For many brands experiencing rapid growth through trading partnerships with major retailers, scaling up efficiently (and profitably) isn’t always easy. It’s a pedal-to-the-metal pursuit of production, brand building, marketing, sales and meeting expectations. But it’s also paying attention to and optimizing the less sexy business functions and systems that actually make scale possible.
One of those systems?
Electronic data interchange, or EDI.
What is EDI?
EDI is the electronic communication of business transactions such as purchase orders, confirmations, invoices and shipping updates between suppliers and retailers.
The fundamentals of EDI used to happen on paper and via fax. Today they happen electronically, powered by cloud-based software.
Ultimately, EDI platforms like Lingo automate manual tasks, saving time and money. Obviously that’s good for scale. But EDI drives scale even further through integration with other business systems.
How EDI Integrates with Core Business Functions to Drive Scale
EDI touches numerous supply chain functions. Properly integrated, it can help organizations improve communications between internal systems and with external trading partners.
When your EDI platform can talk to your ERP system, you’re mitigating risk. (Scale hates risk.) ERP-EDI integration eliminates manual data entry tasks that expose an organization to errors. At eZCom, we have an in-house development team that provides both custom and pre-built integrations for all of the major ERP systems including Oracle’s Netsuite, SAP Business One, Sage’s Brightpearl, Zoho, Infor and more.
Integrating your EDI platform with your inventory management system supports compliance, particularly with the standards set by your retail trading partners. And when your retail trading partners are happy, managing scale tends to be just a little bit easier.
3PL/WMS-EDI integration drives supply chain efficiency, primarily by improving order processing accuracy. At eZCom, we work with our clients to develop custom integrations between our EDI platform, Lingo, and their existing 3PL and WMS systems.
It feels like everything should integrate with your accounting system, right? EDI is no exception. When your EDI platform integrates to your accounting system, payment reconciliation is faster and data is updated in real time. Lingo integrates with all of the major accounting systems including QuickBooks, Xero, Sage and more.
Integrating your EDI platform with your shipping partners is pretty much non-negotiable. It is mission critical that the business information and labels match the products shipped. Otherwise you’re looking at chargebacks that cost you time, money and reputation—three outcomes that are very good at killing scale.
eCommerce-EDI Integration & Online Marketplaces
Again, it’s all about eliminating the inevitable errors that come with manual data entry. Integrating your EDI platform with your eCommerce solution (think Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Amazon Seller Central and more) improves data integrity and order processing time.
Scaling a high growth company is hard. Integrating your EDI platform with key business systems and the various pieces of the supply chain can alleviate some (not all!) of the pressure, freeing up you and your team to tackle other scale-related challenges.