If your suppliers or customers are asking you to implement mobile EDI because that’s the route they have taken and expect you and their other business partners to do so too, then you probably have plenty of questions about what EDI is and what solutions are available. Its also worth considering that while EDI can be forced on us by suppliers or customers, in fact it should bring plenty of benefits to our business that should easily pay for the investment and help us to gain competitive advantage.
What is Mobile EDI?
Edi is electronic data interchange, which is basically exchanging business documents digitally between different companies. It negates the old fashioned way of sending documents by fax, mail and even email. Mobile EDI is the next development, using Cloud technology software on mobile devices creates and sends documents digitally on the go. So a hand held scanner for example can scan a product that is wanted to be shipped, and then the delivery address is input. The order then goes out, invoice sent to the customer, and if necessary an order to the supplier, and shipping documentation to the logistics firm.
This automated communication process has several advantages which we will go onto discuss.
Advantages of Mobile EDI
The first and main advantage of Mobile EDI is time saving. The order, payment and delivery process is streamlined. All necessary information exchanges are sent within seconds rather than being a manual process which may have taken hours over several days.
The second advantage is saving of money. Primarily this is by cutting out the need for manual data entry, administration, printing and faxing / postage costs. Potentially an EDI process can eliminate several administrative roles in a company, freeing up salaries for roles which can have more impact on the bottom line, and of course money to fund the adoption of the EDI software.
Choosing the Right Mobile EDI software
Thankfully you don’t have to worry too much about picking the right EDI software. If you have several customers and suppliers using different EDI systems, if you pick a web EDI solution, your system should be conversant with theirs. If updates are done to their software and systems your EDI software supplier will likely be aware of this and change yours as soon as possible to maintain data interchange.
Taking Mobile EDI to the Next Level
So you’ve implemented mobile EDI and you want to maximize your use of it, perhaps find competitive advantage through using it. Well there are several functions of mobile EDI which you can leverage to change your business strategy and improve customer satisfaction.
The first is utilizing drop ship suppliers. With an EDI system you can easily add new suppliers, and their SKUs to your inventory, but keep the stock with the supplier. When your customer orders the EDI software asks them to ship direct to the customer. It also allows for customers to track their deliveries more transparently.
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