Electronic data interchange has been used successfully for decades in many industries, and its applicability continues to grow. In the following sections, we discuss the many use cases and impact of EDI.
EDI Use Across Industries
EDI, a digital ‘language’ that allows two or more computer systems to send and receive documentation in near-real time, has changed the face of numerous sectors since its introduction in the 1960s. Its versatility and scalability makes it a fit for organizations of all sizes, and the efficiencies it provides make business processes faster, easier and more accurate. Below, we detail the impact of EDI on specific sectors.
Tech is one of the fastest-changing industries in the world. Because it can take into account market changes, fluctuations in global product appeal and seasonal ups and downs, EDI has the agility to help businesses in the technology sector ensure that their offerings best match consumer demand.
Technology companies often have highly complex supply-chain structures. This fact, coupled with the constant change in trends in the tech sector, means that businesses in it need to be highly agile in order to succeed. EDI can give them this agility so they and their trading partners can adapt as needed without losing speed.
In the high-tech sector in particular, many entities rely on outsourcing for design and manufacturing. Being able to quickly exchange documentation with minimal human intervention across such a fast-moving, complicated supply and demand chain goes a long way toward smoothing the running of operations.
As a global industry, technology requires processes that are easy to understand across borders and cultures. The number of international partners with which technology companies interact is sizable and only set to grow in the future, so an EDI solution that helps companies deliver the best possible customer service will continue to be crucial.
Manufacturing and Automotive
The manufacturing and automotive sectors rely heavily on quick processing to meet their consumer needs. Across business’ digital ecosystems EDI has become the standard for effective communication, from purchase order and invoices, to shipment notices and other documentation.
Manufacturers depend on the automation of EDI to streamline their communication with trading partners, particularly new trading partners they are in the process of integrating. The streamlined communication allows companies to keep their standards high worldwide.
One of the most frequently used documents in the automotive and manufacturing sectors is the purchase order. This document lists all items ordered in a transaction as well as the quantities of items ordered. Wth EDI, automotive companies and other manufacturers can automate their systems so they can get quick, easy visibility into orders, order changes and inventory.
Because it automatically performs various documentation-related tasks, EDI frees up personnel so manufacturing firms can focus on innovation, quality control and customer service–and leave the tedious, time-consuming work to software.
Because it deals constantly in sensitive data, the financial services sector is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world. Printing and handling paper documents containing sensitive facts and figures is far riskier than going digital and using EDI, the protocols of which are inherently secure. And paper-based financial documentation can be costly in another way: it requires physical storage space, pricing for which can add up quickly.
Then there’s the matter of accuracy, which is a crucial characteristic of any system in the financial services industry. Human-performed processes are error-prone. EDI’s automation eliminates much of the need for manually done tasks, and thus, eliminates the majority of the mistakes made.
EDI use in financial services also ensures consistency in the format of critical documentation. Given the variety of file formats used throughout the world, creating consistent documentation can pose a significant problem. EDI helps implement standardized file formats internationally, making the sending and receiving of payments easier for all involved parties.
Retail and Food Services
In the years since the global pandemic, many retailers and food-service businesses have adapted their businesses. Most have had to move into the e-commerce space, if they weren’t already involved in it, either through selling wares or offering online food ordering. In fact, some 64% of retail companies had to adapt their supply chains owing to COVID-19, according to retail analytics company RetailNext.
Employing EDI software gave those retailers and food-service companies that had to pivot during the pandemic the flexibility to make the change to e-commerce and survive (and in many cases, even thrive). With EDI, they were able to turn on automatic reordering of stocks and get anytime-anywhere visibility into inventory levels.
This gave suppliers greater inventory control, leading to less concern on the part of retail companies over the possibility of being overstocked. For food-service businesses, the adoption of EDI meant more accurate inventory checking, so they could order just what they needed and waste less (in both money and food).
In healthcare, EDI is on track for a meteoric rise in the coming years. In the next decade, it’s set to experience a compound annual growth rate of 11.45%, according to Quince Market Insights.
The impact of EDI on the healthcare field is enormous. Every day, healthcare companies handle large volumes of paperwork, including insurance claims, reimbursement records and patient data. A platform that eliminates the need for paper when it comes to sending and receiving these documents slashes the manual workload of employees. It ups the accuracy of the information transmitted, protects the data’s security and saves time and work for healthcare workers, including providers and payers, pharmacists and pharmacy workers. Because of this spared time, EDI in healthcare also saves organizations money.
EDI, across industries, will continue to change the way businesses everywhere function. From the costly personnel hours it saves, to the greater accuracy it affords, to the streamlined operations that invariably follow its implementation at any organization, EDI will continue to be a must-have for all.
Are you ready to take the leap and adopt EDI? Find out. Contact Remedi today and get a get a Complimentary Integration/EDI Assessment.