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Importance of EDI in Retail & Food Industry


  • Food and Retail space is a crowded market with fierce competition around who is able to keep the customers happy with what they want
    • Your company’s success largely depends on the right technology and solution partner you work with
      • You’ll need a robust EDI automation and document integration strategy moving into the new year in tough conditions

      If you are a food, fashion, beverage supplier or a grocer still using traditional methods (paper, fax, email or excel sheets) of communicating and maintaining business-critical information with your trading partner, you need to re-think your operational strategy for 2022 and beyond.

      The problem with this traditional way is that it is slow, error-prone, needs more resources and can prove to be expensive both in terms of money and reputation.

      A year ago CNBC had stated how pandemic has changed the way we eat and cook at home. Americans have been cooking more and are expanding their palates with new flavors. Grocery spending and spending on healthier food options like plant-based foods, locally grown produce, immunity-boosting supplements has increased and is predicted to remain that way in years to come.

      The global health crises has led to increased burden on grocers as the spending on groceries and above items increased and with people now coming out more and getting back to restaurants, grocers have to keep working to make cooking easy and appealing so they hold on to some of their market share gains. think of it as a part of the digital transformation that can make or break your business.

      EDI has and continues to be the most effective way of business data communication in every industry so does in food and retail with the following advantages:

      EDI streamlines the Food and Retail order to cash cycle

      When you send business data to your trading partner, it gets to them in no time because it is all electronic and structured. The data can be tracked and doesn’t pile up in emails, excel sheets, paper etc. The EDI process is designed in such a way that the information received from one end needs to be processed on the other end so the product gets to the consumer in a timely manner otherwise there are consequences like fines or chargebacks from the trading partners that are levied onto you.

      EDI increases profitability in the Food and Retail Space

      If you have one trading partner setup for EDI and you have got the process right, there is no doubt you can scale into other trading partners pretty quickly. Having an EDI system in place acts as a marketing tool for you to be taken seriously with other trading partners. This acts as a step forward and gives you a leverage over others who are not EDI-enabled if your product is chosen to be on the shelves of your trading partners.

      Adding more trading partners to your bucket, adds more sales and in turn increases your revenue and profit margins.

      EDI improves data accuracy

      If you are manually sending and receiving business data, the chances of mistakes and errors are immense and the chances of wrecking the order more likely. EDI reduce the dependency on human error in data entry and the software today automates the obvious fields in an electronic format. This largely saves time, effort and money along with improving the quality of data.

      Cost-efficiency and customer-centricity in Food and Retail

      There is no doubt EDI automation saves money, time, paper, resources and most importantly improves your relationship with your customers by providing timely service and product.

      It depends on the software you put in place because you can gain overall visibility into your supply chain with the right one. Where and how the product is moving, which ingredient is faulty, real-time view in to your stock etc. All this data is extremely crucial in providing the best service possible to your customers. You may think of EDI as a cost-center but really think of it as a part of the digital transformation that can make or break your business.

      Most commonly used EDI documents in Food & Retail

      Our advice for you is to invest in the right EDI and integration solution that works best for your business. In order to be successful in the food and retail business, make the right technology investment that streamlines your entire operations and have the right software partner to back you up every time.

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