EDI: Still Essential After All These Years

March 27, 2017 Charles Waltner

Chalkboard "EDI"


Back in 2011, Gartner analyst Benoit Lheureux wrote a blog post titled: “EDI is Hot, No, Really!”

That was probably stretching it then and six years later…well, let’s just say “hot” is perhaps overstating it. But there’s no overstating the continued importance of EDI to many businesses.

“Bottom line: EDI remains — and will remain for years to come — a high impact, valuable asset to business,” Lheureux wrote in his report. “… EDI is a well-established approach that is still a vital component of most companies’ overall B2B strategy and easily contributes to B2B, cloud computing, business intelligence, et al.”

Like the Internet, EDI has its roots in the military. The scale and complexity of the 1948 Berlin airlift required the exchange of information about transported goods—over a 300-baud teletype modem, no less. The effort led to standards that eventually became EDI as we know it.

Today, EDI is an established method for passing transactional data (e.g., orders, invoices, confirmations) between business partners.

And by using the EDI capabilities native to the Dell Boomi integration platform, you can easily manage a trading partner network of any size. Your business can exchange EDI documents and coordinate trading partner relationships without the burden and expense of installing and maintaining legacy, on-premise software.

For example, Kelly-Moore, one of the most recognized names in the paint industry, wanted to streamline logistics by using EDI to coordinate with a third-party logistics provider to handle the distribution of its products to stores and directly to customers. But the company did not want to incur the cost of traditional EDI translation software.

Boomi’s built-in EDI management leveraged the Boomi integration between Kelly Moore’s point-of-sale (POS) system and its Oracle E-Business Suite. Boomi’s portion of the EDI initiative took only four weeks to implement.

EDI Integrations Reduce Customer Service Workloads

For Daylight Transport, a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier, Boomi’s integration platform coupled with its EDI capability helped the company reduce its customer service workload by one full-time employee, which it could allocate to more important activities.

In fact, with Boomi the company has been able to clear out a big backlog of customer EDI requests that Daylight Transport could not fulfill before.

“With our old system, we couldn’t handle those requests in a timely manner, and that left us open to those customers taking their business elsewhere,” says John Manzanares, Daylight Transport’s CIO. “Getting their requests implemented quickly has really cemented those relationships and help us hold on to those customers.”

The EDI integration means customers get shipment and invoicing information in near-real-time. The volume of emails and phone calls has dropped by 40 to 50 percent. And the time savings will increase as Daylight Transport adds more carriers.

First Source Uses Boomi EDI to Sweeten Operations

Fifty-year-old First Source LLC distributes fine chocolates and other specialty food items through a retail outlet and nationwide via online sales and retail partners. First Source turned to Boomi EDI to improve the speed and quality of its order processing.

With Boomi EDI, First Source can automatically receive orders, send electronic invoices, and distribute real-time shipping information 24×7 to customers and trading partners. As Kelley Parkes, the company’s director of technical operations points out, “EDI is the customer service agent that never goes to sleep.”

Boomi’s visual interface enables developers to easily move elements into a workflow process instead of struggling with unwieldy command-line or spreadsheet interfaces. Processing is fast and accurate, reducing order-to-cash cycle time. And distributing invoices to large national customers via EDI allows First Source to take advantage of net-15 or net-30 terms to increase cash flow.

To learn more about how Boomi can help your organization address its EDI needs, please contact our experts today.

About the Author

Charles Waltner is the head of content marketing for Boomi.

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