Making the most of EDI messages

Making the most of EDI messages

There are now dozens of EDI message types that can be used to streamline business processes and provide the transparency that informs decision-making, cuts costs and drives efficiencies and growth

EDI has revolutionised the way trading partners communicate with each other since its invention in the 1960s – and its use continues to expand to this day.

Whilst exchanging orders and invoices electronically delivers substantial benefits, EDI can be used for so much more. Consequently, increasing numbers of companies are recognising the additional benefits that are available and are expanding their use of EDI.

There are now dozens of EDI message types that can be used to streamline business processes and provide the transparency that informs decision-making, cuts costs and drives efficiencies and growth.

Therefore, if you’re looking to expand your use of EDI to unlock more benefits for your business, here are some great examples of where to start.

  • Orders

This sets the ball rolling with your supplier – but did you know you can also send an order change message if you need to adjust your order or even cancel it? In addition, you can request that your suppliers send you an order response message confirming that the order has arrived and indicating whether they are able to fulfil your order, or if they need to provide a substitute. If your supplier is unable to fulfil your order the prior notification gives you time to order alternative products if required.

  • Deliveries

Automated Shipping Notices (ASNs) received from your suppliers confirm the details of the goods about to be despatched, as well as the transport and delivery details. The advantage of receiving ASNs is that they will enable you to improve the efficiency of your goods receiving process. Sending your suppliers receipt messages confirms the safe arrival of the complete order or advises of any issues, while returns messages explain which goods are being returned and why.

  • Invoicing

In addition to receiving electronic invoices from your suppliers you can also receive credit notes and send debit notes – you can even create a VAT summary message that covers your HMRC obligations. The use of orders, ASNs and invoices enables your suppliers to conduct three way matching (or four way matching if you also send them a receipt message) when invoicing, leading to fewer invoice disputes and improved supplier relationships due to prompt payments.

  • Business planning and reporting

There are also EDI messages that enable you to share product, pricing and inventory data with your suppliers, report on the performance of sales and marketing campaigns and prepare forecasting reports to inform income projections and resource planning.

As your use of EDI within your business expands, so do the benefits to you and your suppliers. As each message set is activated and moved into an electronic format, processes are further streamlined, performance data is revealed and opportunities for closer relationships up and down the supply chain come to light.

TrueCommerce’s comprehensive EDI Managed Service can provide all of the elements required for a complete end-to-end solution to meet your requirements. We have a full range of support packages available too, ensuring that you maximise the benefits of TrueCommerce EDI.

If you would like to expand your use of EDI, contact us to arrange a discussion to see how best to achieve this for your organisation.

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