The Grocery industry is a very competitive business sector, with low profit margins forcing retailers to boost operational efficiency and customer-focused services. Electronic data interchange, commonly known as EDI, has become more widespread and is an effective tool for streamlining day-to-day business operations.
EDI is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents between business partners using a standard electronic format. By moving from paper-based business document exchange to electronic transfer, businesses can diminish costs, increase processing speeds and reduce errors. It also fosters open and communicative business partnerships. Keeping customers informed creates a better user experience, which can generate even more orders.
Become a grocery industry leader by easily connecting to any trading partner around the world with web-based, cloud EDI solutions from CovalentWorks, an EDI supply chain service provider for companies of all sizes. Our EDI solutions packages include MyB2B, B2BWorks and EDI Van, which are tailored to fit a variety of budgets, resource needs, timelines and objectives.
Grocery EDI Transactions
Grocery EDI benefits
Without EDI, a grocer places an order for various items with a supplier or distributor. Orders range from a single item to thousands of cases. The buyer faxes the order, and a supplier representative enters the data. The order is then processed and fulfilled by warehouse staff. Upon delivery the supplier or distributor submits an invoice, which is received by the buyer’s accounts payable department. It pulls the original order, confirms packing list contents with warehouse staff, and determines everything is in order before authorizing payment.
This manual process requires increased staffing levels and takes significant time to complete. It also happens across hundreds of grocers, wholesalers and suppliers multiple times weekly. Not taken into account is the possibility that the supplier didn’t receive the order, staff entered the order incorrectly, warehouse staff filled delivery vehicles improperly, item prices changed or the supplier didn’t include a previously agreed upon discount. Any of these issues require further investigation to correct, which burns valuable time and staffing capabilities.
On the other hand, when grocers, suppliers and wholesalers embrace EDI, outcomes are vastly improved. Grocers place orders electronically, which are sent by EDI to the designated recipient. The supplier replies with an order confirmation, and their warehouse staff receives the order before picking and scanning applicable items. The system automatically confirms everything is correct, and the grocer receives an advanced shipping notification. This electronic form includes item descriptions, quantities, ship date and expected arrival date, among other pieces of information. The buyer’s warehousing department scans item barcodes upon shipment arrival, and it’s compared to the original order for accuracy before inventory is updated. The supplier then submits an invoice, which the buyer verifies against the original purchase order and actual items received. The invoice is then paid.
Utilizing EDI, the process occurs automatically and almost instantaneously. Individual data entry is eliminated and when issues arise, the transaction is flagged by the system for review. With a well-documented data trail, error finding takes minutes instead of hours.
Grocery shows promise with EDI
Using EDI improves everyday document workflow, which promotes continued business efficiency. EDI helps grocers, wholesalers and suppliers improve visibility, optimize shipping and receiving, keep detailed accounts of inventory levels and maintain product traceability.
By simply improving purchase order and invoice exchange and processing speeds, businesses can avoid unhappy customers who become irritated that their favorite items are unavailable.
To compete in the grocery industry, you need an EDI solution that maximizes automation, minimizes manual intervention and smoothly and cost-effectively meets your ever-changing business environment needs. Find the best EDI solution for your grocery-related business with assistance from CovalentWorks.
Contact CovalentWorks to learn more about our grocery industry-specific EDI solutions.