June 2017

EDI: the Supply chain performance enhancer

There is still a widespread belief that EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is a technique forced upon smaller firms by dominant customers by which the former bear all the costs while the larger company reaps the efficiency gains.

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The competitive tool for SMEs

Ever since its inception, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) has been seen as the province only of large corporations and organisations, typically in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, and retail. Such users needed extensive and expensive IT infrastructure and human resources to share messages measured in the millions with other similarly equipped trading partners. Smaller businesses found it hard to justify investment in EDI, while the use of many different proprietary or sector-specific formats and standards created a complexity with which few smaller companies could cope.

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Future proof your EDI and unleash growth

Business rarely stands still, but the current and anticipated rate of change is almost unprecedented – the only certainty is that things will get more complicated. With this in mind, advocating the widespread adoption of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) may surprise some. They may regard it as a decades-old technology, requiring major investment, understood only by a few IT enthusiasts. They may see it as only being economic for a few ‘top of the chain’ companies and their major suppliers exchanging large quantities of very similar messages?

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