6 Benefits of EDI in the Logistics Industry

The disruption of recent years has caused significant problems for the 205,000 logistics companies operating in the UK.¹ In an industry which requires a constant flow of documents across supply chains, getting back on track following the pandemic has been difficult.

Furthermore, manual processes and the continuing use of paper documents have, even in stable times, contributed to communication barriers and supply chain management issues. Fortunately, there are solutions with the capacity to make this a thing of the past. 

By enabling the real-time exchange of documentation, electronic data interchange (EDI) offers a viable solution to many logistics supply chain problems. Cutting-edge new solutions now also allow logistics companies and their partners to communicate efficiently across different protocols, formats, and locations. 

This article will consider the benefits of EDI in logistics and how businesses can access these to obtain a competitive advantage. Let’s get started.


Suggested reading: If you’d like to learn more about gaining a competitive advantage with the help of EDI, check out our free eBook — The Supply Chain Centred Business

#1: Increased customer satisfaction

Consumer demands change and evolve over time, and up to 70%2 now cite order tracking as a top consideration before purchase. As a result, EDI’s ability to provide real-time oversight of long-distance orders across global supply chains can significantly enhance customer satisfaction. 

This can provide a much-needed edge for companies operating in an increasingly complex and competitive market. Furthermore, it can help secure initial purchases and, in the long term, build a loyal consumer base.

Furthermore, EDI’s capacity to automate crucial processes can also prove invaluable for companies operating at capacity. By implementing EDI, logistics companies can see a reduction in the number of consumers seeking customer service solutions, which alleviates the burden on an already overloaded workforce in many instances.

#2: Less manual work

EDI solutions that centre around automated processes also reduce workloads by eliminating the need for manual work and paper documentation, both of which can be problematic in the modern-day logistics industry.

This can accelerate supply chain procedures by as much as 60%³ and help to address common logistics setbacks, like delivery delays, fragmented communications, and escalating costs on non-negotiable elements like transportation. 

As well as allowing increasingly overwhelmed team members to focus on higher-value activities, such as acquisition and retention, EDI implementation can provide a wide range of operational benefits in global supply chains. These include:

  • Faster deliveries
  • Smoother trading partnerships
  • 24/7 order processing
  • Comprehensive support
  • Lower labour costs

#3: Reduction in errors

By replacing paper-based processes that are continually exposed to human error, the use of EDI across global trade partnerships can significantly accelerate the accuracy and efficiency of data and information transfers.

Implementing EDI in logistics supply chains helps to eliminate costly manual errors like miskeying or mistyping information in systems. This can contribute to a significant reduction in processing errors that have previously proved fatal to trading partnerships. 

The automated nature of EDI in modern solutions also means that unusual purchase orders, such as an abnormal order quantity, result in warnings that require manual checking before sign off. This helps to guarantee that orders are prepared for timely deliveries, ensuring smooth supplier relationship management moving forward. 

#4: Cutting costs

As the industry deals with challenges like inflation, shifts towards sustainability and new governance and regulations, logistics businesses are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their overhead costs and better utilise resources. EDI can help with both of these.

Implementing an efficient EDI system facilitates the automation of transferring crucial business documents. By removing human intervention from these processes, which often come with expensive logistics processes like printing, storage and postage, EDI significantly reduces the cost of each supply chain transaction.

The ability to speed up and optimise processes using EDI data transfers is also significant, removing the risk of the most expensive logistical mistakes, like lost or incorrect orders. Instead, EDI facilitates smoother processes that operate on basic inputs, enabling the reallocation of crucial expertise to high-value processes, such as production and assembly processing, that would otherwise be required for basic functions. 

#5: Improved stock management

By providing real-time updates regarding both outstanding inventory and upcoming market trends, EDI can lead to improved stock management despite ever-changing markets and requirements. Just a few benefits felt through the faster decision making, and enhanced responsiveness of EDI’s stock visibility include:

  • Reduced lead times
  • Efficient order processing
  • Improved supplier relationships
  • Cost savings

This change is crucial, considering that maintaining optimal stock levels is one of the largest hurdles currently facing logistics managers. Furthermore, EDI can also significantly reduce expensive and ineffective large inventories.

Automated inventory management that accounts for consumer demand can also help boost company reputations, ensuring that order-fulfilling inventories are always on-hand and that stock management is implemented with future fluctuations or decreases in mind.

#6: Significant return on investment (ROI)

EDI facilitates significant return on investment (ROI) across logistics processing by making it easier to meet trading partner and consumer demands. The opportunity to build far more effective and mutually lucrative supplier relationships is particularly valuable from an earnings standpoint, with simplified onboarding processes possible with modern EDI solutions helping to ensure faster returns.

A reduction of manual errors also makes it possible to finally get a handle on costly mistakes. Reallocating resources off the back of this benefit then enables increased investment into the highest-value, growing areas of the sector, such as global trade and omnichannel fulfilment. 

This forward-thinking focus ensures that companies remain at the forefront of the industry and that they’re never again at risk of losing money from outdated business processes that simply don’t serve the reality of logistics at any given moment. All of which come together to make EDI an increasingly wise investment. 

Get the best results with modern EDI solutions

EDI’s usefulness across often convoluted logistics processes is undeniable. Automation and a reduction in avoidable errors can transform supplier relationships at a time when it’s never been more important to do so. 

That said, legacy EDI systems have long been plagued by setbacks, including convoluted onboarding and high costs. As a result, the opportunity to enjoy any of these benefits relies on the ability to modernise and adapt using EDI systems that operate outside of these limitations.

Here at Data Interchange, we’ve developed our EDI-as-a-Service offering for precisely this purpose, modernising EDI and ensuring that implementation within a logistics setting is flexible and accommodating. By combining self-service and managed EDI integrations, EDI-as-a-Service provides numerous benefits, including:

  • Simplified onboarding: The simplified integration of a wide range of EDI standards and protocols makes it easier to onboard even unversed business partners, ensuring better relationships and increased supply chain efficiency from day one.
  • Enhanced visibility: A holistic oversight of entire supply chains and single-source access to all supply documents significantly enhances processes like forecasting, risk assessment, and decision-making.
  • Always adaptable solutions: Managed oversight and the ongoing handling of EDI that grows as your relationships do also ensure the adaptability that’s too often lacking from legacy solutions, ensuring data transfers that respond to changes as they’re happening to avoid supply delays, inaccurate stocking, and more. 

The logistics industry is in flux, and modern problems like convoluted supply chains and generally altering operations require modern solutions built with these setbacks in mind. Get in touch today to find out precisely how EDI-as-a-service can ensure that your logistics processes never get left behind.

¹ The Logistics Report Summary 2021

2 “Where’s my package?” Why answering this question is the key to building customer trust

³ The Advantages of EDI in Logistics and Supply Chain

Transform your approach to supply chain management

Talk to an Expert

RELATED ARTICLES

How Do On-Premise EDI Solutions Work?

Our Plan at Data Interchange to Change EDI and Supply Chain Management

Integrating EDI with your ERP

In-house vs Managed Service EDI

What is an API Integration? And how does it affect EDI?

Epicor Acquires EDI Provider Data Interchange

4 Challenges Facing the Logistics Industry and How to Overcome Them

Top EDI Solution Providers in 2022

Solving Supply Chain Problems in the Logistics Industry

B2B EDI Integration Best Practices in 2022

How to Choose The Right EDI Provider in 2022

Supply Chain Analytics Trends in 2022

Future-proof your business: Take Advantage of Market Growth

Announcement: Andrew Filby becomes CEO of Data Interchange

7 Advantages of EDI in The Automotive Industry

Consumer Expectations cause Demand for Integrated Data

How to Optimise Your Automotive Supply Chain Processes

Post-Pandemic Supply Chain Challenges Increase the Pressure

EDI Made Simple for the Automotive Industry

Overcoming Supply Chain Visibility Issues in the Automotive Industry

Complex Supply Chain Problems and Simple Solutions

Supply Chain Flexibility: Why your customers need it

5 Automotive Supply Chain Challenges Facing the Industry

Supplier Performance Management Reimagined in 2022

How to Unite Emerging Supply Chain Management Technology Trends

Digital Supply Chain Trends Impacting 2021 and Beyond

Meet the Team: Marketing

Supplier Management Best Practices after COVID-19

The Future of EDI: Looking Beyond 2025

The top three supply chain data exchange requirements

The Advantages of EDI in E-Commerce: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage Online in 2021

A Crash Course on EDI Industry Standards: ANSI x12 vs EDIFACT vs OFTP and more

What is EDI Mapping?

What is EDI: The History and Future of Electronic Data Interchange

The Future of the Automotive Supply Chain

Supplier Relationship Management: How to reduce risk and improve performance

How to Manage Global Supply Chain Complexities in 2021

How EDI-as-a-Service Changes Supply Chain Best Practices in 2021

What is the Future of Supply Chain Management in 2021?

How to Overcome Supply Chain Risk in 2021

Agile Supplier Onboarding: Supply Chain Security in Uncertain Times

The impact of failed EDI on Supply Chain

How to Improve your Supply Chain Strategy Ready for 2021

Cloud-Based EDI Solutions vs On-Premise

Different Types of EDI Compared

5 Most Common EDI Implementation Issues and How to Solve Them

Are your EDI documents ready for the new EU/UK customs border?

B2B Integration Challenges

EDI vs API: Bridge the B2B connectivity gap

Ten things to look for in an EDI Managed Service Provider

World Mental Health Day 2020

Logicalis & Data Interchange – partnering for success

EDI – A data integration service critical to business success

Joining forces with SnapLogic: bringing together market leading iPaaS and EDI solutions

Joining Data Interchange: My lockdown experience

Data Interchange announces strategic partnership with SmarterPay

Access new trading partners quickly for COVID-19 support

Keeping supply chains moving

Our Web EDI solution gets a makeover

Coronavirus: Our Business Continuity Plan

With love from Data Interchange ♥

A new decade, renewed ambition and the next generation

Brexit and EDI

Data Interchange transform their Support service for an improved customer experience

Interview: An update on Data Interchange’s new CEO, Robert Steiner

Data Interchange appoints Robert Steiner as new CEO

MQ messages over ENX – Renault

Five key questions for your EDI provider

Data Interchange at the Odette Conference 2018

How to select the right EDI provider

Future proof your EDI and unleash growth

EDI: the Supply chain performance enhancer

Taking cost out of the chain

Non-EDI users held up in the mail

Over 41% of companies at risk without EDI

​Consolidating VAN providers

Increase visibility and productivity of supply chain logistics with Data Interchange’s B2B integration solutions

Data Interchange wins large business of the year award

Data Interchange launch new Support Portal

Data Interchange will be showcasing our EDI solution offerings and promoting the benefits of MMOG/LE

Metaldyne receive special recognition from Ford for 11th consecutive year

Making the move to cloud based EDI Solutions

Top 5 reasons to switch to EDI Managed Services

Data Interchange to power QAD Managed EDI On Demand