Why an EDI Managed Service Is Essential for FMCG Businesses


July 6, 2023

Businesses in the fast-moving consumer goods industry know that timelines are tight. Perishable items dictate rapid order processing and any delay in message transaction and trading partner communication can have direct consequences on shelf availability, with severe consequences for suppliers and their customers.

FMCG manufacturers and suppliers need to ensure they have a robust and reliable EDI system that can help them expand and win new customers and deliver orders on time, every time. When deadlines are tight and the competition is fierce, suppliers that can’t keep up or struggle to maintain service levels risk losing contracts.

What is an EDI Managed Service?

An EDI Managed Service helps organisations transform EDI from a potentially expensive but unavoidable overhead into a business opportunity by providing the necessary experience, skills and infrastructure to allow companies to concentrate on their core competences. By outsourcing to a managed service provider, businesses can remove EDI complexity from their business and partner with an external expert to handle their electronic trading activity.

Quickly Onboard Every Customer

One of the largest obstacles to growth for expanding businesses is the lack of manpower to scale and maintain EDI effectively. Each customer you trade with will have its own distinct EDI requirements—from EDI standards and formats to the messages that they require—and some partners change their requirements frequently which only adds to the complexity. These constant refinements can suffocate under prepared teams who don’t have extensive EDI experience in house.

Due to our extensive experience in the market, TrueCommerce have built a global trading network consisting of over 180,000 trading partner connections making it easy to quickly onboard new customers without worrying about meeting their trading stipulations.

Our proven onboarding strategies will remove the pain of customer implementations and instead let you focus on what you do best.

Seamless EDI-ERP Integration

EDI integration is vital for businesses in the FMCG sector. As businesses win new clients and scale their operation rekeying messages can add an extra manual layer which is liable to keystroke errors when handled by busy teams. By managing your trading partner relationships and the EDI messages that underpin them within your business system, you can shorten your order to invoice lifecycle, move beyond simple EDI compliance and fully automate the flow of data along the supply chain.

The TrueCommerce EDI solution is compatible with almost all business systems, including, but not limited to, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Sage, Oracle, IFS, Infor and NetSuite.

“By outsourcing our electronic trading to TrueCommerce we have been able to consolidate our EDI onto one platform, cut our VAN charges, and at the same time continue to fulfil our customers EDI requirements. We chose to outsource to TrueCommerce as they had a previous experience of integrating with our ERP system, which was an important element of the project. The company also had some great customer references and fixed price commercial model which suited our business.”

Rosalyn Donnelly, IT Manager at C&D Foods  

Increase Accuracy With Message Validation, Process Controls and Proactive Monitoring 

EDI is used to win and develop a business’s largest contracts and as a result, any error in message transaction can have devastating effects.  

Responsible organisations often demand safeguards to ensure business critical trading messages are always being correctly sent and received. Others want to highlight messages by applying set rules or criteria, such as orders from key retail clients. The TrueCommerce system allows specific rules to be easily set up, allowing various stakeholders around the business to have full visibility and exercise management control. 

Some examples of common alerts include: 

Connection errors 

Occasionally, errors can occur when your company’s internet connection goes down or a trading partner’s mailbox becomes temporarily unavailable. Our solution ensures you’re always aware when this happens so we can proactively control and rectify the situation. 

New orders received 

To reduce the need for accounts staff to be constantly logged into the EDI system, new order notifications ensure relevant members of your team are immediately aware of new orders, enabling speedy processing and invoicing. 

New messages sent 

Keeping tabs on invoices being sent to your key customers has never been easier. Management teams can monitor outbound EDI messages to ensure they are being sent with correct details and in a timely manner. 

With TrueCommerce, numerous departments can enjoy the benefits of increased visibility which helps ensure your business has the information and management tools to take full advantage of your EDI solution. 

Redeploy Resources to Higher Value Tasks With a Cloud-based Managed Service 

Internal expertise is expensive and hard to come by and when EDI is managed in house it can drain IT resources. We provide the knowledge to allow you to reap the benefits of an outsourced solution, whilst being able to concentrate on your core business.  

Our fully managed service lets you stay ahead of the competition by taking advantage of regular platform updates and enhancements that are rolled out to our entire user network, without you having to worry about manual platform updates. As part of our service, we configure your solution, install new customers and take care of the ongoing maintenance of your solution, which removes EDI complexity from your business. 

These are just some of the reasons why a fully managed EDI service is essential for FMCG businesses. Reach out today to discuss how you can improve your service and prepare your business for future success. 

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