Companies are keying in on B2B integration more so than ever recently, according to Bob Johns of Retail Solutions Online. Johns stated that the recent increase in ecommerce sales has led to advanced practices in warehouses and supply chains becoming the norm. He suggested that companies adopt a modern electronic data interchange (EDI) system to streamline the process.
Johns stated that, in the absence of EDI systems, data can be lost in the high-speed transfer from one link in the supply chain to the next. Sending products directly to customers at high speed while still maintaining the traditional supply chain infrastructure is a challenge, and Johns said that paperless, online EDI systems are uniquely well suited for the task.
EDI has a variety of purposes within every stage of the supply chain, according to Johns. He singled out invoice management, inventory monitoring and online order oversight as well as billing and accounting as areas where EDI can excel. Quick and accurate electronic reports can help in a wide variety of ways.
Standards are important to electronically transferring information, to make sure that the sending and receiving systems are reliable. IT expert Mikko Soirola, writing for Computerworld, encouraged companies to use a standard such as EDI-INT AS2 to ensure data are moving correctly.