Why integrate EDI systems in the B2B business?

In Featured by Baufest

Nowadays, companies are moving towards the generation of partner, supplier and B2B customer business ecosystems, with the idea of optimizing relations and adding operative efficiencies, and on occasion, to assemble joint commercial proposals that could add value to the end customer.

Wednesday 26 - May - 2021
Baufest
Data Integration - Baufest

Isolated companies could find many more obstacles to compete in today´s digital business scenarios. Instead, properly integrated with their commercial partners (trading partners), they can grow stronger together in unimaginable ways.

Today, companies need to be as agile as possible, and to automatize routine processes to the maximum. Relations with commercial partners and the capacity to adapt rapidly to their needs are key to growing and keeping up with any activity, moreover, in these times of e-commerce boom. Allowing for the automatization of central commercial processes (business process automation), such as acquisitions, sales and production, reduces costs drastically and allows managing business in a more effective manner.

In a time when business intelligence or company intelligence is talked about so much, and big data and analytics have made data management software fashionable, automatizing matters such as operative circuits with B2B customers looks almost as a basic requirement. Nevertheless, many organizations still have not worked it out.

Frequent inconveniences

The idea of automatizing frequent processes and transactions with B2B partners may look very reasonable and tempting, but to advance in this direction, companies often come across some common issues. For starters, it has to be said that it is not always easy to do business with commercial partners; and besides, many times companies do not count with integrated systems which allow for automatization of the business. On the other hand, it is frequent that communications with these partners present weak security and confidentiality levels. And besides, sometimes it also becomes complicated to update integrations when commercial partners change their requirements.

To face all these difficulties, electronic data interchange software (EDI) was developed, that precisely fosters the exchange of commercial documents from computer to computer in a standard electronic format between business partners. 

Somehow, EDI software replaces email, but with some advantages: with email, interchanged documents still have to be managed by people and not computers. Having people involved slows down document processing and also introduces errors. Instead, “EDI documents can flow directly into the correct application in the receptor´s computer (for example, the requests management system), and processing can start immediately”

In order to be processed by computers without human intervention,  EDI documents must use a standard format.  At present, there are many EDI standards, and each has several versions. Because of that, when two companies decide to interchange EDI documents, they should agree on the standard and specific version. Anyway, modern management tools EDI / B2B business give us the possibility to accept the widely used standards (X12, EDIFACT, HC7, etc.) and the most common connectivity methods (AS2, FTP / SFTP, etc.), which allow for the integration of the legacy supply chain and ERP systems, apart from bringing in more agility to incorporate new commercial partners.

Solid advantages

In this way, the natural evolution of the legacy supply chain and company management software (ERP) from the organizations to the Cloud, must be accompanied by Cloud native tools which can resolve EDI needs to guarantee the business ‘continuous functioning.

The adoption of EDI tools in a B2B context (business to business) reduces company costs, automatizing the business with their commercial partners – particularly at a central processes level, such as acquisitions, sales and production. On the other hand, this automatization of main commercial transactions also increases data integrity. 

As well, when implementing this type of solutions, transaction security and confidentiality is increased. The business of commercial partner requisite changes associated costs is isolated.

As shown, when transitioning from a paper based document exchange to an electronic one, companies enjoy important benefits, as more processing speed, costs reduction, less mistakes and better relations with B2B partners and customers.  On the other hand, as environments mature, these EDI tools can help organizations reach new technology offers in the Cloud without commercial interruptions.

This type of integration allows for an increase in productivity when extending automatization outside the organization. In this way, B2B commercial partners can carry out trusted transactions among themselves, and they reach a level of communication that generates satisfaction, besides having availlable transparent documentation for all the process of the supply chain.

The ideal partner

If your company is looking for a unique partner which can integrate various systems, from Baufest we can assist you as well with EDI B2B management, in such way that you can advance in the automatization of commercial processes with your partners in this segment. Our proposal is to train customers in the most beneficial integration options available for their environment and commercial objectives. We guide them through a solution which solves their current weak points, fast to implement and scalable, and that adjusts to their budget and outcome expectations. On the other hand, we never implement technology solutions just because; we only proceed in the cases where we can define a clear and beneficial result for their commercial needs.

From Baufest, we believe that the value of strategic integration benefits our customers as much as their customers. If an integration solution is implemented with precision, bearing in mind the commercial needs, costs and time efficiency of operations, and is really sustainable, the positive impact will be seen almost immediately.