The Best Strategy for Identifying EDI and B2B Integration Issues
and Automating Error Resolution
Intro to Integration Issues and Error Resolution
EDI technology has evolved tremendously from when it first hit the supply chain market in the 1960s. While the reason for companies implementing EDI technology has largely remained the same, the features, efficiency, visibility, and more have vastly improved.
As EDI technology continues to advance, companies are realizing their current B2B integration strategies are becoming outdated and hindering their performance. With new and increasing demands from trading partners, businesses are now in need of state-of-the-art technology to provide the best service possible. However, even though companies are cognizant that they may need to upgrade their EDI technology, they have valid concerns about switching providers. We will dive into these concerns later on.
The main reason companies are looking to make the switch to more advanced and efficient EDI technology is due to the rapid digital transformation that is happening around the globe. The eCommerce boom, along with customers’ increasingly high expectations for omnichannel fulfillment, highlight the shortcomings of traditional EDI solutions. A common complaint businesses have with their EDI technology is the number of errors their current systems produce. The majority of these errors could be prevented with better EDI solutions.
Top companies are now making error resolution a non-negotiable when shopping for new EDI and B2B integration solutions. This is because issues and errors in EDI technology can negatively impact a company's relationship with trading partners and their business. In this guide, we will call attention to today’s available technology and illuminate the current possibilities. Furthermore, we will help you identify what to look for when your company is researching and selecting a new integration platform.
Before deciding what technological solution your company should invest in, it will be highly beneficial to understand why these problems are occurring in the first place. Otherwise, your company may implement a new EDI system, only to find out that the new system does not address your concerns or demands. Therefore, we will first examine some of the most common root causes of integration errors. Afterward, we will explore how an ecosystem integration strategy and single-platform solution can help companies in logistics, manufacturing, distribution, retail, and other industries overcome them.
Continue reading to learn more about identifying EDI and B2B integration Issues and automating error resolution.
Root Causes and Problem Drivers
Integration errors have been around since EDI technology was first introduced. While there are a variety of integration errors, the majority originates from three main categories. These categories are trading partners, technology, and a company’s shortcomings. We cover each area in more depth below.
Common Types of Integration Errors and Their Causes
1. Trading Partners
When dealing with trading partners, there are a few common areas that tend to produce errors. This is because communicating and collaborating with an outside business adds additional layers of complexities.
Missing data is a frequent occurrence and can result in integration errors. When two companies are exchanging data, they may not share all the required information with each other. This could be for a few reasons including the EDI technology did not request the data or the EDI technology did not pull the data. Whatever the cause, an integration error can easily occur without all the necessary information. These errors hold up the process until the data is collected.
Having the wrong data can also cause integration errors. This can result in two common scenarios. The first is that the EDI transaction is halted because the system cannot move forward with the inaccurate information, thus causing delays in the transaction. The second scenario is that the EDI transaction continues with the wrong data, resulting in an unintended and wrong outcome. Both scenarios can lead to tension between a company and its trading partner since the EDI transaction was either delayed or incorrect.
Authentication and Certification Problems
Authentication and certification problems also arise when dealing with trading partners. There is a lengthy list of reasons why a user may receive an authentication or certification error, including an unsigned NDA (non-disclosure agreement) being returned, the certificate specified does not match the signature, and not being able to verify the signer's identity.
Another frequent reason is connectivity issues. This often happens when onboarding a new trading partner, since both parties need to set up connections to communicate. If one or both of the parties provide inaccurate information during the onboarding setup, the two parties will not be able to connect to each other which will prohibit them from performing EDI transactions, once again impeding the course of business.
2. Your Technology
Technology has been changing the trajectory of life and business for thousands of years, as it ushers in new possibilities, efficiencies, and methods of performing actions. Technology can also create issues though if not set up or maintained properly.
EDI mapping is a process of translating EDI into a different format that is better used in a new technical environment, such as an ERP system. Setting up EDI mapping can result in errors since there are multiple sequential steps in the process. So if one aspect is set up incorrectly, the EDI transaction will not be completed since the process cannot continue. Errors with EDI mapping commonly appear when onboarding a new customer. This is because a company may need to create a new map from scratch to accommodate the new customer’s needs.
Platform Uptime and Availability Errors
As with most technology, B2B integration platforms may occasionally experience downtime. However, certain technologies may be more vulnerable to downtime than others. Reasons for interrupted services include the age of the technology, quality, reliability, maintenance, compatibility, updates, and more.
In today’s fast-paced digital world, platform uptime is an integral aspect of doing business, something that often separates winners from losers. If a company is not able to maintain secure and reliable uptime, trading partners will not want to conduct business with the company. This is because it will negatively impact their business by slowing down and delaying their processes.
Outdated and Legacy Technology
Technology evolves daily at astonishing rates, which is why companies oftentimes experience EDI and integration issues. Companies may be surprised to discover that their technology is outdated even if it has only been a few years since they implemented it. Staying up to date on the latest technology trends and offerings requires a lot of consistent research.
Moreso, there is the aspect of legacy technology. Legacy technology is not always able to handle, engage, and communicate with the improved technology available today. Legacy technology frequently creates issues when trying to interact with newer technologies since they two were never intended to work together. There is also the occurrence of latency issues when dealing with older technology. So on top of creating EDI and integration issues, outdated and legacy technology is usually far less efficient – and more costly to maintain -- than newer technology.
Lack of Consolidated Data and Views (visibility limitation)
Over the past few years, companies globally have become obsessed with collecting data to influence decision-making. One dilemma that companies repeatedly run into is that simply gathering data is not helpful. Oftentimes the voluminous collected data is not organized, hard to access, and complicated to understand. This makes it hard to analyze and make decisions with the data since it is not set up intuitively. Furthermore, B2B integration and EDI services often provide limited access to data and insights, making it difficult for companies to assess performance.
Managed service providers typically offer ‘black box’ approaches, meaning their services do not support transparency and collaboration. This means that customers must trust and be dependent on external vendors to perform EDI transactions on their behalf and communicate pertinent information. In addition to errors and delays, customers of managed service providers frequently experience:
● Lack of Visibility and Control: Customers have limited access to data, business insights, performance, and services
● Limited Connectivity: Managed services are not equipped to handle the evolving demand for APIs and application connectors such as ERP, TMS, CRM, etc.
● Breach of Trust: Customers are locked into contracts with black box vendors, where they lack transparency into the services the vendors are providing, jeopardizing a company’s business relationships
Homegrown and Custom
Some companies go the build-it-yourself or custom route, where they create a platform to handle EDI transactions and B2B integrations. This is beneficial because businesses can create a platform tailored to their precise needs. However, various issues can arise with these solutions as well.
For starters, it is challenging to maintain and update these platforms since they are custom built and require unique skills to operate. Maintenance and updates almost always require a highly specialized team member with in-depth knowledge of the platform – often the person(s) who built it. This team member then needs the time, budget, and resources to continually update the platform to meet today’s growing list of demands. Additionally, errors can be difficult to fix and identify since they are unique, one-off issues that only pertain to one platform.
3. Your Company’s Shortcomings
Similar to people, it can be difficult for companies to identify and accept their own shortcomings. Yet these weaknesses can lead to a host of issues and errors regarding EDI and B2B integrations.
Too Many Manual Processes
In the past few years, automation has grown enormously in the B2B integration and EDI spaces. Today’s digital world prioritizes quick and accurate communication and action. Manual processes are still very common in companies that have not adapted to the world’s digital climate. These companies are likely also using outdated and legacy technology.
Companies that still utilize manual processes are hindering their performance by decreasing efficiency and increasing preventable, human-made errors. This negatively impacts a business’ relationship with its trading partners since today many business partners are investing in more sophisticated solutions and may demand better performance.
Having an in-house expert for a particular task(s) is extremely helpful. The problem arises when a business relies too heavily on one or a few people to complete necessary and critical tasks. For example, if an error arises and the key-person(s) are preoccupied with other tasks, are out-of-office, or are unreachable, the business faces a quandary. The company cannot remedy the issue which may prevent the entire business from operating, or at least a particular department or service. Relying on a sole individual or a small team as the “brain trust” for a particular area can produce detrimental impacts.
Lack of Skill Set
Conversely, having a team devoid of necessary skills can also be harmful. Having an absence of internal skills requires a business to outsource particular tasks and responsibilities to a managed service. This becomes an issue because managed service providers oftentimes do not provide in-depth insights and transparency into performance, data, processes, and operations. Therefore, companies have to instill large amounts of trust in their service provider. Additionally, the business is not able to examine and check the work of the managed service provider because they are not sure how the responsibilities should be completed in the first place.
EDI and APIs
Looking back at the three common root causes of integration errors -- trading partners, your technology, and your company’s shortcomings -- you may argue that companies have been encountering similar challenges for years. After all, EDI has been the most common integration standard for decades. However, today’s business context is vastly different than it used to be, plus it rapidly changes while new technologies are regularly brought to market.
The newer technologies have ushered in new methodologies and tools, meaning it is not just about EDIs anymore. There is a large emphasis and growing demand for APIs. More often than not though, businesses are now using a blend of EDI and API for optimal results. EDIs and APIs complement each other since each technology has its strengths and drawbacks.
Today, companies need to be able to confidently engage with every stakeholder within their business ecosystem. This requires leaders to analyze their business from the outside-in ecosystem-minded perspective of necessary end-to-end business processes, such as order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, and/or load-tender-to-invoice.
Fortunately for companies today, some platforms can now deliver API integration capabilities along with traditional EDI and robust orchestration and management. These combined features can power and govern a company’s business processes. Consumed via the cloud, these ‘as a service’ platforms represent the most viable option to ensure compliance, agility, and ecosystem expansion.
An EDI-based process is a bilateral relationship where a company works with an implementation guide to connect to its suppliers, distributors, logistics providers, or retailers, for example. It is optimal for maintaining and scaling existing relationships that are large or seasonal, such as grocery stores, food and beverage, consumer durables, and automotive parts. All these industries typically involve predictable, large-scale demand.
An API-based process is more unilateral since both parties have more agility. For example, a supplier can get into the Amazon platform by leveraging APIs while following clear specification guidelines from Amazon. The rules of engagement are clear, providing more agility to both parties. And as consumers today demand increasingly personalized experiences, the value of APIs becomes apparent.
The benefits that both EDIs and APIs provide reveal why companies are switching to platforms that can handle both technologies.
Charting the Emergence of a New Software Category
Since companies are recognizing the value of hybrid EDI and API platforms, some are attempting to create their own version. Companies are attempting to cobble together their legacy EDI translation system or a managed service with an API integration-based technology as a workaround.
Such attempts are fundamentally flawed. This is because they are approaching integration technology ‘bottoms up,’ rather than the ‘top down’ business-process-driven way enabled by an ecosystem integration platform strategy. This is because the legacy EDI platform and the API technology were not built to work in unison.
Companies need platforms built specifically to combine the two technologies to yield successful results. Unifying developments around EDI and API for B2B integration manifest in platforms that can choreograph B2B processes and integrations with full data orchestration. These platforms are commonly known as ecosystem integration platforms.
Ecosystem integration platforms are rapidly becoming a core tool in managing entire ecosystems and accelerating both eCommerce and omnichannel fulfillment in the era of digital business and cloud technology. They are also proving exceedingly helpful in identifying issues and resolving errors in real-time. For instance, a manufacturer needs an ecosystem integration platform to…
1) Conduct drop-shipping on Walmart.com with APIs
2) Conduct a traditional delivery process to Walmart stores via EDI
3) And be able to view both in real-time, together
Without it, they would have no real-time view and would be forced to cobble together a fix after the fact, completely losing the ability to dynamically impact customer experiences. This is all to say, for best results companies should look for an ecosystem integration platform rather than piecing together an EDI platform and API technology themselves.
Business Issues Caused by Not Solving the Technology Problem
Ignoring or not fixing a problem completely, usually results in more issues arising. This is especially true in the technology sector, as technology is linked to various processes, operations, systems, and platforms. That is why it is vital for companies to quickly address and solve any errors that appear, including ones in the realm of EDI and B2B integration.
5 Problems and Pitfalls of Out-of-Control Integration Errors
Out-of-control integration errors lead to problems. These problems can originate from a company’s trading partners, its technology, or its own company. Either way, the business impact can be severe. Common problems include:
1. Lost Revenue
The central goal for most businesses is to make money. Integration errors can and will eat into a company’s profits. This can be attributed to a few reasons. The first is that the errors can halt a business’ operations. If operations stop, that means the company is not going to get paid since it is no longer providing goods or services.
Another reason is that the errors may lead to incorrect data or information being transferred, thus producing incorrect services or product orders. This will incur wasted shipping and/or production costs. With eCommerce already creating slimmer profit margins, losing revenue because of integration errors can severely damage a business.
2. Damaged Relationships
Integration errors put a strain on business relationships because they impact trading partners. This could be because the errors result in trading partners receiving delayed products or services, slower response times, incorrect deliveries or services, etc. Once a business relationship is tarnished, it is much harder to earn back their trust; especially if the errors occur regularly. It is always best to be proactive against integration errors to avoid tarnishing professional relationships.
3. Chargebacks and Fees
Nobody likes fees. Integration errors often lead to chargebacks and fees though. EDI chargebacks are financial penalties for non-compliance with your trading partner’s contractual requirements. Trading partners issue EDI chargebacks because of vendor non-compliance with agreed-upon elements of the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Because vendor non-compliance disrupts operations and creates additional expenses for the trading partner, the customer offsets those additional costs by issuing EDI chargebacks to the vendor. For example, if a company is late with a delivery, packages are incorrectly labeled, or a shipment is damaged or incomplete, the company will likely receive an EDI chargeback.
These chargebacks and fees add up. According to a survey asking companies how much annual revenue was lost in 2020 due to EDI non-compliance, 54% of respondents said they lost more than $100,000, while 10% claiming they lost $1 million or more. Lost revenue due to EDI non-compliance is increasing, as companies across the board lost more revenue in 2020 than in 2019.
4. Lost and Wasted Time
As digitalization and eCommerce experience tremendous growth, business is being conducted at unprecedented speeds. In a world where efficiency reigns supreme, integration errors cause companies to lose and waste time since they will not be operating, or will be providing incorrect products or services. Lost time cuts into a company’s revenue since they cannot charge customers for the lost or wasted time. Lost and wasted time can also lead to chargebacks and fees since the correct services will not be delivered on time, which in return will also lead to damaged relationships with a company’s trading partners.
5. Eligibility Preferences
Similar to damaged relationships, businesses can also lose eligibility preferences with their trading partners. Eligibility preferences can take form in a few different ways. For example, a company may be disqualified from being an Amazon Prime partner if its integration errors are disrupting Amazon’s business. Additionally, integration errors could result in a company having its status demoted in a partner’s ecosystem due to unreliability.
The impacts of integration errors expand past these five common outcomes. That’s why companies need a business process-driven approach and a platform that can blend traditional and modern technology to accommodate every integration scenario. Otherwise, integration errors will persist and the slow resolution times will put a company’s business at risk.
5 Features to Look for in a Solution
Now that we’ve covered integration errors and the issues that can stem from them, we can move on to discussing some of the available solutions. As previously mentioned, the best solutions currently available are ecosystem integration platforms. However, not all platforms are created equal, with some offering much more innovative and feature-rich solutions.
When it comes to researching solutions and ecosystem integration platforms, the five key features to look for include:
● Persona-based dashboards
● Ability to pinpoint specific issues (track and search)
● Direct collaboration (share tickets with ecosystem partners and/or internally)
● Auditability (time stamps)
● SLA management
We explore each feature in greater depth below.
1 . Persona-Based Dashboards
Dashboards are an extremely helpful reporting tool that gather key data in a central location for quick analysis. Dashboards are great for all levels of employees in an organization since it helps team members across different functions to get a quick snapshot of critical information in a format that’s meaningful to them. However, the same information is not relevant to all employees. Dashboards that share the same information with everyone require each user to search for the information they need, defeating the purpose of the quick analysis.
Persona-based dashboards have addressed this issue. Persona-based dashboards allow users to build custom dashboard displays for each employee level, department, or individual. For example, a company’s marketing team will need to look at different data than the solutions architect team. The company can then create custom dashboards for each department so the aggregated data applies to the respective teams.
2. Pinpointing Specific Issues
Having an ecosystem integration platform that notifies users when there is an error is essential. So is being able to pinpoint where in the platform or process the issue is occurring. After all, what good is knowing there is an error if you do not know where it is happening or how to find it? That would make it highly difficult to solve the error.
That is why being able to pinpoint the location of an error is critical. Platforms with pinpointing abilities offer solutions to this issue. Some will notify users exactly where an error is occurring and why. Additionally, some platforms also provide users the ability to track errors, as well as search and monitor for errors. This provides users with in-depth visibility into the EDI transaction processes, as well as greater control over timelines and operations.
3. Direct Collaboration
Collaboration is a key aspect of business. Since ecosystem integration platforms interact with internal and external parties, collaboration abilities should be built into the system. Being able to liaise directly with customers and partners within an ecosystem integration platform helps organize all communication activity in a central location. For example, direct collaboration allows a company to share tickets with an ecosystem partner or internally. This keeps all relevant information together, making it easier to keep track of responses.
Another aspect to look for in an ecosystem integration platform is auditability. Auditability is the ability to capture and view the chronological record of a transaction or process, which may include the communication, time stamps, payment method, and other pertinent details. This is essential for companies because it creates an organized ledger and digital paper trail of vital information. Companies can use the auditability as a source of truth since the platform will keep an accurate historical record of all events, actions, and details of transactions.
5. SLA Management
SLAs (service level agreements) are essentially written contracts that codify the mutual expectations in a business partner relationship. They also define metrics by which service is measured and spell out penalties for under-performance. Generally speaking, the reason SLAs are important is because of the information they contain—essentially the agreed-upon terms that set the parameters of a business relationship. SLAs are unique to every relationship and can be quite different from one industry to another.
SLAs are ‘living’ documents, meaning the agreements change. The involved parties need to meet project requirements as defined under the terms of the agreement. So what is SLA management? SLA management involves regularly revisiting and updating the SLA depending on evolving circumstances. Additionally, it means ensuring all provided services stipulated in the underlying contract are in alignment.
Having SLA management within an ecosystem integration platform keeps all agreements in a central location. This makes it easier for users to search and find the SLAs for each business partner. SLA management also helps companies automate, track, and measure the digital processes that key relationships depend on. That might mean ensuring billing processes work as expected and that the specifications of the system are clear, or it may be agreeing on how support tickets are prioritized.
Modern, innovative ecosystem integration platforms can accommodate all these capabilities and more in a single platform. Hence why they are rapidly becoming a core resource in managing entire ecosystems and accelerating commerce in the era of cloud and digital business. Moreso, ecosystem integration platforms are proving exceedingly helpful in identifying issues and resolving errors in real-time. The financial and functional value that an all-encompassing ecosystem integration platform provides cannot be overstated.
Benefits of Technical Integration Capabilities
Back in section three, we covered some of the business problems companies experience with technical integration capabilities. As a reminder, they are:
● Lost Revenue
● Damaged Relationships
● Chargebacks and Fees
● Lost and Wasted Time
● Losing Eligibility Preferences
These are major problems that can fully disrupt not only your business but your trading partners' businesses, as well as be damaging to valuable relationships. Disrupting your business is never good, but disrupting trading partners' businesses is a surefire way to ruin their trust, put future business at risk, and lose out on supportive word-of-mouth recommendations and positive reviews. To avoid these issues and outcomes, let’s explore how the technical integration capabilities can help companies overcome and avoid these business problems.
Fixing and preventing issues saves time for most stakeholders in an EDI transaction. Fixing issues saves time for a multitude of reasons. One example is that errors can simply slow or halt an entire business process. This impacts the company, an employee, and trading partners. Another reason is that if the incorrect products or services are provided to a trading partner due to an error in the platform, the company then has to redo the order. This equates to wasted time and resources.
There’s also the aspect that fixing errors takes time. An ecosystem integration platform that tells users where and what the issue is makes solving it much quicker. This is because the user will not have to root around the entire platform to figure out where and why the process is being interrupted. Additionally, a platform with fewer errors overall creates more time for employees to focus on other tasks. So instead of constantly working on fixing and maintaining errors, they can put their energy elsewhere.
One of the benefits of an ecosystem integration platform is having a central, well-connected hub that connects all business processes and systems involved. This allows companies to swiftly respond to supply chain errors, disturbances, trading partners, and market opportunities such as increased e-commerce buying and fulfillment.
So instead of having to log in to multiple platforms to monitor performance, communicate with stakeholders, assess analytics, resolve errors, etc., companies can implement an ecosystem Integration platform that allows them to operate out of one space. The connectivity of ecosystem integration platforms offers convenience, boosts efficiency, streamlines processes, and creates a united ecosystem.
A vendor scorecard is a critical tool that trading partners use to track and rate a company’s performance. The scorecards essentially grade companies in an assortment of areas. For example, companies may be graded on responsiveness, quality of product or service, on-time delivery, and acknowledgment rate. Ultimately a better scorecard leads to better relationships between companies and their trading partners.
Ecosystem integration platforms help companies maintain and improve their scorecard ratings in a few ways. First off, since errors are less likely to occur when utilizing an ecosystem integration platform, companies are more likely to deliver accurate products and services on time. Additionally, any errors that do occur will likely be resolved faster, since ecosystem integration platforms notify users when and where the issue is happening. Both scenarios reduce platform downtime which keeps business on schedule.
Moreso, ecosystem integration platforms improve response times since all trading partner communication flows through them. This simplifies communication by ensuring companies have a central location for sending and receiving messages. Lastly, it decreases the likelihood that a company misses a message or does not see a message for an extended period of time. Overall, an ecosystem integration platform is a great asset for improving trading partner relationships.
Businesses aim to make money, and the more money they make, the better. There are many reasons why implementing an ecosystem integration platform can increase a company’s revenue.
One reason is that fewer errors are occurring. Fewer errors generally equates to less platform downtime, which means the company is operating efficiently. Also, errors are oftentimes fixed quicker since the platform notifies users in real time and pinpoints where the issue is occurring, unlike other platforms that simply send an error notification and provide limited details. Furthermore, with faster response times, companies can secure more orders quicker. There is also the fact that ecosystem integration platforms boost overall efficiency and can improve vendor scorecards, which will help companies earn more business.
Visibility into business processes and data is essential for modern companies. Having the ability to explore processes allows companies to better monitor and manage operations. So if there is an error in one step in the process, companies can explore what is going on in greater depth, aiding them in resolving the issue quicker and preventing it from happening again.
Having visibility into data and metrics is also vital for businesses nowadays. This allows companies to monitor, analyze, and report on performance. The findings can then be used to improve and optimize the platform, processes, and services.
Greater Control Through Self-Service
Control over integration processes is essential for keeping businesses on track toward hitting specific goals and targets. Ecosystem integration platforms give control back to businesses by empowering them through a self-service approach.
Instead of having to rely on managed service providers, ecosystem integration platforms make it easier than ever for companies to implement a self-service approach. Companies can manage the entire platform and processes themselves with ease due to innovative features. Some features may include visibility and access to data and processes, error/issue notifications, centralizing communication, simplifying onboarding, pre-configured templates, prebuilt partner maps, and customizable business logic.
With an ecosystem integration platform, companies do not have to outsource to external parties for managed services. Instead, companies are in the pilot seat and can have greater control over timelines, error resolution, SLA compliance, and more. Improving these areas leads to greater efficiency and better relationships with trading partners.
Identify and Troubleshoot Problems Yourself
Troubleshooting problems externally is not always the most efficient process. This is because error resolution usually involves creating a ticket, submitting it to the external party, and waiting for the ticket to reach the top of the queue. There can be countless other tickets submitted before your request, which means it may take days or weeks for the item to be addressed and resolved.
That is why troubleshooting problems internally is oftentimes a better option. Ecosystem integration platforms can notify users if an issue arises, highlight what the issue is, and empower the user to fix the error themselves. The benefits include saving money by not having to outsource, avoiding waiting in a ticket queue, and decreasing error downtime.
As you can see, ecosystem integration platforms are essential for reducing the number of integration errors. The benefits that come from minimizing integration errors are abundant, as it saves time, improves business relationships, increases revenue, offers greater insight and control, and empowers companies.
Cleo Integration Cloud: Our Innovative and Advanced Solution
Now that we know what the benefits are of using available ecosystem integration systems to minimize and solve errors, you may be wondering what platforms are actually on the market. The leading ecosystem integration platform that features advanced and intuitive issue and error resolution is Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC).
Our Solution: Cleo Integration Cloud
Nothing jeopardizes customer, supplier, and trading partner interactions like poor exception management. Exception management is a proactive response to adjust supply chain steps when the supply chain is delayed or impacted. Exception management helps ensure SLAs are met even with an impacted supply chain.
Thankfully, the Cleo Integration Cloud Platform has all the capabilities your company needs for rapid issue resolution, bringing an added layer of security to your business. Cleo gives you the power to proactively address any EDI services or application issue, all while ensuring critical SLAs are always met.
“Our costs and efficiencies have resulted in an average ROI of $5,000 a month, and having direct access to the map and communication means we spend less time troubleshooting EDI issues. Client satisfaction has also increased, as there are fewer problems with our in-house EDI connections, and our time to resolve and respond to our customers when issues arise has decreased by at least 60 percent,” said Terri Sandine, Manager of Application Development for Mohawk Global Logistics.
With Cleo, you get an immediate window into how each of your partners is impacting your business. CIC will help you and your team by:
● Revealing and notifying users when and where there is an error or issue within a transaction. This helps your team quickly pinpoint the area of concern so they can swiftly resolve the situation.
● Flagging, tracking, and searching issues by a specific partner or issue ID. Cleo makes it easy to track issues with real-time alerts, so you always know the status and progress of issues you care about...or collaborate directly to escalate or resolve support cases a lot faster.
● Uncovering actionable business insights by seeing where and when issues occur. This pinpoints the exact source of the problem, so you can immediately assess the impact on revenue and inventory.
● Eliminating blind spots that could lead to miscommunications or slowdowns.
● Increasing agility and control by resending and reprocessing messages, while improving visibility by sharing tickets with any team members or ecosystem partners.
All these error resolution benefits from CIC will help your company reduce errors and the length of time it takes to fix them. In return, this will also reduce and minimize lost revenue, damaged relationships, chargebacks and fees, lost and wasted time, and losing eligibility preferences.
How Does Error Resolution Work with CIC Cockpit with RADAR?
CIC proactively addresses and mitigates error resolution which is crucial for businesses of all sizes and industries. But how does it work exactly? We explore the platform in more depth below, highlighting common error examples and how CIC helps resolve them.
Exploring CIC Cockpit with RADAR
When a user logs into CIC Cockpit with RADAR, they will first be presented with an overview dashboard of every document and integration flow going through CIC. Users can visually manage purchase orders, advanced ship notices, acknowledgments, and any issues regarding B2B transactions.
When a user clicks on the messages tab, it will bring up all the individual messages being managed by CIC. Then users can select a specific message to see the full chain of business processes, from the purchase order to remittance advice. CIC Cockpit accumulates the individual transactions of your business process and presents them in a single and easy-to-view format. When looking at the messages between your company and a trading partner, CIC will highlight which step in the process an error occurred.
Setting Up SLA Notifications
Users can mitigate SLA compliance failures by easily setting up custom parameters and notifications. Users simply have to go into the platform and select the trading partner that they want to create in-platform notifications for. Once they select the trading partner, they can select the SLA button which will prompt the user with a few steps including:
● Selecting the document type you expect to receive
● Selecting the document type you expect to send
● Inputting how long your company has to respond to the trading partner until the SLA is violated
● Selecting if you want to be notified of at-risk SLAs
The last bullet point is a standout feature in CIC Cockpit with RADAR. Selecting to be notified of at-risk SLAs allows users to proactively remedy issues and errors before an SLA is missed. For example, a company can set up in-platform notifications to be sent when an SLA is in jeopardy of being violated. This allows companies to fix the error before the SLA is missed, ensuring both parties are happy.
Additionally, individual users can receive real-time email notifications of both SLA violations and at-risk SLA violations. All users have to do is go to their profile and perform a few simple clicks. Once completed, users will receive email notifications with specific details. The email will link directly to the CIC Cockpit for quick error resolution.
As demonstrated, it only takes a few simple steps to set up alerts and notifications. This single feature within CIC Cockpit with RADAR can have a tremendously positive impact on companies, as it helps ensure your team never misses an SLA.
CIC Cockpit with RADAR was built with visibility at the forefront. Users need to be able to quickly find and review key pieces of data so they can monitor performance. The notification system helps companies reduce expensive fees from SLA violations, maintain and improve their vendor scorecards and relationships by flagging issues instantaneously, and minimizes system downtime. RADAR provides even greater control and visibility to your business.
CIC Cockpit with Radar vs Competitors
Cleo takes great pride in our proactive error notifications and visibility. It is also one of the main differentiators between CIC and other EDI providers. Most EDI providers do not offer the same level of visibility into errors nor do they offer custom notification creation.
Issue and error resolution is a key component of a successful ecosystem integration system. Without solid features to address errors in the platform, companies will experience a slew of negative consequences that will impact their business and their trading partners’ businesses.
When looking at some solutions from Cleo competitors, you will notice that all issue and error notifications are not created equally. For example, some providers only produce alerts if an SLA is missed. Notifying users of an error after an SLA is missed is not the most helpful. This is because it is too late to remedy the situation before an SLA is violated. Therefore negatively impacting the business' vendor scorecard.
Additionally, other platforms may only offer in-platform notifications and do not provide the option for email alerts. This is not ideal because it requires a user to be in the platform to recognize an issue. Users are likely not waiting in the platform for an error to arise, but rather completing other job responsibilities that are performed in various other platforms, websites, etc. A user will not see these in-platform notifications until they log in or check the platform which will likely lead to missed SLAs.
Lastly, most ecosystem integration platforms on the market do not pinpoint where an error is occurring. So if a platform informs a user there is an error, the user has to hunt down where in the transaction or process the error transpired. This wastes critical time where the user could be fixing the error before the SLA is missed.
“Steel Technologies gained the EDI solution we’ve been wanting for a long time. It’s a secure, end-to-end solution that provides automation, data orchestration, and file movement on a single platform. We’re no longer in the dark on reporting and audit trail capabilities, and proactive alerts and notifications will help us better serve our customers.” said Mike Hoben, Senior Software Engineer, at Steel Technologies.
CIC Cockpit with Radar
With CIC, users can create custom alerts for each individual trading partner. Since each trading partner will have a different SLA, setting custom alerts allows for a personalized and detailed system of managing all SLA orders. Users are able to customize alerts based on…
● How long a company has to respond to the trading partner until the SLA is violated
● Selecting if users should be notified of at-risk SLAs—meaning an alert will be sent out when an SLA is in jeopardy of being missed
● Setting of email notifications for missed and at-risk SLAs
Allowing users to implement notifications for at-risk SLAs is crucial for businesses. Furthermore, pairing at-risk SLA notifications with email notifications is an essential tool in ensuring that SLAs are never missed. Combining these two features helps businesses address many of the key issues they face with B2B integrations and EDI transactions. This includes helping companies maintain good relationships with trading partners and increasing revenue due to fewer missed SLAs. Additionally, errors are fixed more quickly since users are notified of issues in real-time and are informed where the errors are occurring in the processes.
CIC Cockpit with Radar has key advantages over competitors. The ability to create custom notifications gives your company control over EDI transactions so you can capture as much revenue as possible while maintaining great relationships with business partners.
Cleo understands the vitality of issue and error resolution for companies within the EDI space. That is why we built an ecosystem integration platform that proactively identifies and notifies users when and where an issue occurred. This enables businesses to resolve issues before they impact a transaction and compromise SLAs. For a brief visual overview of Cleo’s rapid issue resolution, watch our video here.
There are key takeaways to remember. These include common business problems companies experience with technical integration capabilities, such as…
● Lost Revenue
● Damaged Relationships
● Chargebacks and Fees
● Lost and Wasted Time
● Losing Eligibility Preferences
Cleo addresses each of the above problems with CIC Cockpit with RADAR. Our ecosystem integration platform…
● Reveals and notifies users when and where there is an error or issue within a transaction
● Flags, tracks, and searches issues by a specific partner or issue ID
● Uncovers actionable business insights by seeing where and when issues occur
● Eliminates blind spots that could lead to miscommunications or slowdowns
● Increases agility and control by resending and reprocessing messages, while improving visibility by sharing tickets with any team members or ecosystem partners
More than 4,100 companies around the globe trust Cleo to handle their B2B integrations and EDI transactions. Cleo empowers our customers by offering unparalleled issue and error resolution measures, so they can secure more revenue, improve relationships with trading partners, and increase efficiency. Never miss an SLA again with the power of CIC Cockpit with RADAR technology.
Be sure to utilize this in-depth guide when searching for your next B2B integration and EDI provider. Re-take control of your business, by learning more about Cleo’s offerings, or by contacting us today.
Access an on-demand webinar that goes even further into error resolution & reprocessing. In this session, we’ll see some commonly failed transactions. Then, we’ll uncover actionable business insights by showing where and when issues occur. By pinpointing the exact source of a problem, you can immediately assess the impact on revenue and inventory. We will also demonstrate how easy it is to reprocess messages right from CIC Cockpit.Watch the Webinar