How to tell if you need a Fulfillment (EDI) solution

by | Apr 16, 2013 | Omnichannel

Most startups and other very small businesses don’t need an electronic data interchange because they work with a small number of vendors and customers. But as your business grows, you will eventually find that you need to get an Fulfillment solution to keep up with all of the companies you buy from and sell to.

At what point do you need an Fulfillment (EDI) solution? Listed below are four criteria to look for. If you find that your business is currently facing most or all of these challenges/opportunities, now would be a good time to start using an Fulfillment (EDI) solution.

You want to do business with large retailers. Walmart, Costco, Target, and virtually every other large retailer have their own distinct requirements for how orders are formatted and processed. They need certain information in the right places, and there’s no industry standardization. Manually placing orders under these circumstances would be a nightmare. Plus, these retailers usually require you to have an integrated fulfillment solution before they’re even willing to do business with you.

You have an expansive list of vendors. It’s a similar situation with vendors as with retailers. Each vendor is unique. You may even work with some in foreign countries with different currencies. An Fulfillment (EDI) solution automatically translates orders into the style that each vendor uses. This saves you a lot of time so you can simply place orders with as many vendors as you like without worrying about whether or not those orders will be received accurately.

You send a variety of purchase orders, sales orders, and other documents.Whether you’re sending invoices, receiving them, or processing any number of other financial documents, having an Integrated Fulfillment solution is extremely helpful when it comes to organizing all of the information they contain. It can be difficult to switch gears and remember exactly how to set up every document, which makes EDI a useful tool since it does a lot of that work for you.

You ship to distribution centers, retail stores, and directly to customers.Obviously, there are big differences between distribution centers, retailers, and individual customers. End users don’t necessarily need to know as much information about where the products they buy came from and how much they cost to make as distributors and retailers do. A Fulfillment (EDI) solution can select the appropriate amount of data to include in sales orders, invoices, etc.

If you decide that you need an Fulfillment (EDI) solution, be sure it integrates with your vendors, retailers, and other software packages, especially your inventory management software. When it works in conjunction with the rest of your business, an EDI solution is a powerful time saver and data filter.

SPS Commerce Blog Team