The coronavirus has shaken the world to its foundation. Not only did the virus spread quickly around the globe, but were countries also forced to impose limitations to normal life and had the international trade to take quite some hits. It also made companies look into the mirror. From manufacturers and retailers to logistic service providers: everyone in the supply chain has become aware of the dependence on their trade relations.

Just in time? Time for more flexibility

The ‘just in time’ method, which has been anchored in the logistic process for years, played a big part in that. A completely optimized process to keep supplies and storage costs as low as possible. But when the coronavirus started spreading, factories were forced to cut their capacity or even shut down completely. It soon became clear that agreements about deliveries are just a formality and the search for alternatives was the new reality. However, when one door closes, another always opens. Situations like these create space for creativity; to replace the old static processes for more flexible solutions.

Low-hanging fruit

Worldwide, companies find digitalization as the solution for the required change to simplify the process and keep operating cost-efficient. Reducing manual tasks is one of the quick wins to do so. Indirectly, this also has an impact on your way of working. Because, when your business partners digitalize the process of ordering, shipping, and storing, this will be expected from you as well.

Digitalization into overdrive

Digitalizing data communications is nothing new. In 1970, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) was already introduced. A digital way to exchange information between different systems, without human interaction. However, the consequences of covid-19 did cause digitalization to go into overdrive. It opens doors to replace daily manual activities like entering orders, updating extensive Excel sheets, or sending e-mails for an automized process. In other words: it saves you, as well as your customer, a lot of time and money and it reduces the possibility of mistakes. What is exactly the win of EDI? We have listed the 5 benefits for you:

  1. Quicker processing.
    Whether you provide logistic activities for a retailer or a B2B customer, pressure on fast delivery increases everywhere. By replacing simple administrative tasks for an automized communication flow, you can process orders a lot faster.
  2. Save time.
    Customers’ wish to be continuously informed about the latest states of their order increases more and more. By sharing this information bi-directional, you prevent your colleagues from being on the phone all day or getting blistered hands from all the update emails they must send.
  3. Improve margins.
    With EDI, your colleagues don’t have to spend their time calling or emailing your customers for updates. That saves you and your customer time. Therefore, your employees can work more productively, you can use them for other activities and even reduce overhead costs.
  4. Transparent.
    The way your customers experience your services is at least as important as the actual service you deliver. Thanks to EDI, you prevent any possible confusion on the latest order status and all the involved relations can directly see the status themselves. And that only benefits the relation.
  5. Quality improvement.
    Where people work, mistakes are made. By sharing data bi-directional between your customers’ system and your logistic software, you reduce the number of required manual actions and therefore the possibility of mistakes made. Win-win.