This is the time of year, before the holiday bustle really begins, that we can reflect on what we're grateful for. This is what Thanksgiving is all about. And whether you are grateful that you have the day off or that your kids are now sleeping until 7:30 am on a regular basis (mine are not), everyone can find something to be grateful for. The next several weeks make up a significant portion of our retail customers' annual sales and we are grateful for the opportunity to support them through this important time of the year. So in the spirit of thankfulness, we thought it would be fun (and useful) to list five reasons to be grateful for EDI integration. Feel free to add to this list via comments. Comments on our blog are always welcome!
1. Two Words, Black Friday. The National Retail Federation predicts an increase in holiday sales of 4.1% over last year. Several major chains have already released their Black Friday ads including Macy's, Walmart and Toys "R" Us. If you are a large supplier for a major retailer, EDI integration just makes your life easier. The more volume, the bigger the benefit. Or better yet, if you have a Webstore, an integrated EDI solution is essential.
2. No Data Entry! When you are not integrated, you must key in your orders to your back end system whether that's a sophisticated ERP system or QuickBooks. And then you must key in more data to your EDI system. And if you do not get EDI POs such as in the case of Direct Store Delivery vendors, you must key in your invoices "from scratch" into your EDI system. EDI integration eliminates all this data entry and who is really thankful for data entry???
3. Error Alerts. If any of you have ever paid hefty charge backs, then you must be very thankful for error alerts. EDI integration allows you to take advantage of the many benefits your EAI software or your EDI provider offers. Being notified immediately of an error or exception and being able to rectify it before it becomes a problem is almost as good as pumpkin pie.
4. Improved Accuracy. Integrating your EDI means less human hands stirring the pot and therefore less human error. Less human error means less time spent correcting those errors! We all want to leave early on Wednesday and join our loved ones for the holiday festivities, but if you're stuck in the office researching EDI errors...all the turkey might be gone by the time you get to leave.
5. Better Relationships. If you integrate your EDI with your ERP or order entry system, you are on your way to forming stronger partnerships with your customers. An integrated EDI solution that runs smoothly and doesn't create headaches for your trading partners (who also want to leave early on Wednesday) will foster the relationship and ensure that those purchase orders (EDI 850s) keep arriving. Who knows? One of your customers just might invite you to Thanksgiving dinner.