the objectives and goals of the project.

Be clear on your requirements

Clearly defining your requirements as well as your trading partners’ requirements is key. Some things to think about are:
  • How you’ll connect to your VAN, whether that’s by sFTP, an API, AS2 or something else.
  • What file format your software exports and imports
  • What file format you’ll exchange with your trading partners
  • If you require any business rules, validations or data enrichment.

Have a plan for onboarding

Planning ahead for the onboarding stage of implementation is important to ensure success. If you’re onboarding your suppliers, make sure you segment them according to the goals you’ve set. This might turn out to be segmenting by capability, or order volumes. Each segment needs to have tailored communications that relates to them. If you’re a supplier onboarding to EDI, think about how you will comply with your partners’ requirements. If you’re not using EDI, you’ll need to look at either a web portal solution or an integrated solution. We go over what might be best for you in our blog here.

Testing with your EDI provider and trading partners can take time

During testing, the best thing you can do is be as prepared as possible. This means having a team that is set to do the testing. They will send and receive messages back and forth, but the faster they can respond, the quicker testing will be completed. To relieve pressure on retailers who are onboarding suppliers, MessageXchange provides a message compliance testing (MCT) tool. This automates the testing process for you so suppliers can login to a portal and go through the testing process themselves. This reduces the need for retailer teams to be following up with suppliers. The tool allows suppliers to:
  • generate realistic POs in the format they would receive in production, complete with their GLN, vendor number and products.
  • upload messages they would send to you in production, like shipping notices, invoices, control messages and even SSCC labels for you to check.
Want to learn more about our implementation process? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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The Cost-Benefit Analysis of EDI for Small and Medium-sized Suppliers

For small and medium-sized suppliers, staying competitive means finding innovative ways to streamline operations while maximising profitability. One such solution is electronic data interchange (EDI). But before diving headfirst into this technology, it's essential for businesses to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis to determine if the investment aligns with their strategic goals.

Things to think about when putting together a cost-benefit analysis

Before you put your cost-benefit analysis together there are a few things to consider:

  • Get your internal departments involved
    Like all business projects, it’s important to keep the relevant departments who will be impacted by the change in the loop. This allows them to present any things that they want from the project and make sure all departments are happy. It also could impact what requirements you need in your EDI solution.
  • Think about integration and web portal EDI solutions
    For most small to medium businesses, you’ll normally have two choices to comply with EDI requirements. Integrated EDI solutions like our Gateway solution connect directly into your software. This allows you to use your own software to send and receive EDI messages. The other option is a web portal solution like Colladium.

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Consider EDI webforms if…

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Consider an EDI gateway if…

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You trade with a small number of retailers

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You trade with a large number of retailers

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You receive roughly 30 or less orders a week

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You receive more than roughly 30 orders a week

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You sell a limited range of products

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You sell a large range of products

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Your customers don’t require too much data

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Your customers require a substantial amount of information

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Your software can’t generate the information required by your customers

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You want automated processes

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You’re just starting out with EDI

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You don’t want to double-enter data

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You need a flexible solution that grows as your business does

Looking at all factors for your cost-benefit analysis

Before you put your cost-benefit analysis together there are a few things to consider:

  1. Initial investment costs: Implementing an EDI integration solution can require upfront investment to set up. However, compared to traditional systems, the initial costs of EDI can often be recouped relatively quickly through the increased efficiency and reduced errors.
  2. Operational savings: One of the primary benefits of EDI is the significant reduction in manual data entry and processing time. This translates into staff being able to work on other priority tasks.
  3. Improved accuracy and compliance: Manual data entry is prone to errors, which can lead to costly mistakes. EDI integration can ensure data accuracy by automating the exchange of electronic documents between trading partners.
  4. Faster order processing and fulfillment: In today's on-demand economy, speed is paramount. EDI enables faster exchange of business documents, resulting in faster order processing and fulfillment cycles.
  5. Scalability and flexibility: EDI systems are designed to scale with business growth and adapt to evolving business needs. Whether it's adding new trading partners, integrating with existing ERP systems, or expanding into new markets, EDI provides the flexibility to support business expansion without significant disruptions.
  6. Competitive advantage: In today's hyper-competitive marketplace, staying ahead of the curve is essential for survival. Implementing EDI can provide small and medium-sized suppliers with a competitive edge by improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing customer satisfaction. Moreover, many large retailers and corporations mandate EDI compliance, making it a prerequisite for doing business with them.
  7. Customer expectations and relationships: As consumer expectations continue to evolve, so do the demands placed on suppliers. EDI enables small and medium-sized suppliers to meet the increasing demands for speed, accuracy, and transparency in business transactions. By delivering a seamless and efficient ordering experience, suppliers can strengthen customer relationships and foster long-term loyalty.

Calculating savings

We’ve put together a useful tool to calculate the possible savings you would get from using an integrated EDI solutions, check it out here.

Need help putting together a business case for your EDI project, have a look at our whitepaper.Want to learn more about our implementation process? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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The evolution of EDI file formats from EDIFACT to ANSI X12, XML and beyond

Remember the days of paper invoices piling up on your desk? Thankfully, times have changed, and electronic data interchange (EDI) has revolutionised business-to-business (B2B) communication in Australia and around the world. But EDI formats themselves haven't been static – they’ve evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of modern commerce. So, let's explore the world of EDI file formats, from their humble beginnings to where they're headed next.

EDIFACT: The start of EDI formats

Back in the days of dial-up modems and chunky desktops, EDIFACT (electronic data interchange for administration, commerce and transport) emerged as the global standard. As the first file format in Australia in the EDI space, it got a head start on other file formats. This format uses tags and codes to structure data (some tags include BGM (Beginning of message) and IMD (Item description)), ensuring everyone involved could understand the information being exchanged. EDIFACT offers stability and reliability, becoming the go-to format for many industries, especially retail.

XML: A breath of fresh air

As technology moved forward, more file formats began to emerge. Enter XML (extensible markup language), a format based on human-readable tags and values, like labelling your tools in plain English. Tags in XML can be anything, but more commonly they can be human readable like or or . This offered a range of benefits:

  • Flexibility: XML could easily adapt to new data types and business processes.
  • Interoperability: It wasn't tied to specific industries, making it easy for diverse businesses to connect.
  • Human-readability: Understanding the data is simple.

JSON: The lightweight contender

Think of JSON as the text messages of the data world: simple, quick, and perfect for short bursts of information. It's a lightweight format often used in web-based APIs, where real-time data exchange is crucial. While not a traditional EDI format, JSON can play a role in specific EDI scenarios, such as:

  • API integrations: Businesses can use JSON to exchange data with other systems, their EDI provider and applications through APIs, streamlining data flow.
  • Complementary to other formats: JSON can be used alongside XML or UBL to transmit specific data elements within an EDI message.

ANSI X12: A widely adopted standard

ANSI X12, or the American National Standards Institute's Accredited Standards Committee X12, is a another file format used in electronic data interchange (EDI). This standard, as you can see in the name, is commonly used in North America. It sets guidelines and rules for structuring and formatting electronic business documents. ANSI X12 has a similar hierarchical structure to EDIFACT/EANCOM but segment names are very different, and how the content is structured is different too. This standard plays a crucial role in enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and minimizing errors in electronic transactions, ultimately fostering smoother and more reliable business relationships.

Remember, choosing the right format depends on your specific needs, industry, and trading partners. So, keep your ear to the ground, stay up-to-date on the latest EDI trends, and ensure your business stays ahead of the curve!Want to learn more about how MessageXchange can help with your data integration needs? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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Shaping Tomorrow: The Future of EDI for Suppliers

In the current fast-paced business landscape, suppliers are continually seeking innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a tried-and-tested technology, is undergoing a transformative evolution, opening new avenues for suppliers. We want to dive into the future of EDI, exploring emerging trends and technologies that are reshaping the way suppliers operate and collaborate in the digital age.

Blockchain integration: Reinventing trust and security

Blockchain technology is revolutionising EDI with its transparency. Suppliers integrating blockchain with EDI are ensuring secure, tamper-proof transactions. Blockchain can store and verify EDI transactions and provide additional features, such as audit trails, instant transaction tracking, reduced fraud and improved compliance through visibility of transactions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): Predictive insights and automation

AI and ML algorithms are transforming EDI data into actionable insights. Predictive analytics powered by AI can forecast demand patterns, optimises inventory management, and automates order processing. Suppliers leveraging these technologies can anticipate market trends and improve inventory turnover.

Internet of Things (IoT): Real-Time Visibility and Decision-Making

The IoT ecosystem is empowering suppliers with real-time data. IoT devices provide insights into product movement, storage conditions, and demand fluctuations. In EDI, this translates into accurate demand forecasting and streamlined logistics, enabling suppliers to make data-driven decisions promptly.

5G Connectivity: Unparalleled Speed and Reliability

With lightning-fast speed and low latency, Australian and New Zealand suppliers can exchange data almost instantaneously. Real-time order processing, quick inventory updates, and swift responses to customer queries become the norm. 5G connectivity ensures suppliers can keep track of their EDI whilst on the move easily and quickly.

EDI in the Cloud: Scalability and Flexibility

Cloud-based EDI solutions are becoming the norm. With scalable, pay-as-you-go models, suppliers can expand or contract their EDI systems based on demand. This flexibility ensures that suppliers can scale their operations seamlessly, meeting market demands without worrying about IT infrastructure constraints.

By integrating these advancements into your EDI strategies, EDI users aren’t merely keeping up; they’re redefining the future of their operations. The ability to process orders faster, respond to market changes in real-time, and provide immersive customer experiences positions you at the forefront of the industry. The future of EDI for Australian and New Zealand suppliers is not just about transactions; it’s about transformative, data-driven, and customer-focused experiences, paving the way for unparalleled success in the digital age.Want to learn more about how MessageXchange can help with your data integration needs? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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Enhancing supplier-customer relationships: The competitive edge of EDI

Strong relationships between suppliers and customers are more than a business strategy—it's key to success. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a powerful tool that allows businesses around the world to seamlessly interact and collaborate. Have a look at how to use EDI to gain a competitive advantage in your industry by enhancing supplier-customer relationships.

Streamline communication for clear understanding

Clear communication forms the foundation of any successful relationship. EDI eliminates communication barriers by automating the exchange of crucial information. From order details to shipping updates, EDI ensures both suppliers and customers have access to accurate data. With message types like purchase order responses (POR), suppliers can let their customers know if orders can be fulfilled or need to be updated. With advanced shipping notices (ASN), suppliers can also give their customers a heads up of what they’re sending in a delivery so they can better prepare their warehouse.

Ensuring precision in order processing

Inaccurate orders are a major pain point for customers and suppliers alike. EDI eliminates manual inputting errors by automating the order process. Suppliers can receive orders directly into their systems, reducing the likelihood of mistakes. Customers receive exactly what they ordered, enhancing satisfaction in suppliers’ reliability.

Boosting trust and issue resolution

Transparency builds trust. EDI provides a transparent view of the entire supply chain, from order placement to delivery. Customers can track their orders, ensuring visibility and peace of mind. This transparency not only enhances trust but also demonstrates suppliers’ commitment to customer satisfaction. No business relationship is without challenges. EDI equips suppliers with immediate access to transaction records. In case of discrepancies or issues, suppliers can swiftly track an order and address any issues. The ability to resolve problems promptly builds customer confidence and loyalty.

In the competitive markets of Australia and New Zealand especially, supplier-customer relationships aren’t just transactional; they're partnerships built on trust, understanding, and mutual benefit. EDI, with its ability to streamline communication, ensure order precision, boost transparency, enable proactive issue resolution, and promote adaptability, is not just a technology—it's the linchpin of these vital relationships.Want to learn more about how MessageXchange can help with your data integration needs? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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EDI and APIs: Is it one or the other?

In the ever-expanding digital landscape, two powerful tools, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), are pivotal in shaping how data is exchanged in the business world. While these technologies serve distinct purposes and have unique characteristics, they also share common goals.

Understanding EDI

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a well-established message standard for exchanging structured business documents between trading partners. EDI has been a trusted format for decades and is often used in supply chain management, particularly in industries like retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. Here's a brief overview of EDI:

  • Structured format: EDI uses structured data formats, such as EDIFACT or X12, which define the layout and content of documents.
  • Legacy system integration: EDI excels at integrating with legacy systems, making it valuable for industries with established practices.

EDI messages can be sent and received over any protocol (including APIs) in real-time and in batch.

Understanding APIs

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), in contrast, haven’t been around quite as long as EDI. APIs are sets of rules and protocols that enable different software applications to communicate with each other in real-time. APIs have opened the possibility of industries of all types to start connecting business systems and data.

Finding common ground

Now that we've explored the key differences between EDI and APIs, we should recognise their shared objectives:

  • Data exchange: Both EDI and APIs are used for exchanging data efficiently and accurately between systems and organizations.
  • Efficiency: They aim to streamline processes, reduce manual data entry, and minimise errors, ultimately improving operational efficiency.
  • Business integration: Both technologies promote business integration, allowing different systems to work harmoniously together.
  • Enhanced communication: Whether through structured formats (EDI) or other connections (APIs), both solutions enhance communication between systems and trading partners.

In the world of data exchange, EDI and APIs are two formidable players, each with its unique strengths and capabilities. Often they are both pitted against each other but the reality is that both can be utilised together. APIs can be used with EDI and we are seeing more and more business take advantage of this. We frequently connect to customers' ERP systems via APIs to exchange EDI messages in real-time. Our Gateway solution has the flexibility to work with all types of connection protocols whether it’s API or another. Some of the key positives of a MessageXchange gateway, include:

  • One central connection between systems, mediating between systems, connection protocols, file formats and trading partners/businesses.
  • Having full visibility of data exchange activity
  • Ability to transform and manipulate data
  • Ability to see errors and act, or build in escalation processes.

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Choosing the Right EDI Service Provider: Factors to Consider

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) enables seamless data exchange and facilitates efficient supply chain management. As businesses in Australia and New Zealand continue to embrace EDI, selecting the right EDI service provider becomes a critical decision. The market offers a few providers, and making the right choice can significantly impact a company's success. In this blog, we will explore the essential factors to consider when choosing an EDI service provider in the ANZ region.

Industry expertise

One of the most critical factors to consider is whether the EDI service provider has expertise in your specific industry. Different industries have unique requirements and compliance standards. An EDI provider with experience in your industry will understand these nuances, ensuring a smooth implementation process and providing tailored solutions that align with your business needs. MessageXchange has been helping businesses in retail, supply chain, manufacturing and more, excel with EDI for more than 20 years.

Scalability and flexibility

As your business grows, your EDI requirements may evolve as well. It is crucial to choose a provider that offers scalable solutions, capable of accommodating increasing transaction volumes and expanding business needs. A flexible EDI service provider can adapt to your changing requirements, saving you the hassle of switching providers down the line.

Integration capabilities

The EDI service provider should be able to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and other business applications. Integration simplifies data exchange, reduces manual intervention, and enhances operational efficiency across your organisation. Check with your prospective EDI provider what they support for you both now, and as your business grows.

Compliance and security

EDI involves the exchange of sensitive business data. Therefore, data security and compliance are all important factors. Ensure that the EDI service provider adheres to industry-standard security practices and complies with data privacy regulations. Like MessageXchange, look for certifications such as ISO 27001 to confirm their commitment to data security.

Customer support and reliability

Prompt and reliable customer support is crucial when dealing with EDI. Like MessageXchange, look for providers with locally based support teams for fast acting support. Check customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the reliability and responsiveness of the EDI service provider.

Customer support and reliability

Prompt and reliable customer support is crucial when dealing with EDI. Like MessageXchange, look for providers with locally based support teams for fast acting support. Check customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the reliability and responsiveness of the EDI service provider.

Cost and pricing model

Evaluate the pricing model of the EDI service provider. Some providers charge per transaction, while others offer subscription-based pricing. Consider the cost implications based on your transaction volume and choose a pricing model that aligns with your budget and business strategy. Be aware of any hidden fees or additional costs that may apply.

Interoperability with trading partners

In the interconnected world of EDI, the ability to collaborate with multiple trading partners is crucial. Ensure that the EDI service provider has a robust network of trading partners across Australia and New Zealand, as well as globally. Compatibility with various EDI standards, such as EDIFACT and XML, is essential for seamless data exchange.

Implementation and onboarding process

The onboarding process should be well-structured and efficient. A reputable EDI service provider will have a clear implementation plan and dedicated support to guide you through the setup phase. Avoid providers that promise quick setup without proper planning, as this may lead to complications later on.Want to learn more about how MessageXchange can help with your EDI needs? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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Getting started with EDI as a supplier: a step-by-step guide

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has emerged as a transformative technology for streamlining supply chain operations, enhancing efficiency, and improving communication between trading partners. As a supplier, adopting EDI can offer numerous benefits, from reducing manual processes to increasing order accuracy. Have a read through this step-by-step guide, to walk you through the process of getting started with EDI.

Step 1: Understand the benefits and requirements of EDI

Before diving into EDI integration, it is crucial to familiarise yourself with the benefits and requirements of this technology. Have a look into the advantages EDI offers, such as improved efficiency, reduced errors, and improved visibility of your supply chain. Gain insights into the specific EDI requirements and standards prevalent in the Australian market, including formats like EDIFACT and XML, as well as communication protocols like SFTP and AS2.

Step 2: Assess your business needs and objectives

Evaluate your business needs and objectives to determine how EDI can align with your overall strategy. Identify pain points in your current processes, such as manual data entry or lengthy order fulfillment cycles. Establish goals you wish to achieve through EDI integration, such as faster order processing or improved customer satisfaction. This assessment will help you tailor your EDI implementation to address specific challenges. You may initially be looking for compliance with your customer’s request, but also think about how to make it work for you.

Step 3: Research and select an EDI solution

Do some research to find the most suitable EDI solution for your business. Look for reputable EDI service providers that offer robust features, scalability, and compatibility with Australian trading partners. Consider factors such as ease of implementation, customer support, and cost-effectiveness. MessageXchange provide options for suppliers to meet their EDI requirements.[vc_column_inner width="1/2" css=".vc_custom_1565317545162{padding-top: 0px !important;background-color: #00b7f1 !important;}"]

EDI Webforms

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EDI Gateway

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Exchange EDI messages from an easy-to-use web portal

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Exchange EDI messages directly from your software

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Fully comply with over 20 retailers’ EDI requirements

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Comply with your customers’ EDI requirements, or onboard your suppliers to electronic trade

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Generate SSCC labels that can be printed on an office printer

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Remove double handling

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Have traceability and history of orders

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Generate custom reports

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Receive email notifications when a new order arrives

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Add your own business process management and validation

Check out our blog on what EDI solution is best for your business.

Step 4: Engage with your retailer partners

Normally your retailer partners will specify their requirements like EDI formats, document types, and communication protocols. They’re also likely to have a roadmap for onboarding to EDI with them, including a testing process. It’s important to keep open communication with retailer partners ensures a smooth transition to EDI and helps foster strong relationships built during the transition to EDI.

Step 5: Plan and prepare for integration

Create an integration plan that outlines the steps, timeline, and resources required for successful EDI implementation. Identify the internal stakeholders involved in the process, such as IT, operations, and customer service teams. Collaborate with your EDI solution provider to map your existing business processes to EDI workflows, including order processing, invoicing, and inventory management. Define roles and responsibilities, establish testing procedures, and set realistic milestones for each phase of the integration.

Step 6: Test, validate and refine

Testing and validation are crucial to ensure a seamless EDI integration. Collaborate with your retailer partners to conduct testing, including the exchange of sample documents. Validate the accuracy and reliability of data transmission and interpretation. Identify and resolve any issues or discrepancies encountered during testing. Continuous refinement based on feedback and results will help fine-tune your EDI processes and improve overall efficiency.

Step 7: Train your team and monitor performance

Provide comprehensive training to your team members involved in EDI processes. Educate them on EDI protocols, and best practices. Familiarise them with the EDI solution and its functionalities. Encourage ongoing learning to ensure your team stays updated with industry trends and advancements in EDI technology. Additionally, implement monitoring and performance tracking mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of your EDI integration and identify areas for further optimisation. Want to learn more about how MessageXchange can help with your EDI needs? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.Want to learn more about how EDI could help solve your business issues? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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Getting the most out of your EDI (not just retailer compliance)

EDI often is seen as just the requirement retailers’ pass onto you as a supplier, but it can be so much more. By leveraging EDI to its full potential, suppliers can improve operations, enhance collaboration, and gain a competitive edge in today's dynamic marketplace. Here’s how you can take EDI further than just compliance.

Get updates from your supply chain

Data enables more proactive decision-making, and ultimately improves customer satisfaction. Using certain EDI message types can give more visibility into your supply chain. Want to know if a supplier can fulfill an order? You can use purchase order responses (PORs) to get suppliers to tell you if they can complete an order. Suppliers can also let you know when an order is coming your way and what is being sent, using an advanced shipping notice (ASNs).

Streamlined order processing through automation

Suppliers can integrate their EDI systems with their internal order processing systems. This integration eliminates manual data entry, reduces errors, and speeds up order fulfillment. Automatic order processing enhances efficiency, reduces administrative costs, and enables suppliers to meet customer demands with greater agility. EDI can even help streamline and automate logistics processes, such as:
  • receiving and stocking goods
  • managing inventory
  • managing of warehouse movements
  • expediting shipments
  • processing refunds
  • repackaging processes (co-packing).

Greater data for reporting and performance monitoring

By harnessing the power of EDI data, suppliers can unlock valuable insights into their business operations. Suppliers can identify patterns, trends, and opportunities. This data helps suppliers to make informed decisions about market trends and more driving competitive advantage.

Scalability and growth

Our EDI gateways are highly scalable, allowing you to accommodate the growing demands of your business. Without EDI, as your orders go up so does your manual processing and costs. But this isn’t the case with the automation of EDI.Want to learn more about how EDI could help solve your business issues? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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EDI for small business

It’s common for people to think electronic data interchange (EDI) is used by big businesses only. But small business can actually benefit from EDI without heavy investment too.

The benefits of EDI to small businesses

Let’s get down to brass tacks. There are a few things you can get out of EDI as a small business. Here are just a few:

  • Cost savings
    The cost to process a paper invoice is estimated to be $30.87, $27.67 to process a PDF invoice, and only $9.18 to process an electronic invoice.
  • Shortened procure-to-pay cycle
    EDI can speed up your business cycles by 61%. EDI can reduce the order-to-cash cycle time by more than 20%.
  • Better data accuracy
    EDI improves data quality, delivering at least a 30-40% reduction in transactions with errors by eliminating manual data entry errors.
  • Less manual handling
    75% of businesses are confident they can process most inbound EDI/XML connections without a human touch.
  • Better visibility into your supply chain
    A study showed that 63% of businesses surveyed reported increased collaboration and visibility with suppliers after implementing EDI.
  • Better customer service
    60% of businesses say data integration has improved their customer service levels.
  • Increase your potential business with EDI ready organisations
    EDI ready businesses are more willing to work with each knowing they can benefit from their existing EDI setup.
  • Reduce paper use and digitise your business operations
    According to research, implementing EDI can lead to a 75% reduction in paper usage for transactional documents.

How does it work?

As the orders coming in increases, so does your business. But so does manual data entry, increasing workload and the risk of mistakes and errors. By using a EDI with your suppliers, you can raise orders and other messages as usual and they would be sent directly to your supplier’s software or EDI portal.

There, they respond to the order with a purchase order response, to let you know what they can supply, and can even let you know if your prices are incorrect, when they estimate the delivery to arrive and more. This information can be input into your software so your team can plan ahead. And if your software doesn’t support this data, you could take a hybrid approach and view this information in an EDI portal, like Colladium.

Your supplier can also issue you advanced shipping notices, which tell you exactly how the goods are being packed. Your supplier can even give you information like the best before or expiry dates, the batch numbers of the goods and more. This is especially useful if you have stock management or warehousing software. Again, once your supplier sends the information, it goes directly into your software – no need to re-key it. It also ensures your team have full visibility of the supply chain.

And finally, your accounts payable team will be happy about this – supplier invoices go directly into your software. There’s no receiving invoices attached to shipments, which your team need to enter, and no OCR scanning PDFs. The right data gets into your invoicing software straight away, where you may be able to automate the approval and payment of the invoice.

So what if your partners don’t use EDI? Easy, our web portal solution, Colladium, allows your suppliers and logistics provider to send you EDI messages directly to your software. Did I mention it’s free for them to use?!

Process for implementing EDI

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Let us know what you want to achieve and we'll suggest the best solution

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Start our partnership

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Connect to MessageXchange and test connectivity and messaging

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Go live!

Want to learn more about how EDI could help solve your business issues? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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Five issues EDI helps overcome

It’s an interesting, and let’s be honest, difficult time for businesses right now. From higher costs to supply chain issues and increasing labour wages, businesses are feeling the heat from all directions. If electronic data interchange, or EDI, is something you’ve been thinking about for a while, or even if it’s something you’re just starting to look at, take a look at these five ways it can help overcome the issues businesses are facing in 2023.

1. Lack of supply chain visibility

It’s often difficult for businesses to be aware of what’s happening in their supply chains. For example, knowing when an order is being sent and exactly what is being sent by the supplier. Using EDI, you can request an advanced shipping notice (ASN) from your suppliers that gives you all of this information. Suppliers can also add serial shipping container code (SSCC) labels to your ASNs, which tell you what’s in an individual packing unit. All this can improve visibility, reduce warehouse costs, reduce manual labour and improve customer service.

2. Non-fulfilment of orders

There’s arguably no worse issue than a supplier not being able to fulfill an order and not knowing about until it’s too late. It can batter your reputation and really weaken your relationship with the supplier, not to mention your customers. But what if your supplier could confirm whether or not they can fulfill a purchase you send to them? EDI can do this using a purchase order response (POR). The supplier can send the POR back to you with information about whether they can complete the order fully, partially or none of it.

3. Payment of incorrect/fraudulent invoices

Paying invoices incorrectly, or worse, paying fake invoices is costly to a business. These days the number of fraudulent emails and activity is only increasing. It’s affecting a lot businesses not just in Australia but around the world. EDI can help with this in a few ways. EDI helps is by reducing errors that occur from manual inputting. This makes it harder for invoices to come back to the buyer with errors. And some EDI providers, like MessageXchange, can build in processes to match and invoice with a corresponding PO number to confirm its validity.

4. Staff burnout from all the manual processing

A big issue for business now is keeping costs and processes streamlined and that’s no easy task. As a business grows, processes increase and if they’re manual, costs inevitably increase too. This becomes difficult to address without automation. That’s were EDI helps, you don’t need to be inputting data into multiple software, you don’t need to create PDFs or emails to send trade documents. It’s all input directly into your software so staff don’t have to enter it, and don’t need to fix OCR scanning errors.

5. Improving sustainability

Businesses are looking at become more sustainable and reducing their impact on the environment. One way businesses are doing this is going paperless by using EDI. Everything is done through your software, so there’s no more printing out documents. Want to learn more about how EDI could help solve your business issues? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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