Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has provided smaller businesses with an effective way to cut costs and improve the service they delivered to large customers for many years. However, now EDI integration is crucial to companies of any size looking to increase their network of suppliers and customers.
Large businesses increasingly want the speed and accuracy of digitally exchanging business documents. A recent IDC survey suggesting these larger businesses are now looking for more from their trading partner relationships.
What does do the demands of large partners mean for the EDI capabilities of smaller companies?
For many smaller businesses, EDI started as a necessary business cost to meet their larger customers’ trading mandates. It quickly became apparent that EDI had a lot more to offer. These companies also realized additional benefits from their EDI integration including cost reduction, business efficiency, and the ability to grow the business rapidly. As businesses of all sizes digitally transform, the digital exchange of business documents is a natural part of the process.
Document digitization is also a foundation to build much closer and more robust business relationships with large customers. However, simple entry-level EDI systems may not be able to support this type of business model. Instead, smaller businesses need access to a cloud-based integration platform that delivers a deeper set of B2B capabilities at a cost that even smaller companies can afford.
As supply chains morph, trading relationships evolve
The supply chain was one of the most affected areas of the COVID-19 pandemic. The overwhelming response from large organizations then was to change the way they work with their suppliers. This trend continues as they now look to suppliers to deliver a more significant part of their business. These large customers are seeking far more cooperation and collaboration across their supply chain.
This evolution in supplier relationships was very apparent in the results of the IDC survey which asked respondents about their priorities to improve supply chain performance. Those organizations with over $1 billion in revenue put improved collaboration with suppliers at the top of their list. This priority was closely followed by increased data sharing and extended digital communications with trading partners.
What are the top priorities of large organizations?
- Improve collaboration with suppliers
- Increase data sharing with trading partners
- Extend digital communications with trading partners
Like all organizations, large companies want effective digital connections with suppliers to build the resilient and agile supply chains they require. However, that’s a significant concern. Survey respondents also stated that integrating with suppliers represents the most critical challenge to their supply chain operations in the next two years.
The need for an extensible, cloud-based B2B EDI integration platform
It’s clear that large organizations want supplier relationships that go beyond the transactional. However, it’s not just about digitally exchanging invoices and POs. Today, smaller companies must be able to communicate and collaborate digitally and seamlessly. They must also have the capacity to share a wide range of business and supply chain documents.
With the right solution, even businesses on a smaller budget can now deploy and manage an enterprise-grade integration environment. A single solution can allow companies of any size to access all the B2B capabilities that have previously been the reserve of larger organizations. And they can do it all without the need for large IT teams.
Look for a single solution that delivers:
- Base connectivity that supports common protocols and support for a sizable and expandable community of trading partners and document maps.
- A suite of self-service tools to empower companies to manage their own connectivity and day-to-day collaboration with trading partners.
- A prebuilt library of trading partner kits that offers both document and connectivity support for the more popular trading hubs around the world across multiple industry sectors.
- Off-the-shelf application adapters to connect your specific ERP system, whether that is Oracle NetSuite, SAP S/4HANA, Microsoft Dynamics 365 or an internal system running on the IBM iSeries or others.
- Fast, efficient on-boarding of new trading partners.
Traditional EDI is no longer enough to deliver a competitive advantage. Expand your trading partner network and become the supplier of choice for all current and potential customers with EDI integration.
Are you ready to get seamless access to the same capabilities enjoyed by the world’s largest companies?
Access a cost-effective solution built around a single global unified integration platform that delivers all the digital tools required to collaborate productively with all your trading partners.