As global logistics evolves and grows more complicated, achieving business control is an undeniable need for logistics companies. Processing loads, response to load tenders, BOLs, invoices, and other types of documents can all be streamlined through EDI integration. Partners within an ecosystem use a variety of syntaxes (XML, JSON, HIPAA, and NS) and communication protocols (SFTP, FTP, AS2).
Fortunately, a modern EDI solution can enable all partners in the ecosystem to exchange business critical documents. Thus, avoiding some of the most common logistics integration challenges. If your transportation or logistics business is considering EDI implementation or migration, check out the five benefits below on how the technology can make you competitive and provide supply chain control.
1) Greater Reputation & Customer Satisfaction
Logistics companies need to respond to load tenders from shippers quickly, or else they run the risk of losing business. This can damage reputation. If they do not promptly send a load tender response, the shipper may offer the load to another 3PL, carrier, or freight broker. In a competitive landscape such as the logistics industry, it is critical to be the brand customers can count on.
EDI integration enables logistics providers to automate communication with shippers so they can reply near-instantaneously, instead of having to rely on a human to manually respond. Carriers and logistics companies often integrate their EDI system with their TMS so they can assess how much room they have in a truck before they send a load tender response.
This can give businesses competing in a market that is getting more complex and competitive a much-needed edge. Additionally, it might aid in securing first sales and, over time, develop a devoted customer base.
Additionally, EDI's ability to automate essential procedures can be advantageous to companies that are at capacity. By using EDI, logistics organizations can witness a decrease in the amount of customers looking for customer service solutions, which in many cases lessens the stress on staff that are already overworked.
As a result, the overall process of getting products to their destination is shortened since there are limited delays in communication between the two parties as orders are processed 24/7.
2) Minimize Manual Tasks
Logistics companies handle a tremendous amount of time-sensitive data and messages. Therefore, it is not uncommon for errors to occur when manually processing all this information; especially since humans are highly susceptible to mistakes, mistypes, misreads, entering information in the wrong field, sending information to the wrong recipient, missing an email, etc. All of these scenarios can cause or add to supply chain issues which oftentimes lead to fees and vendor scorecard penalties.
EDI solutions based on automated procedures also minimize workloads, by removing the need for manual labor and paperwork, both of which can be troublesome in the current logistics sector.
This can hugely streamline logistical processes and help with issues like delivery delays, disjointed communications, and rising expenses for non-negotiable components like transportation.
In addition to allowing overworked team members to concentrate on higher-value tasks like customer acquisition and retention, EDI implementation can offer a wide range of operational advantages in international supply chains. Consisting of and not limited to:
- Rapid deliveries
- Improved trading relationships
- Continual order processing
- Extensive support
- Reduced labor expenses
Fewer errors equate to faster processing times, better business relationships, and fewer fees.
3) Provide Partners With Real-Time Updates
Partners and customers expect consistent updates on orders and order tracking. This demand is growing in popularity, meaning logistics companies need the appropriate technology to accommodate.
EDI integration allows visibility not just into processes, but also the integrations within those processes. Logistics companies can send automatic updates to partners and customers along every step of the shipping process. For example, partners may expect location updates once the load is picked up from the manufacturer, during the truck’s journey to the drop-off destination, and once the load has been dropped off. Furthermore, if the shipment contains frozen food items, partners may even request updates on the truck’s cargo bed temperature to ensure the food does not spoil. The right EDI solution will automate these acknowledgements.
4) Seamlessly Scale Your Business
As the world becomes more digital, business is moving at a much faster rate. This has caused organizations to invest in technology and automation to streamline processes and improve efficiency. Businesses are finding EDI to be an important part of that picture. Key reasons include:
- Enhanced data integration capabilities
- Automation of business processes
- Improved planning
- Increased security and protection
- Boosted customer satisfaction
Oftentimes, larger organizations such as Walmart (a simple example) require their partners to meet certain EDI requirements to do business. This encourages businesses to modernize their processes to become EDI compliant.
Businesses will not only become more efficient with the implementation of EDI integration, but it will also open up more business opportunities with larger organizations. This focus on the future ensures that businesses stay at the forefront of their respective industries. And to never again run the danger of losing money due to ancient business procedures that are simply out of touch with the current state of logistics. Together, these factors help minimize the obstacles of business expansion and make EDI an increasingly wise financial decision.
5) Take Control of Your Supply Chain and Operations
With lingering disruptions that have challenged supply chains over the past few years, logistics companies are seeking solutions that increase their control and visibility across supply chains and operations. Harnessing EDI integration is a primary method of achieving level of control. Taking advantage of:
- Automating partner communications
- Automating critical business process
- Quickly onboarding partners on a tight schedule
- Complete visibility into issues before they become errors
- Real-time data with adaptable solutions for complex ecosystems
These are just some of the key features offering control and governance to logistics companies, so they can shift their operations, processes, strategies, etc. at a moment’s notice. Allowing the control to never miss another business commitment.
EDI’s role in logistics is irrefutable. Automation and reduced errors have proven to transform supplier relationships, especially in a time of supply chain uncertainty.
Integration platforms have a growing recognition for creating transparent and seamless digital ecosystems that provide businesses with the supply chain control they want and need.
To learn more about how Cleo can guarantee that your logistics procedures are always current, get in touch with us.