From our extensive experience with clientele in a wide range of industries, we know all-to-well how difficult it can be for those who aren’t well-versed in IT terminology to understand “techinese,” the language of techies. Becoming fluent in techinese takes years of practice—and maybe even a degree in information technology and software engineering.
If you are like most business managers, you hardly have enough time in the day to complete the pile of work on your desk, let alone learn how to decipher IT lingo on the side. So to offer a helping hand, we are starting a blog series that breaks down some of the most common and complicated business software solutions into simple concepts that any technology layman can understand—a task easier said than done.
First up to bat: electronic data interchange.
Electronic data interchange, or EDI, is “the computer-to-computer interchange of strictly formatted messages that represent documents other than monetary instruments.” Or that might be what your IT guy would tell you.
A better approach to take in understand EDI is not by looking up its definition or attempting to grasp its technical functions, but rather understanding how applying it into your business can be beneficial.
The greatest—but not only—purpose of EDI is the replacement of paper-based purchase orders with corresponding electronic files. EDI saves companies money by offering an alternative to paper communication systems—faxes, paper documents, invoices, etc. By using a wide selection of document format standards, businesses can choose a pre-designed format, input the relevant information, and send it electronically to its destination.
Companies that take advantage of EDI reduce the time and cost of shipping, ordering, and sorting paper documents, plus it results in fewer errors since documents are processed by a computer rather than by hand. In general, it streamlines the business process.
In fact, studies show that manually processing a paper-based order can cost from $30-$150—not including having to create it! However, processing an EDI order, from beginning to end, costs less than one dollar.
Also, paper orders can take as long as 10 days from the time the buyer prepares the order to when the supplier ships it. EDI orders are often shipped out in as little as a day.
One of the main obstacles business managers come across when they have decided to incorporate EDI solutions into their company strategy is the time it takes to set-up and customize the software to their specific needs, as well as training employees on how to use it.
Our hands-on, full service EDI consultants at Innovative Architects help take the stress off business managers when transitioning from a paper system to EDI by working closely with your current IT infrastructure and staff.
Contact us today to learn more about how EDI can benefit your company’s specific needs. And stay tuned to our blog for part 2 of our “IT Solutions Made Simple” series.