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Web EDI in a Mobile World

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 11:59 AM / by Shandra Locken

mobile device EDICan you manage your EDI solution with your iPhone from the Starbucks patio?  Mobile device EDI?  Absolutely.  Web EDI, managed services, EDI in the cloud, SaaS (software as a service) and other EDI outsourcing solutions are still increasing in popularity.  And we have seen a push with these types of services coming from the major EDI providers.  The question is why?  Could it be because we are operating our companies and conducting our jobs from mobile devices?  Everywhere you look, someone is using their Smartphone or their iPad, at happy hour, at the gym and at the local coffee house.  Web EDI, or really any EDI solution that can be managed via the Internet, offers flexibility that traditional EDI software currently cannot compete with.  

I've always said that one of the biggest benefits of Web EDI is that it can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection.  In our increasingly mobile world and the popularity of tablets, this is actually a huge benefit.  Other than being able to send a ship notice from the Starbucks patio, this opens up the EDI world to others in your organization who traditionally never get involved in EDI.  How about the sales rep who is on the road?  He or she can now log in and see if the big account they landed has submitted a PO.  How about the ability to pull up a POS report while renegotiating pricing with your customer?  This is the most exciting aspect of this trend because it makes my job of selling the value-add of EDI that much easier.  And now with the addition of 4G technology, you don't even have to have a wi-fi signal to gain access!

Hand held device usage in the supply chain is not a new thing.  When I was in the beer industry, our sales reps used hand held computers to take orders at the store level.  Those computers were then synced with our AS400 later at the office.  Then there's the relatively new DEX system used to electronically send an invoice at the time of delivery.  Lastly, who hasn't heard of Square by now?  Square is the hugely popular device and application that allows you to accept credit cards with your cell phone or tablet.  It's only a matter of time before traditional EDI software will offer mobile apps so that those solutions can also be managed from that Starbucks patio.  I predict that someday, mobile device EDI will be commonplace in many industries.  I may be the last person on earth who does not have an iPad and all this talk of mobile devices and apps is making me want to go out and get one!  Black Friday is right around the corner...

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Topics: EDI Technology, benefits of EDI, cloud computing

Shandra Locken

Written by Shandra Locken

Shandra is the Director of Business Development for GraceBlood LLC.

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