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As you grow your online business, your ecommerce supply chain will only get more complex with inventory levels constantly fluctuating and having orders shipped across the world.
That’s why implementing the right systems, workflows, and technology is so important. As you build your business, having access to real-time data and insights will help manage your supply chain while also reducing costs and saving you time.
This requires a centralized ecommerce tech stack in which data is collected, recorded, and made available through a centralized system, known as “EDI fulfillment.”
What is EDI fulfillment?
EDI fulfillment is the process of optimizing logistics operations using electronic data interchange (EDI) systems.
With an EDI fulfillment system in place, all essential information, documentation, and communication is transferred electronically through a centralized system to save time and reduce paperwork.
EDI fulfillment is becoming the ecommerce standard
With EDI fulfillment, you can standardize and streamline how you exchange documents with customers and vendors.
EDI is especially important when working with multiple B2B customers since contracts and important information is involved. EDI fulfillment systems are essential to keeping B2B ecommerce accounts organized while also improving fulfillment and order accuracy.
Here is an overview of why EDI fulfillment is becoming the standard.
This minimizes the challenging and time-consuming process of switching between multiple tools and platforms.
Shorter processing times
Paper-based transactions often take days to get processed.
With EDI fulfillment, your transactions can be completed in just a few hours since documents can be shared securely within minutes.
Paper-free efficiency gains
Using EDI fulfillment, there are no paper transactions between you and your third-party partners.
That means you can skip the whole process of manually mailing documents, receiving them, entering them into your systems, and acknowledging receipts, which can take days to complete.
This allows you to maximize your time without having to be on top of other members of your supply chain.
Going paperless with your supply chain transactions is a big step to go green for your ecommerce operations.
As such, EDI fulfillment can improve your supply chain sustainability and promote social accountability.
EDI fulfillment systems allow you to optimize communication throughout your multichannel retail operations.
EDI solutions ensures all channels are operating through a centralized data system to ensure accuracy and consistency.
“Along with Chewy, we’re also fulfilling orders through Amazon, as they are the two biggest online pet sales channels in the US. We utilize ShipBob’s EDI solution that is connected to our 3rd party EDI platform SPS Commerce for our Chewy orders, and when we don’t ship directly to Amazon, we rely on ShipBob’s direct integration with Amazon for FBA orders. We’re even exploring additional channels that ShipBob supports, such as Walmart.com.
Being an omnichannel brand is critical for us, so we can reach more pet lovers from more places. We’re glad that ShipBob helps us keep up with demand from all the places we reach our customers.”Stephanie Lee, COO at PetLab Co.
Grow your ecommerce business faster with EDI fulfillment
EDI fulfillment benefits onlines businesses in a myriad of ways from increased supply chain efficiency to healthier profit margins.
Here is how ecommerce business grow faster with access to an EDI fulfillment solution.
Faster order processing and fulfillment
An EDI fulfillment improves speed throughout the process, staring with faster order processing. This enables a stronger customer experience by speeding up the order-to-cash workflow without compromising accuracy.
For instance, ShipBob’s EDI fulfillment technology makes it easy to validate orders and have them sent to the nearest fulfillment center to be picked, packed, and shipped.
“ShipBob can process things more quickly than we could in-house and at scale. These time savings translate into cost savings as well.”
Sarah Chalos, Co-Founder and President, I Heart Keenwah
Easy stock purchasing
With real-time insights into stock availability across fulfillment centers, you’re able to replenish inventory based accordingly. This makes it easier to optimize inventory based on current inventory levels, as well as historical inventory data.
Many EDI fulfillment solutions offer a feature that allows you to automatically set a reorder point notifications to ensure you never run out of stock. Check out how it works with ShipBob’s technology here.
“ShipBob’s analytics tool is also really cool. It helps us a lot with planning inventory reorders, seeing when SKUs are going to run out, and we can even set up email notifications so that we’re alerted when a SKU has less than a certain quantity left. There is a lot of value in their technology.”
Oded Harth, CEO & Co-Founder of MDacne
Accurate demand forecasting
Having access to real-time insights and historical data provides all the information you need to accurately forecast demand.
For example, ShipBob’s technology provides access to insights and distribution metrics that inform business decisions, such as:
- How quickly products are selling
- Which items are slow-moving
- How many days of inventory you have until you are expected to run out
- Where your customers are and where you’re shipping from
- Profitability by order, how much you are spending on shipping, and the average order amount that customers are spending at your store
- And much more.
“Our B2C and B2B order volume changes month to month. Between shipping new collections for wholesale earlier in the year and Q4 madness for direct-to-consumer sales, we’ve been able to get through our heaviest seasons while staying ahead of production using ShipBob’s forecasting tools — even as order volume more than quadrupled in a year.”
Ryan Casas, COO of iloveplum
ShipBob: The ecommerce leader in EDI fulfillment
“For the first time, they’re stocking our kits in their physical stores for a more wholesale/B2B approach rather than solely online for retail dropshipping. Being EDI compliant makes ShipBob even more of a powerhouse.
As they continue to expand their retail partnerships, there won’t be an order they can’t fulfill. The fact that we’ll be able to click a button and start selling with a retailer like Macy’s will be cool.”
Jordan and Anouk Rondel, Owners of The Caker
Integrated with market-leading EDI provider, SPS Commerce, ShipBob considers your unique compliance guidelines to automate your shipping and fulfillment. It comes with a retail dropshipping solution and an expanded B2B fulfillment solution to fit your needs.
ShipBob is cloud-based, so you don’t need to worry about systems going down. This helps you ensure that your backend processes function smoothly without any risk of losing important data.
In addition, relevant business partners can easily access necessary documents from the cloud-based EDI solution, enabling better collaboration through automation.
EDI automation means data from a purchase orders will be automatically pulled into the ShipBob dashboard to create new orders, packing slips, and GS1 barcodes.
ShipBob’s proprietary software allows customers to experience the best possible fulfillment system.
It comes with API capabilities so market-leading EDI providers like SPS Commerce can build integrations to make ShipBob a leader in EDI fulfillment.
ShipBob is trusted by top ecommerce businesses and has been for years.
When it comes to EDI fulfillment, finding an industry-leading solution that easily integrates with all your existing systems can make all the difference.
ShipBob lets you optimize logistics operations while spending more of your time on product development, marketing, and customer experiences.
Outsource or keep EDI fulfillment in-house
To optimize EDI fulfillment, you need the right tech in place. ShipBob has a best-in-class warehouse management system (WMS) for brands that have their own warehouse and need help managing inventory in real time, reducing picking, packing, and shipping errors, and scaling with ease.
With Merchant Plus, brands can even leverage ShipBob’s fulfillment services in any of ShipBob’s fulfillment centers across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia to improve cross-border shipping, reduce costs, and speed up deliveries.
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EDI fulfillment FAQs
Here are answers to the top questions about EDI fulfillment.
What is EDI?
EDI refers to “electronic data interchange.” It’s a combination of a system and processes that enable you to use a standard electronic format for exchanging documents and transactions with vendors, suppliers, and other business partners.
Is EDI standard in the ecommerce industry?
With many modern businesses already using some sort of EDI, EDI is now standard in the ecommerce industry. However, many ecommerce businesses are missing the opportunity to optimize their logistics using EDI-based fulfillment.
What is decentralized distribution?
Decentralized distribution brings the product closer to the end customer and further away from the corporate office. For instance, online brands often hold inventory in different warehouse locations based on where their customers live, so orders can be shipped out closer to their destination.
Can an EDI solution help ecommerce businesses grow?
An EDI solution facilitates faster EDI order processing and accurate demand forecasting while letting you automate many aspects of your supply chain. This saves you time and improves efficiency, which is vital for ecommerce business growth.