Do you lose business because you are not EDI capable?
EDI facilitates a continuous stream of data in a standard format that flows from supplier to customer. If your business intersects at any point in the chain, and you are not EDI capable, you become the broken link. Or, more likely, companies simply don’t use your services.
Some 3PLs are a good case in point. Because they are not a direct link to the manufacture/retailer relationship, the directive to use EDI is not clear cut. It may seem like EDI is all about the 850 Purchase Orders. But that is only the beginning of the process. For a 3PL, there are a number of 900 series documents that are part of being EDI capable.
As a supplier, who relies on warehousing and distribution, you need to choose a 3PL company that is EDI capable.
You need to be sure a potential 3PL is EDI capable before you consider choosing them as your vendor. Even if EDI is not a big part of your business now, you know it is a requirement of most major retailers and marketplaces. If you plan on future growth, you would be well advised to begin a relationship with a 3PL that can support that future growth. The last thing you want is to land a big piece of business that requires EDI … only to find that your warehouse can’t handle it.
As a 3PL, you expand your potential customer base if you have EDI connectivity.
EDI allows you the flexibility to service customers from any source – EDI, shopping carts, marketplaces or flat files (like Excel). If you don’t offer EDI now, it follows that your current customer base does not require it. But what happens when a customer gets a contract from Walmart or starts selling on Amazon? Do they need to switch to a new 3PL? And, as you cultivate new business, do you want to be limited in the customers you can attract?
EDI connectivity has enormous value to your 3PL business both for internal operations and the ability to service your current (and future) customers.
With EDI you’ll see fewer manual keying errors, with less clerical staff required. Overall, EDI automation will afford you reduced labour demands and increased efficiency with the ability to process orders faster. It is also nice to know that EDI is a ‘green’ solution decreasing the volume of printed documents required. At this point, you may well believe EDI is good for your business but be loath to pursue it because of cost and impact on your business?
EDI can actually save you money and integrate with your existing systems.
Less repetitive manual work means your core staff can focus on higher value tasks with greater throughput. With Integral Group’s Flat Rate Pricing, you know, upfront, what your monthly costs will be. And EDI is easily integrated into your existing WMS and shipping systems making EDI both an efficient and accurate solution.
With so much to gain, when 3PLs consider adding EDI connectivity, the question is more “why not?” than it is ‘why?’. Take the first step by giving our Director of Sales Lee Mrkonjic a call and he can walk you through all of the benefits and our EDI services.
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