If you’re considering adding an electronic data interchange service to your business’ fulfillment arm, it’s a good idea to look at it from all angles.
After all, an in-house EDI system can be costly, but if you feel like you have the right market to use one to its potential, you could really improve your company’s bottom line. Moving into a business-to-business (B2B) operation with EDI is a big leap from retail, but if you understand what EDI can do, it can help make the decision easier.
Why EDI Matters for B2B Companies
Although regular retail customers are more than happy to order one or two things at a time with your shopping cart, that’s not how bigger businesses do things.
EDI is the language of business to business, but many small- to medium-sized companies are still hesitant to adopt the technology. Installing an in-house system might not be in the budget, but chances are good that your current fulfillment house offers EDI services for just a little more than you’re paying now.
Adding EDI to your fulfillment process not only shows that your company is maturing, it matters for reasons like:
- Increased opportunities. Whether you’re ordering 1,000 pieces from a supplier or selling 10,000 to another company, having access to EDI means you have the opportunity to work with a wider range of businesses.
This might spell more orders from international companies, cheaper wholesale prices from suppliers or even the ability to custom-order products from manufacturers like never before. EDI is opportunity for growing businesses, plain and simple.
- Improved accuracy on large orders. Order processing on large invoices can be tricky, especially if your employees are taking orders by hand. Transcription errors are common, potentially creating a massive and costly fulfillment disaster if you accidentally send far too many of the wrong product to a customer.
With EDI, the order goes directly from one system to the other, without anyone in between to introduce errors. Whether you’re the sender or receiver you can rest assured that your invoices will be 100 percent accurate.
- Making massive order volumes possible. You may have never considered the possibility of becoming a wholesaler, but if you have a product that other companies would like to carry, it can really increase your business to branch out.
An EDI system makes it easy to communicate and simple to request huge order volumes from your fulfillment house without a hitch. Everything can be handled electronically with EDI, from order fulfillment to payment and even reordering products that have been wildly popular.
What EDI means for your business is growth, maturity and bigger opportunities. Even though there may be a sunk cost initially for an in-house system, even this can most than pay for itself if you’re working hard to find B2B customers. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit, asking your 3PL about EDI services can be a great way to test out the waters to see if wholesaling is really right for your business.