At Integral Group, we are seeing a resurgence to be EDI compliant and a requirement for broader EDI solutions than ever before. In fact, the last two years have been some of the busiest we have ever had.
EDI has always been about providing users with an efficient, paperless tool for exchanging business documents in a standard format. And at its inception, 30 years ago, that was a big step.
EDI still does all of that, but we are seeing some more all-encompassing solutions being employed. It is becoming more commonplace to integrate the technology with back-office accounting systems. We are seeing widespread use of EDI in back-end shipping systems integration using UPS and FedEx. At the front-end, there is the proliferation of shopping carts: this is an emerging aspect to the technology and we have quickly become experts at using API’s to retrieve order information.
In simple terms, it just makes sense to use EDI technology. An automated, seamless transition of data throughout the process – and one that does not require manual intervention or re-keying. This also frees your staff up for tasks that are higher value than basic data entry and re-checking.
We know there are EDI providers that are happy to do virtually the same thing they have always done: ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’.
At Integral Group, we respectfully disagree with that ideology. We are always looking for ways to be smarter, faster, better.
And that is serving us well with the push for EDI compliance from retailers in numbers we have not seen before. In large part, the influx of multi-national retailers and outsourced manufacturers is necessitating that suppliers step up their game. There is an increased requirement for even small businesses to become EDI compliant in order to engage with their customers.
In Canada, throughout 2017, we saw many multi-national retailers popping up in our shopping areas: from Nordstrom to Dyson to Woolrich. And they brought with them the expectations that EDI protocols are in place and it is survival of the fittest! Companies that even a few years ago could deal with retailers on a more casual basis, are now being mandated to comply with EDI.
With this increased reliance on EDI technology, you need to ensure that you are working with a supplier that can do it all. And one that that provides an accessible, intuitive experience with your business software that requires minimal intervention.
The more your business architecture relies on EDI, the more critical it is that your EDI provides an intuitive and supportive user experience.
At Integral Group, we are meeting your needs for today and looking into the future so that we are always one step ahead.
You have to love it when a plan comes together!
With our 30th anniversary in December of 2016 came with some introspection, reflections and a desire to look into the future. It turns out that seeing into the future is yet another superpower we possess and thus our Integral 2020 vision was born. Most of you have read the comic book; it’s our lighthearted yet heartfelt vision of where Integral Group will be in the year 2020.
In December 2017, as we sit here in our offices in Markham, Ontario we already see a lot of changes.
Our office space has doubled in size (see the pictures). An extensive renovation and redecoration has resulted in an additional large open work space that fosters collaboration. Two enormous walls of windows provide an expansive view of tree tops with natural light pouring in.
Walking in, visitors and staff still feel the same positive energy as always. Everyone is busy but never too busy to stop and help a colleague. The work, and in fact what makes us intrinsically the Integral Group, is all about you, our customers. How to make your EDI experience better, more seamless, more effective.
And so, to that end, we have also added to our team with four talented new members. Those of you who know us, know that finding just the right person to add is something we don’t take lightly. Becoming an Integral superhero requires the perfect blend of skill and heart and soul. We found these qualities in David, Anthony, Jim and Debra: Welcome.
Whew! That is a lot of change. What has not changed, what will never change, is our unwavering commitment to our customers. You are the reason we work tirelessly to make your experiences consistently exceptional.
Stay tuned for our next Vision 2020 update.