It takes money to make money, goes the old saying. And it’s true. Setting up a business requires investment in a place, people and products. Keeping the supply chain running takes money, too. Vendors, even large ones, do not want to tie up liquidity by extending credit to resellers. Resellers can’t afford to tie up their cash in inventory — especially these days. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged supply chains and logistics and burned through a lot of operating capital.
That’s where WeFi Technology Group LLC (WeFi) enters the picture. WeFi is a financial technology company that provides innovative supply chain finance solutions to the information technology industry through a state-of-the-art, cloud-based platform that streamlines and automates the provision of services. Using its deep industry knowledge and ecosystem relationships, it’s committed to providing its clients an experience that is underpinned by innovation, flexibility, accuracy and speed.
“We provide channel finance for technology resellers and vendors,” says Armand Brunelle, WeFi’s Managing Director of Technology. “For example, technology vendors like Dell/EMC have resellers that sell their products and WeFi provides short-term financing on behalf of the vendor for the reseller.”
Solving frontline pain
The co-founders of WeFi, John Schmidt and Adrian Liddiard, have over 45 years of technology and financing experience, so they thought hard about what the pain points for customers are. A central concern is having too much money tied up for too long because transactions took too long. To better deliver short-term financing for technology resellers and vendors, WeFi built an advanced technology platform called IZZI.
IZZI combines transaction processing, data security and privacy, along with analytics and reporting. Built in the cloud and featuring the latest integration technology, IZZI can be accessed by WeFi’s partners from anywhere, on any device, at any time. This is crucial, as vendors and resellers might be located in wildly differing time zones. There is no simple 9-to-5 in their business.
A critical element IZZI offers is EDI (electronic data interchange), which enables users to automatically exchange business documents such as order approvals and invoices with vendors, resellers and other business partners. Having had experience with OpenText in the past, WeFi selected the OpenText™ Email2EDI solution to digitize non-EDI orders they receive via email. The solution automatically converts emailed documents into structured EDI or XML data without the need for people to input data by hand. This delivers speed and savings, while reducing risk.
Armand explains that EDI brings huge benefits for everyone involved—WeFi, vendors and resellers alike. He talks about the benefit of “keeping fingers off the keyboards”: anytime human intervention is required—the “fingers on the keyboards”—there’s a risk of introducing errors to the process. EDI removes that risk from EDI-enabled partners. And Email2EDI removes that risk from everyone else — partners who may not have EDI experience. This combination reduces headcount for everyone involved. Financial and clerical staff are freed to take on higher-value tasks instead of having to key in data and process purchase orders and receipts.
Making it simple
The benefits of EDI are numerous, including reduced costs, improved speed, reduced paper use and enhanced security. However, traditional EDI offerings have drawbacks that keep many companies from adopting them: high upfront costs, complex setup, a confusing array of standards and increased demands on IT resources for security, backups and maintenance.
WeFi’s IZZI aims to deliver the benefits without the drawbacks. OpenText’s Email2EDI and Fax2EDI solutions use machine learning and advanced document and character recognition systems to transform non-EDI emailed and faxed forms into structured data to automatically populate procurement and order management applications.
This allows WeFi to quickly get new customers operational, especially those that may not have experience using EDI. To get started, all a customer needs to do is send WeFi a sample invoice and they’re soon good to go.
Driven by change, uncertainty and opportunity, businesses everywhere are innovating to survive and thrive. In small increments or giant leaps or somewhere in between, innovation is all around us. For WeFi Technology Group, innovation meant listening to its customers and drawing on its understanding of the market to challenge the status quo and to keep moving forward.
To learn more about how WeFi automated EDI for supply chain efficiency, read the full story.