What Retailers Need to Know About EDI Software

While electronic data interchange has been an essential tool for businesses across all industries, the retail sector has included some of the earliest adopters. Retail has changed and so have EDI solutions. 

A Brief History of Retail EDI 

Originally known as vendor-managed inventory or VMI, companies like Walmart and Procter & Gamble used this tool to keep costs low while expanding to new customers. As technology became more common in the retail sector, EDI software adapted to serve additional roles, helping streamline all types of B2B communications and data transfers. Today, EDI solutions are available in the cloud, making it easier for workers to access EDI services from their mobile devices while working in the field. 

Rapid Turnaround

In retail, it's important to keep goods moving. Commodities that don't get sold are wasting shelf space. In the grocery business and food service, not moving perishable goods fast enough is inexcusable. EDI helps to manage the exchange of information between companies and their suppliers, creating an efficient supply chain that benefits both sides. 

EDI software automates many manual processes for workers in the retail industry. Whether it's the creation of orders or similar procedures, these tasks can take days to turn around. These same tasks can be completed in less than an hour with EDI. That incredible turnaround time cuts costs by helping process orders faster and move goods faster. With no human involvement, any chance of human error is eliminated as well. This improved data accuracy helps ensure orders are correct, keeping customers and suppliers happy. Expensive resources can be focused on other tasks instead of competing redundant, time-consuming forms. 

Direct Store Delivery

Direct store delivery, or DSD , occurs when commodities are extremely time-sensitive. In order to get to the end user as fast as possible, these goods are shipped directly to the retail location by the supplier, instead of going through the retailer's warehouse. Naturally, this happens a lot when the goods are perishable. The EDI 882 transaction helps to remove bottlenecks and push these urgent orders through, so they can get to store shelves and customers quickly with no hassle. 

Efficient Resource Utilization

EDI transactions make it easier for retail management professionals to track the number of employees they have working on each process. By having this valuable snapshot of the every step along with the elimination of many repetitive non-value added tasks, retailers can make better use of their resources. Proper allocation of resources cuts down on waste, whether it's unused equipment, a surplus of products in the warehouse or inactive workers. 

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