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EDI: Solutions for Streamlined eCommerce Operations

5 min read
Published: June 29, 2023
Updated: July 25, 2023

As online transactions continue to grow rapidly, it becomes crucial to adopt advanced solutions that can facilitate seamless communication, automate processes, and enhance data visibility. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has long been recognized as a powerful tool for exchanging business documents electronically.

In this article, we will explore the concept of EDI and its role in streamlining eCommerce operations. We will delve into its key features & advantages, and discuss how Gepard PIM software, integrates with EDI to provide businesses with a comprehensive solution for optimized eCommerce workflows.

What is Electronic Data Interchange In eCommerce?

Electronic Data Interchange is a technology that enables the electronic exchange of business documents and information between trading partners in a standardized format. In the context of eCommerce, EDI facilitates the seamless transfer of data such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices, replacing manual processes and paper-based communication.

Understanding Electronic Data Interchange

  • Step 1: The supplier sends the retailer their product catalog with prices (PRICAT).
  • Step 2: Based on the catalog, the buyer creates an order for the product delivery (ORDERS). ORDERS is an official document that includes the order number, delivery date and time, delivery contract number, contract details, and order item references to the product catalog. This document allows for order status monitoring.
  • Step 3: After that, the supplier sends a response to the order (ORDRSP), confirming or rejecting it.
  • Step 4: Once the order is formed and shipped, the supplier sends a shipment advice notification (DESADV). DESADV is a technical transport document that provides information about the shipment, the physical characteristics of the goods, the barcode, transportation details, etc.
  • Step 5: Upon receiving the order, the retailer sends an automatically generated receipt advice notification (RECADV) to the supplier with up-to-date data on the received products.
  • Step 6: Based on RECADV, the supplier promptly issues the correct invoice (INVOIC). The INVOIC (invoice) is subsequently paid.
  • Step 7: If the retailer wishes to return the order, they send a return notification (RETANN) to the supplier.

EDI Flow

Key Features Of EDI System In eCommerce

Electronic Data Interchange plays a crucial role in facilitating seamless data exchange and enhancing efficiency in eCommerce. Below, you can find some key features of the best electronic data interchange software for eCommerce.

Standardized Data Formats

EDI utilizes standardized formats such as EDIFACT or ANSI X12 to ensure consistent data structures across trading partners. This allows for seamless integration and eliminates the need for manual data reformatting, reducing errors and enhancing data accuracy.

Automated Data Exchange

EDI system enables the automated exchange of business documents between trading partners. This includes documents like purchase orders, invoices, shipping notices, and more. Automation eliminates manual data entry, reduces processing time, and minimizes errors that can occur through manual intervention.

Increased Efficiency and Speed

By automating data exchange, the best electronic data interchange software significantly improves efficiency and speeds up the order-to-cash cycle. Processes such as order placement, order confirmation, shipment tracking, and invoicing can be completed more quickly and accurately, resulting in faster order fulfillment and improved customer satisfaction.

Enhanced Supply Chain Collaboration

EDI solutions promote collaboration and communication among trading partners within the supply chain. It enables real-time visibility into inventory levels, order status, and shipping updates, allowing for better planning, forecasting, and coordination. This collaborative approach helps streamline operations, reduce lead times, and optimize inventory management.

Error Reduction and Data Accuracy

Manual data entry can introduce errors and inconsistencies, leading to costly mistakes. EDI eliminates manual entry by automating data exchange, significantly reducing the risk of errors and improving data accuracy. This ensures that accurate and reliable information flows seamlessly between trading partners.

Scalability and Flexibility

Electronic data interchange vendor provides the scalability and flexibility required to support growing eCommerce operations. As businesses expand and onboard new trading partners, EDI can handle larger volumes of transactions efficiently. It can accommodate changes in trading partner requirements and adapt to evolving business needs, making it a reliable solution for scaling eCommerce operations.

Regulatory Compliance

Many industries have specific regulations and compliance requirements for data exchange. EDI solutions help businesses meet these requirements by providing structured, auditable, and secure data transmission. It ensures compliance with industry standards and regulations, such as HIPAA in healthcare or EDIINT for secure transmission.

EDI Advantages For eCommerce

According to research by GS1 UK, retailers save £605 million each year with EDI. The research also suggests that retailers could save an additional £200 million per year with the automation of a single business document, the Advanced Shipping Notice.

The main electronic data interchange advantages are the elimination of legacy paper-based processes and putting users first. The more electronic data interchange vendors are connected, the more they pay to use the EDI solutions.

Saving resources

  • Automatizing the processes to save the budget.
  • Reducing the delivery time, since the regular processing process is no longer needed.
  • Transferring data is faster and easier since all processes are digital and secured.
  • Reducing operational budget (like getting more paper, printing documents, hiring a courier, etc.), since you don’t have to print digital invoices.
  • Reacting quickly because all processes are synchronized with your partner’s system.
  • Optimizing working hours.

Avoiding errors and optimizing processes

  • Automatizing all processes with procure-to-pay. This method helps to eliminate any payment errors.
  • Receiving a comprehensive overview of business processes via the dashboard. These results help to optimize company processes and the supply chain.
  • Improving the processes’ efficiency to exchange data faster and without errors.
  • Accelerating transactions.
  • Avoiding basic errors that occur because many people entered manually now.
  • Setting individual business rules and alarm functions for each trading partner.

EDI Integration With Gepard PIM Solution For Enhanced eCommerce Workflows

EDI integration with the Gepard PIM system can significantly enhance eCommerce workflows by streamlining data exchange, improving accuracy, and automating processes. Let’s break down the integration benefits.

By integrating EDI with the Gepard PIM platform, organizations can leverage the following benefits:

Streamlined Data Exchange. EDI facilitates the exchange of business documents seamlessly and electronically. Integrating it with the Gepard PIM solution allows for the automated transfer of product-related information, such as product descriptions, pricing, stock levels, and product images, between trading partners, eliminating manual data entry and reducing errors.

Improved Data Accuracy. Manual data entry can introduce errors and inconsistencies. EDI integration with PIM ensures that product information is exchanged accurately and consistently, reducing the risk of errors and minimizing data discrepancies between systems.

Enhanced Workflow Efficiency. By automating the transfer of data via EDI eCommerce workflows become more efficient. Orders received through EDI eCommerce workflow can be seamlessly processed in Gepard PIM tool, updating product availability, generating order confirmations, and triggering fulfillment processes, thereby reducing manual intervention and saving time.

Real-time Inventory Management. The integration allows for real-time updates of inventory levels in Gepard PIM solution based on the data received through EDI. This enables accurate inventory management, avoiding overselling or stock-outs, and providing customers with up-to-date information on product availability.

Scalability and Growth. Integrating EDI with the PIM system enables businesses to handle larger volumes of transactions efficiently. As the business expands, the integration allows for the seamless onboarding of new trading partners and the ability to handle increased order volumes without sacrificing accuracy or productivity.

Final Thought

In today’s fast-paced eCommerce landscape, integrating EDI with the Gepard PIM system can be a game-changer for businesses. The streamlined data exchange, improved accuracy, enhanced workflow efficiency, real-time inventory management, and scalability offered by this integration can empower organizations to thrive in the digital marketplace.

Stay ahead of the competition and unlock the full potential of your eCommerce operations with the powerful combination of EDI and Gepard PIM solutions. Embrace this integration to master data management, streamline processes, and drive success in the dynamic world of online retail.

Sofia Kondrat - Talented Content Manager At Gepard PIM
Written by Sofia Kondrat
Content Manager at Gepard
Sofiia Kondrat is an experienced content writer and content manager, passionate about creating high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of industry trends, Sofiia is dedicated to producing informative, well-researched content that helps businesses stay ahead of the curve. When she's not writing, you can find her doing music & singing, exploring the great outdoors, or planning her next travel adventure.

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