At a time when companies need to be streamlined and control costs, moving to an outsourced service not only brings EDI cost benefits, it allows users to refocus their energy on core business objectives.
Without EDI, you could spend several man hours per day manually handling information in the form of invoices, purchase orders or delivery notes.
In addition to the time burden, there are risks from manual entry, errors in re-keying or failing to establish an information trail.
EDI as an outsourced service relieves much of the cost, hassle and risk. It also creates opportunities to roll out EDI cost benefits far deeper into the supply chain, with all of the associated benefits of digital transformation.
When it comes to using EDI for the transfer of invoices, there are 3 key factors to consider:
1. The volume and frequency of invoices that you receive
If your company relies heavily on stock purchased from vendors, chances are the volume of the invoices and the frequency at which they’re received is substantial.
If the volume of invoices is so high that it's difficult to manage and process manually without the need for to dedicate a lot of time and resources, then it may be time to consider EDI.
Consider also the ways in which vendors send invoices to your company. You may be receiving invoices in multiple different formats like email, paper and PDFs. This will inevitably slow down processing times, even delaying payment to vendors.
EDI allows for the transfer of documents in a standard format, making processing quicker, and removing delays in issuing payment.
If you are placing a large number of orders with vendors, you may have the bargaining power to ask vendors to start sending invoices using EDI.
This would ensure that the majority of invoices are captured the same way, allowing for even faster processing times and further EDI cost benefits.
2. The volume of vendors that you purchase from
Again, if the number of vendors that you’re buying from is substantial, it may be difficult to accurately process invoices quickly to meet the agreed payment terms.
Not all of these vendors will be using the same method of getting documents to you, either, which drives up the time taken to process invoices and as a result, the cost.
On the other hand, if you've a small number of key vendors, the volume of invoices might not be as high nor the resources needed to process them.
3. The time and cost involved in processing an invoice
Ultimately, the aim of using EDI is to reduce the time and cost involved in processing documents received from your vendors.
One of the major benefits of EDI is managing hundreds and thousands of documents that would otherwise need to be managed manually.
IT requirements - Does the solution require investment in hardware, back up and disaster recovery and IT staff or is it provided as a fully managed, outsourced service.
Reliability - In order to minimise disruption to your business choose a solution that is reliable and provides a stable platform and safe hands.
Support - How available are the customer care team. Is it centralised locally or a global service team?
Scalability - How scalable is the solution in terms of usage, volume and functionality. What are the costs involved?
Security - How secure is the solution, what measures are in place to protect your data from external attacks?
Added value - Besides the basic EDI functionality what other value is provided by the managed service?
Reference customers - Can the solution facilitate your trading partners requests irrespective of their connection protocols, data formats and back office systems.
Is the solution regularly updated in accordance with the latest standards?
Celtrino are the trusted EDI experts with over 25 years' experience of providing EDI services to leading companies in the food and drink, retail grocery, pharma and hardware sectors.
Our industry leading platform processes 25,000,000 EDI transactions each year.
For more information contact us or download our free Guide to Outsourced EDI.