What Your EDI Provider is Missing

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It’s safe to say that machine learning, automation, increased access to data/analytics, and other technological advances are the future of supply chain and EDI. These advances will give companies an edge in making their supply chains faster, more flexible, more granular, and all around more accurate. But, at what cost? You should have high expectations of your EDI provider, as well as their technology, and make sure they continue to meet your standards.

Consumers don’t trust automated customer service experiences

A large push in scaling automation – particularly for retailers – has been the use of chatbots and other types of software to handle customer relationships and services. Research is showing that customers don’t trust automated customer service experiences. For example, check out these statistics from Sitel Group’s CX Index Report, which “analyzes consumer sentiment toward customer experiences”.

  • 70% of consumers surveyed would rather speak to a human customer service representative than engage with a chatbot.
  • Of that 70%, 48% said the biggest reason was that they weren’t confident chatbots/digital assistants could understand and help with their requests.

What is your EDI provider missing?

Take a look at your supply chain partners. Are they providing you with the technology to improve your supply chain? While offering someone to answer your questions in real time? Particularly with EDI, most support systems are designed to where a problem is not dealt with right away. Meanwhile, it can take days to speak with someone. That should never be the standard with you’re dealing with order or transaction issues. Your EDI provider should have a built-in project and support team on-call to resolve issues and provide insights quickly.

Related Reading: What is EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)?

What can a project support team do for you?

  • Help you feel supported and informed with the EDI process.
  • Ask questions, understand the why and take responsibility of the outcome of your issue.
  • Receive clear, professional, and timely communication (email and verbal).
  • Anticipate customer questions/challenges.
  • Keep the proper audience (eg, manager, retailer, VAN, warehouse) informed at all times on the status of an issue.
  • Focused on time management and accuracy to ensure that timelines are met and kept up to date.

What can a customer support team do for you?

  • Get access to real humans in real time – readily available to address any issues.
  • Support issues can be resolved faster with insights on how to prevent future problems from occurring.

The bottom line

In conclusion, technology is amazing and is changing the way supply chains work for the better. But, technology should always work in tandem with real human interactions and relationship building.

Related reading: B2B Integrations, Demystified: EDI vs. API

Otif Part 3

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Why is OTIF Important?

Not complying with your purchasers’ OTIF requirements can be very costly, and result in hefty fines. For example, Walmart fines its vendors 3% of the cost of goods sold if the order fails OTIF requirements. In 2016, Target stores increased their OTIF penalties to 5% of the order cost, five times what it previously was. That kind of money adds up!

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How to explain OTIF to your 5-year-old

OTIF stands for On Time In Full and is a key performance indicator (KPI) of your products’ supply chain. OTIF is a crucial measurement of how well your operations team fulfills your orders according to the requirements of your customers.

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