Could Sharing EDI With Your Freight Forwarder Make Life Easier?

February 15, 2017

Your company's future depends on effective transportation and information management. Whether you're attempting to provide commercial buyers with products or importing the resources you'll need to create them, your success relies on everything being in the right places at the right times. Getting your freight forwarding providers on board with Electronic Data Interchange, or EDI, could be the best way to facilitate lasting forward progress.

 

What Makes Electronic Data Interchange Work so Well?

 

Electronic Data Interchange is a system that permits two otherwise independent parties to share vital supply chain data in a highly-automated fashion. The superior speed and efficiency of transmitting order data via accepted digital standards makes this a far more robust, cost-effective means of sharing mission-critical information.

 

Improved Resource Utilization Through Efficient Data Sharing

 

Many of the benefits of digitizing data exchange are obvious. For one thing, transmission is essentially instantaneous, so you're granted more leeway to make last-minute changes. Errors common to hard-copy forms, such as misprints, re-keying mistakes and transit damage, are far less likely as well. In addition, many software suites can automatically send form data to databases for heightened accessibility and analytics capability in the future.

 

EDI Standards Facilitate Simpler Transactions

 

Another important advantage of Electronic Data Interchange is the existence of established standards. Automation and digital templates that walk you through transactions improve data quality, reduce order processing costs and free your staff to focus on other tasks.

 

Getting Started With PO 850

 

Suppose your company wants to begin importing new materials or working with foreign suppliers. Your team could make orders a bit less unfamiliar by initiating the process via Purchase Order, or PO, 850 transactions. Because these transaction forms are globally accepted, it's easy to determine what you need to do to communicate your needs accurately at a distance or across potential language barriers.

 

Formalizing Transactions With ASN 856

 

Your new supply chain partner may respond to your request by sending another well-known Electronic Data Interchange document: the Advance Ship Notice, or ASN, 856 message. ASNs provide helpful details about the nature of your incoming shipment, such as its contents, who's carrying it and even the way the items are packaged inside the container, pallet or other vessel. Having all this information close at hand means you can immediately determine whether something is missing before sending your acknowledgement confirmation. It also empowers you to track and modify successive shipments so that you can learn from experience and make smarter choices that ultimately save you money.

 

Making the Connection

 

Electronic Data Interchange has the potential to give you real-time visibility into transactions, enter new markets with ease, manage warehouse space and implement KPIs that clarify product cost factors and scheduling overhead. Of course, such your access to such advantages depends on who you work with. Although most modern software is compliant with all standards, your freight forwarding partner also has to be able to provide relevant information and respond to requests in a timely fashion.

 

When properly leveraged, Electronic Data Interchange helps you make freight forwarding decisions that are far more informed. With a partner that can collaborate with you via EDI, importing cargoes from overseas becomes a less resource-intensive task. In the end, your choice of freight forwarder could ultimately increase the efficiency of the processes your business depends on.

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