Heck yes! But, what exactly is EDI? Firstly, it stands for Electronic Data Interchange; it means transferring (sending and receiving of) data between two systems via a standardised message format. Most people think EDI is just to do with receiving a PO (purchase order) from a customer and then sending a SO (sales order) back. However, some of our EDI implementations have also involved interfacing to third-party logistics (3PL) warehouses, web stores and other standalone systems.

How much double-entry are you doing? If the answer is: “enough to make me hate my job”, then we can help.

At first you might think that you don’t need EDI. But let me ask you this – how many separate pieces of software do you use in a day (excluding Microsoft Office)? Do you have a separate system for Payroll, Freight, Purchasing, Production, and Warehousing etc; how much double-entry are you doing? If the answer is: “enough to make me hate my job”, then we can help.

The benefits of undertaking an EDI implementation can be massive. It is a well known fact that a computer can enter a sales order faster than a human; this is a definite increase in efficiency. If time is a constant and your speed is doubled, you will travel double the distance. In other words, entering orders faster means you can handle more orders, increasing your customer base and revenue. More revenue and less overheads? It’s like Christmas has come early. This is just one example of what an EDI solution is capable of. In every case, the aim is to make your processes more efficient by stopping superfluous data entry, allowing your staff to focus on more important things – other than making coffee and gossiping about other staff when they’ve taken ‘sick’ leave.

There’s also something in the works at Fenwick Software. Our current EDI clients that exchange data with companies like Woolworths and Coles will be well aware that they are paying for an EDI VAN (Value-Added Network) to translate EDI files into a specific format and sending them securely across the internet. We are currently exploring the possibility of creating our own VAN so we can simplify everything and reduce costs, for both the initial implementation and ongoing.

Stay tuned…

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Written By Sam Kosky

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