Over 41% of companies at risk without EDI

Having carried out a survey of 138 individual companies over the last year, we were immediately struck by a key finding: over 41% of businesses have no electronic data interchange (EDI) capability and 21% just use web portals.

That is a sizeable number of businesses that, by failing to adopt EDI, or not fully utilising its capabilities through integration with ERP systems, are exposing themselves to significant risk through increased errors and process inefficiencies. If businesses wish to engage with their customers and suppliers more effectively, with fewer errors and with reduced risk of expensive failures, then they must become part of a seamless supply chain using integrated EDI.

The survey revealed that the most popular types of messages exchanged were invoices (both inbound and outbound) and despatch notes (sometimes called advanced shipping notes or ASNs). Risk-free exchange of an operational message, such as an ASN, is critical – if it doesn’t get through, it’s a potential line-stopper, which leads to financial penalties and loss of business.

There are a number of possible reasons for the low adoption of EDI, which may include perceptions of cost, implementation complexity and ROI, as well as having the necessary staff. The good news is that these are all issues that can be addressed by outsourcing to a specialist EDI provider.

Managed service advantage

The survey suggests that outsourcing is surprisingly low – over 30% of EDI users do not use a value added network (VAN) and are, therefore, failing to reap the benefits from outsourcing the management of EDI.

There is, however, a growing trend towards outsourcing the management of EDI to a specialist, which frees a company to concentrate on its core competence. In addition to unveiling a hefty number of companies that can benefit from outsourcing, the survey found that 30% of respondents had multiple direct connections to VAN providers, while almost 40% of companies had a single, direct connection to a VAN provider.

The amount of multiple direct connections revealed by the survey indicates a shift to a more competitive market. The landscape is changing from the historical situation of each Tier 1 company supplying one OEM only, with its subsequent constraints down the supply chain. Suppliers are now working with multiple customers, and with more complex supply chain networks, rather than direct chains.

Choosing a EDI specialist or VAN provider is similar to selecting a web portal, in that the customer will point a company in the direction of their chosen provider. Companies may be using multiple VANs because individual customers suggested their own, preferred VAN – but this is not a prerequisite. Your chosen VAN should be able to connect you with whomever you wish. Data Interchange has interconnects already in place to deal with multiple preferred VANs, so traffic can be consolidated and economies of scale realised.

When not using their EDI capability, the survey found that these companies turn to emails and customer web portals in the main. The fact that fax comes next may come as a surprise, but business change can be difficult and many companies find comfort in familiarity – but this can mask underlying issues. Our job at Data Interchange is to show the ROI that can be achieved by supporting companies to review their processes.

EDI integration needed for ERP

The survey shows that 88% of EDI users have an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, a MRP (Materials Resource Planning) system or other planning system. The vast majority can import and export messages, which one would expect of a modern ERP. However, the survey divulges a small but significant number of companies that can’t. These companies tend to be hampered by legacy systems or a lack of operational knowledge in the organisation.

The survey also found that 64% of the companies who use a web portal have an ERP, MRP or planning system. Only approximately half of these can import and export messages. If the ERP system is capable of integration, which most are, why is there a reliance on portals? By failing to make the leap to full integration these companies are using a manual process to export from the portal and import into the ERP, which incurs greater risk and cost.

Companies that have invested in a fully-functional ERP system to gain significant benefit in terms of costs and integration should also have EDI. Without it, a company is adding complexity, cost and risk. For a small additional investment, Data Interchange can help a company realise the full potential of their ERP.

For further information and to discover how our EDI solutions can optimise your business processes, contact us at or click the button below to request a callback.

Transform your approach to supply chain management

Talk to an Expert








    Epicor values your privacy. Website terms and conditions.

    RELATED ARTICLES

    ANSI X12 EDI 846 T-Set: Structure, Benefits & Use Cases

    855 T-Set: Structure, Benefits & Use CasesMaking the Move to Cloud-Based EDI Solutions

    Making the Move to Cloud-Based EDI Solutions

    EDI 940 T-Set: Structure, Benefits & Use Cases

    ANSI X12 EDI 865 T-Set: Structure, Benefits & Use Cases

    The VDA 4987 Message: Structure, Benefits & Use Cases

    Top EDI Solution Providers in 2024

    ANSI X12 EDI 850 T-Set: Structure, Benefits & Use Cases

    The VDA 4938 Message: Structure, Benefits & Use Cases

    The EDIFACT DELJIT T-Set: Structure, Benefits & Use Cases

    The EDIFACT DELFOR T-Set: Structure, Benefits & Use Cases

    The VDA 4915 Message Explained

    The VDA 4905 Message Explained

    T-Sets | ANSI X12 810

    How to optimise your EDI and ERP system integration

    T-Sets | ANSI X12 997

    T-Set | EDIFACT INVOIC

    T-Set | EDIFACT DESADV

    Exploring Cloud EDI Services in ERP: Architecture, Security, and Scalability

    VDA Explained: Message Standards and Transaction Sets

    ANSI X12 Explained: Message Standards and Transaction Sets

    EDIFACT Explained: Message Standards and Transaction Sets

    The Power of Web EDI for Global Supply Chains

    How to Get the Most Out of AS2

    How EDI Simplifies Transactions in the Manufacturing Sector

    Why Your Automotive Supply Chain Needs an OFTP2 Connection

    Digital Supply Chain Trends Impacting 2023 and Beyond

    How to Manage Global Supply Chain Complexities

    How to Overcome Supply Chain Risk

    What is the Future of Supply Chain Management in 2023?

    How to Improve your Supply Chain Strategy

    Why Scalable EDI is Integral to Rapid Business Growth

    How to Pick the Right EDI File Transfer Protocol

    An Introduction to OFTP2 (Odette File Transfer Protocol)

    What are the Costs of EDI Implementation?

    What is PEPPOL?

    A Guide to EDI Protocols

    EDI VAN Costs: Get the Right Solution for your Business

    How Much Does EDI Cost?

    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

    6 Benefits of EDI in the Logistics Industry

    4 Challenges Facing the Logistics Industry and How to Overcome Them

    Solving Supply Chain Problems in the Logistics Industry

    B2B EDI Integration Best Practices in 2023

    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 2023

    How to Unite Emerging Supply Chain Management Technology Trends

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

    Agile Supplier Onboarding: Supply Chain Security in Uncertain Times

    The impact of failed EDI on Supply Chain

    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

    ​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

    Top 5 reasons to switch to EDI Managed Services

    Data Interchange to power QAD Managed EDI On Demand