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Warehouse
April 6, 2023

The Business Benefits of True EDI ERP Integration

A business mainstay, EDI is an electronic process for exchanging transactional business information in a standard format. For its business efficiencies alone, EDI is vital, a requirement for doing business in many industries like retail. Technology advances, greater volumes of B2B transactional business data and compliance are among the factors that make how an enterprise integrates its EDI with its systems critical to company performance.

EDI is a commonality to most core business systems. Essential business data must automatically flow between front-end EDI solutions and back-end systems as core business systems of record—notably ERP systems. ERP systems have become increasingly powerful with greater functionality to incorporate huge databases, across geographies, which increases data complexity.

Over the decades, ERP systems have also evolved to support and communicate with many other core business systems such as WMS, order management systems, e-commerce systems, CRM, HR and procurement systems.

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Integrating the B2B ecosystem

As a result, the integration of EDI communication software (and the essential business data that EDI transactions contain) with core business systems must be seamless and enable business users to access and use the appropriate data in the core business system on a near real-time or real-time basis.

In 2023 and beyond, the standard for integrating core EDI communications functionality with core business systems, a type of “ecosystem integration,” is accomplished via a B2B integration platform—a key foundation of the B2B ecosystem where EDI exchanges take place.

Many of today’s enterprises are choosing to connect their B2B systems on B2B integration gateway or platform in order to facilitate smooth EDI B2B messaging across systems and trade networks. These advanced platforms link B2B operations and EDI operations across the enterprise and enable connections with trading partners. Companies that turn to a major purpose-built B2B EDI platform, such as Generix Group’s TradeXpress Infinity B2B integration platform, see both business and IT benefits.

Without true integration among systems, non-integrated EDI often stands on its own with connections to external partners but requires error-prone manual data entry into ERP and other core business systems which bogs down operating efficiencies.

Ecosystem integration on B2B integration platforms has become a best practice of sorts because it bypasses the need for extensive custom integrations from ERP software providers or other B2B core solution providers. Offering agility and flexibility, TradeXpress Infinity is supported by hundreds of different connectors across various types of EDI value-added networks (VANs); ERP, CRM and e-commerce systems; databases; and security protocols, among other features.

Benefits of an integrated B2B EDI ecosystem

The benefits of EDI are well documented and include cost savings, reduced fraud, and the reduction of errors from manual data entry, among others. But broader B2B integration platforms take EDI to the next level when B2B data is more easily shared and integrated across systems.

As a central hub, B2B EDI integration platforms connect the flow of external transactions with trading partners (such as suppliers, 3PLs and customers) to internal core business systems, bringing overall business efficiencies from greater transparency, accuracy and speed of transactional-related information.

This means time-consuming and error prone data entry is greatly reduced or eliminated. Business users, whether customer-facing or supplier-facing and other managers, can concentrate on managing exceptions and problem solving.

For example, in transportation and logistics, supply chain managers can work to prevent delayed or incomplete shipments, avoiding on-time in-full (OTIF) chargebacks. Warehouse and product managers can avoid excessive stock-outs when e-commerce and retail orders, for example, are quickly updated at the SKU level to the inventory management and warehouse functions.

Business becomes elevated and a higher level of multi-enterprise collaboration is possible. To be sure, EDI is a means to an end and an established way of communicating business data in a structured format to be interpreted and used by both parties in the exchange.

The Generix B2B EDI TradeXpress Infinity integration platform and EDI Services are used in more than 40 countries worldwide by many leading companies. For more on Generix EDI Services, download our product sheet.

 

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