How Cloud EDI Software Helps Modernize Supply Chain Management for Retail and Manufacturing Enterprises

Last Published: Sep 07, 2021 |
Joel Fernandes
Joel Fernandes

Product Marketing Manager, Cloud

Cloud EDI software

Supply chain is the backbone for retail and manufacturing enterprises and it is witnessing a rapid digital transformation. Digitizing and modernizing the supply chain across business operations, processes, and systems enables retail and manufacturing enterprises to meet the demands of the ever-changing trade ecosystem. McKinsey research suggests that, on average, companies that aggressively digitize their supply chains can expect to boost annual revenue growth by 2.3%. Both the manufacturing and retail sectors are digitizing B2B processes and adopting technologies such as cloud, AI, machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT), blockchain, and more for driving their businesses more efficiently. To be successful in their modernization and supply chain digitization efforts retail and manufacturing businesses should also look to their EDI software.

EDI Software and B2B Communication

Efficient B2B communication, secured data exchange and collaboration between the retail/manufacturing enterprises and their trading partners is essential for an effective supply chain management system. And the onus lies on enterprises to deliver an efficient way for them to communicate and exchange data with their partner networks. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the gold standard. EDI has been widely used by the retail and manufacturing enterprises for decades to streamline their communication with their trading partners. Forrester estimates that EDI represents around 80% to 90% of the total business-to-business traffic, and the number of EDI transactions is growing 3% to 5% every year. EDI helps enterprises to exchange trading documents such as purchase orders, invoices, or other confidential business documents and is a critical component in the digitization of the supply chain.

Modernizing Supply Chain Management with Cloud EDI Software

To stay competitive in today’s globally connected trade ecosystem, managing B2B communications with trading partners is critical. Using traditional on-premises EDI legacy solutions can drastically hamper the growth prospects of enterprises. Traditional on-premises EDI solutions cannot scale up to manage the exchange of data and business requirements for digital commerce. If enterprises want to manage their B2B communications at the speed of today’s business, it’s time to modernize their traditional on-premises EDI solution with cloud-based EDI solutions.

Cloud EDI is proving to be a game changer for B2B EDI communications when it comes to onboarding trading partners and exchange of trading data and files in a highly secured environment. Cloud EDI solutions deliver more than just data exchange; they also add value in terms of data security, onboarding, automation, data-transformation, real-time collaboration, and business agility.

Cloud EDI Benefits for Retail and Manufacturing Enterprises

Cloud EDI solutions enable retail and manufacturing enterprises to integrate with business applications seamlessly, onboard trading partners quickly, and exchange data in a secured manner in real-time when compared to legacy EDI solutions. Here are 5 key benefits that retail and manufacturing enterprises can gain by adopting cloud EDI solutions:

1. Automated and Digitized Partner Onboarding: With cloud EDI solutions, enterprises can accelerate onboarding of their trading partners through digitized and automated processes that completely eliminate human intervention. Onboarding partners using legacy on-premises EDI solutions used to take weeks and months. But now it can be completed in a matter of days using cloud EDI. Paper flow processes are completely eliminated with real-time cloud-based B2B communication, which reduces processing time for EDI trading documents and saves costs. Cloud EDI solutions also help retailers and manufacturers collaborate in a real-time mode to process and track the data and file exchange with their business partners, thereby significantly improving order accuracy.

2. Ease of Integration: Managing the integration of legacy on-premises EDI solutions with cloud-based business applications is complex. Cloud EDI solutions makes it simple for retail and manufacturing enterprises to manage their integration needs seamlessly without the hassles of deploying and managing software and hardware resources. Cloud EDI solutions can handle varied partners that use multiple messaging formats and protocols by providing seamless integration with systems and applications such as ERP applications and partners’ supply chain systems. Retail and manufacturing enterprises can accelerate their core processes like order-to-cash and procure-to-pay using cloud EDI solutions by integrating with other business systems and applications with ease.

3. End-to-end Visibility: As retail and manufacturing enterprises expand their business into global markets, having thorough visibility across all their trading partners and partner communications becomes critical. According to a recent study by Deloitte, 65% of procurement leaders have limited or no visibility beyond their tier 1 suppliers. Cloud EDI solutions can help enterprises to manage all the communications with trading partners centrally, offering superior end-to-end visibility to all their partners and providing more effective management. Cloud EDI solutions help enterprises to track and monitor end-to-end activities of all B2B communications with intuitive dashboards and reporting capabilities.

4. Reduce Costs: According to Bain & Company research, retailers that integrate digital technologies into their supply chain rapidly improve service levels while cutting costs by up to 30%. Cloud EDI solutions help retail and manufacturing enterprises to reduce costs associated with maintaining legacy EDI solutions, software upgrades, and hardware. Storage costs are also reduced as enterprises have to only pay as per their usage and requirements.

5. Highly Secure and Scalable: Cloud EDI solutions ensure a high level of data security for all B2B communications. Retail and manufacturing enterprises can share data and files in a secured manner with their trading partners, which may use multiple communication protocols such as FTP, AS2, SFTP, etc. Cloud EDI also provides superior scalability features, which makes it popular among small as well as large retailers and manufacturers. Legacy EDI solutions cannot be scaled up quickly to meet the growing data and document flow from their trading partners and can be a major roadblock for business continuity. Cloud EDI solutions allow enterprises to increase or decrease storage as needed.

Cloud EDI Software: The Way Forward for Retail and Manufacturing

For retail and manufacturing to have an efficient supply chain and to manage their B2B communications, they need to transform themselves to efficiently meet the growing global trade demands by adopting cloud EDI solutions. Join us in a webinar titled “Adopting Cloud EDI: 8 Considerations for Retail and Manufacturing” on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 10 am PST | 1 pm EST where we discuss the eight things retailers and manufacturers must do to implement cloud EDI for complete end-to-end visibility into partner communications in real time. Register Now

First Published: Nov 30, 2020