EDI for SMEs: Basic Solutions to Create Competitive Advantages
The use of EDI technology has always been related to large and multinational companies. However, with the advancement of digitalization, and the technological transformation of companies globally, EDI is recognized as a technology that serves the purposes of optimization and process efficiency in any type of company.
Today the ability to exchange business documents electronically has become a necessity for companies of any size. Many large North American distributors and retailers already require their suppliers to utilize EDI technology in order to communicate electronically and integrate orders, dispatch advices and invoices into their management systems. This demand is one step closer to digital business transformation, which benefits even smaller companies and especially those that don’t want to miss opportunities to do business with large retailers such as Wal-mart, P&G, Carrefour, etc…. For retailers, fully integrating electronic business documents has huge advantages and benefits. Therefore, it is becoming a requirement if their suppliers want to work with them.
Implementing and EDI project for an SME
Implementing an EDI project can seem long and costly, but the medium-term advantages are remarkable and include optimizing business processes and making communication more efficient throughout the supply chain. In addition, for small and medium-sized companies, it means getting ahead of potential competitors and generating more business opportunities with distributors who are demanding to work with EDI. Therefore, solutions and possibilities exist for these companies so that they can use EDI in a more economic way that's best adapted to their needs.
Depending on the volume of transactions and messages exchanged with a company’s partners, there are basic solutions available, such as Web EDI, which enables low cost and rapid deployment. All you need is an Internet connection. The different messages will be built through simple data input screens with simple Web forms and sent securely to the destination in the required EDI format. With this EDI web solution an SME can manage all their EDI communications easily.
Cloud-based: At EDICOM, we offer our services in SaaS mode, software as a service hosted in the cloud, so companies don’t need to develop or implement costly on-premise solutions or take care of maintaining or upgrading the platform.
Web-EDI: This is a modality with a fast turnaround and a minimum economic cost designed for companies that exchange low volumes of documents. The data from the documents is loaded manually in simple forms along with the information required by the distributor. These forms are transformed into structured documents that will be automatically integrated into the recipient's ERP.
Financial savings: EDI completely eliminates paper processing in companies. Furthermore, it protects the environment because companies don't have to use paper or printers, and manual processing is eliminated. In addition, everything is stored in the cloud guaranteeing security and confidentiality.
Instantaneous: Documents are received and processed instantly, therefore shortening the collection cycle for small and medium businesses that may need to receive payments in less time than large retailers.
EDI as a competitive advantage for SMEs
Once an EDI solution is implemented, a company will be able to connect with any company that requires it, since these solutions are completely scalable at a global level. In addition, as a company increases the volume of documents to be exchanged or requires new connections, the solution will be able to adapt to new processes.
Digital transformation is a reality that affects all of the players in international trade. Therefore, the adoption of new technologies can affect the growth of companies that are lagging behind their competitors.
Getting on board with digital transformation will no longer be an option. Soon it will become an obligation. Companies that begin to make the choice to commit to the new technologies are those that will adapt to and improve their business processes at an international level.