Do you remember the days when business was run through computers that were disconnected? It’s certainly been a while, but that’s when EDI helped businesses exchange data to save time and cost of transmission.
EDI has continued to play a significant role over the last five (5) decades. However, over the last twenty (20) years there has been a major shift in the industry because of Internet technology:
- Computers are now seamlessly connected
- And data transmission cost is ZERO.
The only thing that has not changed is EDI. At this point, it just delays communication and increases your cost per order as a supplier.
Everybody wonders then: “Why are companies still using EDI?” The simple answer – resistance to change – AND denial of harsh realities. The fact is, many retail players are going out business – but not because of their product line—it’s because of antiquated technology and their inability to adapt.
The unrelenting pace of eCommerce and the proliferation of drop shipping is forcing retailers to rethink the use of such an outdated tool as the backbone of their business operations. They need technologies that work in real time that allow data to be transmitted from one system to another in seconds WITHOUT those expensive EDI Document fees for themselves and their suppliers. Progressive retailers such as Wayfair are already moving in this direction and others will follow.
As a supplier you know that all companies, large or small, that sell product on-line or for warehouse fulfillment to retailers and e-tailers eventually find themselves in a position where they need to rely on EDI to communicate with them. It’s a hassle, forcing many suppliers to employ individual(s) just to manage it and keep it accurate.
So, does EDI really have a sustainable future? Some experts are predicting as little as five (5) more years before it’s obsolete in its current form.
That means that, as a business, you have two options: You can continue as things are and possibly wait till it’s too late, or you can investigate OPAL.
OPAL (Order Processing and Logistics software) has already eliminated current EDI charges for communication with your retailers and 3PLs – AND already has the capability to provide this communication in the real-time method that retailers will be coming to expect.