How to work with Amazon and Google e-commerce platforms via EDI
Major e-commerce retailers and platforms like Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and Google Shopping are setting the course for other distributors to follow. ‘Physical’ distributor e-commerce trends are being built around omnichannel as a management and customer service strategy, and efficiency is vital to forging a position on a highly competitive stage. To that end, large distributors require their suppliers to be just as demanding as they are themselves. The use of EDI solutions is one of the requirements that major retailers and marketplaces expect. Information control and analysis is key to tracking each stage involved in the sales process, particularly across the logistics chain, from order reception to final delivery to the customer.
In the B2B sphere, as the number of partners using EDI technology and interchanged messages grows, so do the benefits. Goods and service providers (storage, distribution, etc.) issue alerts to the distributor which it can use to track the supply chain. For large retailers, goods control has become a competitive necessity because it makes it possible to, among other matters, meet product demands and cut delivery times. This explains the ever-increasing need to work with EDI, such as in the case of Amazon.
It is also important to emphasize that omnichannel, which positively impact companies by boosting customer loyalty and sales, also entails new challenges:
- It imposes a full process digitization to connect the different channels in a coordinated fashion and create synergies
- 24 hour a day, 7 day a week customer service arising from consumer connectivity
- Stock control to ensure that purchasing processes do not fail.
EDI: benefits for distributors
- The standardized nature of documents, one of the key features of EDI, enables electronic interchange with different agents thanks to the use of a common language that powers different IT systems to interact with each other. This eliminates barriers and facilitates working with more businesses.
- Goods traceability. It establishes a shared message system that details the movement of goods between different warehouses.
- Stock control. It makes it possible to share information between a supplier and a logistics operator for real-time control of the details of the stock available in each warehouse. It uses tools such as CRP FLOW to facilitate end-to-end continuous inventory replenishment. This makes it possible to adjust stocks to demand and provide consumers with an efficient response.
- It supplies product information via e-catalogues (data pool). The supplier can automatically facilitate real-time product information: characteristics, prices, etc.
- It integrates the information that suppliers send with management systems. The benefits of working with EDI include process automation and the possibility of integrating information in a company's ERP for processing with no human intervention.
What type of alerts does the distributor receive and integrate?
In response to a purchase order (ORDER): the distributor receives an alert informing it that the order has been received and processed at the destination (ORDER RESPONSE). If there is a problem or if more time than expected was spent processing the supply order, the distributor gets notifications and alerts informing them of this.
When the goods are in transit, the distributor receives the packing lists (DESADV) which it can use to check the goods received against those listed on the purchase order and make adjustments if there is any difference in this regard before the invoice is issued. Packing lists facilitate goods management in the warehouse. Getting advance notification of what you are going to receive enables better planning.
E-invoice integration (INVOICE). Automatically logging a document in an ERP system simplifies the annulment and validation processes with other already-logged documents such as orders and packing lists. If the validation process is a success, the system considers the invoice ready for payment and automatically sends a confirmation message to the supplier's EDI solution (REMADV).
EDI: benefits for suppliers
EDI is a value-added tool that entails a competitive edge for suppliers who implement it in their companies. It opens the door to a greater number of retail trading partners. It also optimizes management processes and boosts corporate efficiency, delivering a significant cost saving. Benefits include:
- Process automation
- Human error reduction
- Paper and warehouse space savings
How to implement EDI in the retail industry
Suitable for situations where average and high volumes of electronic transactions are processed. EDICOM has dedicated services (ASP/OUTSOURCING) to administer advanced EDI solutions. They are available via a complete EDI platform in SaaS (Software as a Service) mode, with proprietary software developments that automate the processes of creating, sending, receiving and integrating business documents in an unassisted, streamlined and efficient fashion without affecting internal corporate processes.
You can also harness the advantages of EDI even with suppliers who don't have it, using web solutions. The company concerned, in this case the distributor, plays an active role in putting easy-access web solutions at the service of its customers or suppliers, from where they can receive and generate transactions intended for the company, such as orders or invoices. This makes it possible to:
- Manage partner information via data entry forms accessed over the Internet in a safe environment. Fully automate platform management and commercial document generation.
- Log and validate documents using web portal data-validation systems.
- Integrate and automate the issuance and reception of documents in the ERP. After logging the data in the web portal, a structured commercial document is processed and sent to the supplier’s EDI solution; with the multiformat mapping service the document ins transformed into the data structure the customer's management system requires for proper integration.
EDICOM has created a Partner Testing and Certification Portal to facilitate the incorporation of new EDI flows between partners and where it is the users themselves who validate and verify the EDI messages to interchange.
The portal makes it possible for companies to outsource a fundamental part of partner onboarding, i.e., the verification or test phase. With the EDICOM Partner Testing and Certification Portal this process is streamlined and simplified as it is the partners themselves who have the information needed to run the tests on the portal. This powers various advantages for the backer firm such as:
- Better human resource and time optimization.
- Certification of a host of partners from a single platform.
- Acceleration of the partner onboarding process and partner community.
- Streamlined inclusion of new EDI messages with existing partners
- Lower implementation costs and better transactions.
- Simplification of the production phase thanks to the security of the message content quality.