Author: Vincent Bull in: Business Solutions
Orders and customer communications have come a long way. From hand delivered notes, to mail, to phone calls, to faxes, to emails and websites. You are probably using one or more type of communication at your firm right now. You are likely:
These communication types all have one or more problems associated with them. Slowness, undecipherable writing, inefficient… Or the worst one of all: Human error.
With every communication type listed above, there is an issue that is fixed and/or created. At the end of the day, all of these order entry systems have issues that can affect your business. Issues like:
One of the key issues that comes from most of the previous systems are customer orders that are entered incorrectly, or with missing information. As discussed in the OnRamp white paper Better Data, allowing these errors to make their way through your system and all your various software packages is costing you time. And time is money.
EDI allows your customers a direct channel to your customer order entry system. A quick send from them and their data has been received. From there, your sales team can quickly contact the customer to confirm the order, if needed, or you can immediately convert the order to a sales order to start scheduling. In other words: With EDI, you remove any chance of an order entry error on your end, ensuring that your customer always gets exactly what they are asking for.
Another common issue that arises from communication type is the time it takes to get the order into the system and that same data out to the relevant teams. This issue is often eased by the benefits of an ERP with a single-source database. However, even then, it can take time to get the right information into the right location that allows the right people to get to work sooner.
EDI puts all the data into the ERP system. This makes the data immediately available to all:
In the end, your whole firm becomes more efficient because there is no wait or wasted time looking at or entering data.
As mentioned in the previous point, delays can be costly. And these delays can often have a snowballing effect. A delayed order can mean that your scheduling needs correcting or adding to. Urgent orders that are delayed can mean greater delays as the work center needed to complete the order is taken up with a different larger order that just can’t be moved in a cost-effective manner.
By adding EDI as a way to communicate directly with your ERP system, your planning team will have immediate knowledge of any upcoming order that requires scheduling changes. From here, they can quickly change the plan in a way that minimizes impact and maximizes productivity. And with the single-source database, your production team will know that a change is coming. In other words, your production team will always be able to check your scheduling tools like demand and capacity planning, finite scheduling, and procurement to ensure your orders are always on time.
Communicating with your customers is a crucial part of your business. So, it should also be crucial that your customers get regular updates about their orders, including their status, estimated delivery date, and any pertinent documentation.
EDI allows you to share all information with relevant stakeholders immediately with efficient and timely replies directly to your customer from all channels, including: customer service answering a customer request, automatic shipping notifications sent to the customer, or an online customer portal. All this at no extra cost to you.
Most manufacturers are also customers. You know the pain that it can be to receive an unexpected shipment from one of your vendors. This can take the shape of a shipment that:
A good ERP system will have a module in place that allows you to forward shipping notifications to your customers so they can avoid the above pain points. This means that with a single click, your shippers can create and print the documents that have to be attached to the shipment while sending copies of those documents and a notification to your customers so that they can be ready to receive their goods when they arrive.
EDI is a revolutionary technology that has been in use for a while and ensures accurate communication between business. With multiple standards and document types, your ERP system should come equipped with an EDI subsystem that can help ensure you, your vendors, and your customers are all receiving important information as quickly as possible.
With the help provided by EDI mentioned above, you will see that all of these benefits together will help you improve your firm and connect you with more opportunities and more wins. By improving every metric at your firm, a good ERP with EDI helps you to achieve your primary business objective – profitability.
OnRamp ERP is shipped with a built-in EDI communication system that will improve the way you talk with your customers, with your vendors, and with one another.
For more information about how OnRamp ERP software can add value to your business fill in the contact form below. A member of our support team will contact you within 1 business day to discuss any questions you have.