SPS Commerce: EDI & ERP Automation in a Time of Disruption

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Mark O’Leary
Mark O’Leary, Chief Marketing Officer

SPS Commerce

“Companies with order and inventory visibility from EDI and ERP integration were better equipped to manage change and respond to consumers when disruption hit.” – Mark O’Leary, Chief Marketing Officer at SPS Commerce.”

When business is disrupted, change happens fast. If there was ever a time for automation through EDI and ERP integration, it’s now. In 2020, retailers and suppliers used integrated order processing to keep pace with consumer expectations, manage inventories and navigate supply chain shifts. Having orders automatically load into their ERP without delays due to manual data entry, meant that staff could have visibility to all of their store and online orders in a single, up-to-date system. Not only was the order data accurate, but it was also much easier to make changes and communicate with trading partners.
Deploy EDI integration to Making the Most of ERP Investments
EDI and ERP integrations optimize how businesses operate. To make the most of an ERP investment and comply with the requirements of any trading partner, EDI integration is needed.

EDI moves orders from the retailer or buying organization directly into the trading partner’s ERP. Orders are ready to be validated and warehouse teams can start picking and packing the order, often within the hour. This rapid response also includes using EDI to automatically alert trading partners when changes are needed and when shipments are on the way. Using integrated EDI, businesses can acknowledge or accept an EDI order, send the shipping notice and bill the customer, all without little or no human interaction.

Use a Retail Network Trusted by 90,000 Retail Businesses
Not all EDI is the same, especially when integrating it with an ERP including Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle NetSuite, QuickBooks, Sage, SAP and others. Experience and expertise matter.

SPS Commerce is the leading retail network with 200+ pre-built EDI solutions for ERPs and other systems, offering a proven platform used by more than tens of thousands of global businesses. SPS Fulfillment enables suppliers, grocers, distributors and retailers to connect their business systems and supply chains with any trading partner and any transaction.

Experience the Full-Service EDI Advantage
When looking for an integrated EDI solution, it is necessary to ask many questions. The most important is “who does what?” Does the business need to dedicate resources to implement the solution, to understand retailer trading requirements, to manage ongoing mapping changes, and to troubleshoot when an error occurs? Or is that the responsibility of the full-service EDI provider?

Most businesses prefer to lean on the expertise and staff of EDI providers. They want to focus on other tasks. These companies seek out full-service EDI solutions that include a cloud-based solution and associated staffing resources that customize, optimize and operate the technology. In this model, the EDI provider carries out a complete function on behalf of the customer. They become the business’ EDI department.
Disruption Doesn’t Equal Chaos
EDI integration eliminates many of the steps and delays in the order-to-cash cycle. This is important. It reduces errors and speeds fulfillment. However, the biggest advantage is what can be accomplished by businesses when they recapture time and resources and apply them to other activities. We’ve seen customers reduce the time to fulfill an order by 95 percent or better. They’ve reallocated teams to other customer service initiatives, business development, and product expansion and education. Think of what more you could achieve when orders are automated, and you only need to manage by exception.

In 2020, disruption reigned. Stores shuttered and reopened, online sales took off and factories reduced output. Those with EDI integration had better visibility to changing order volumes and inventories. But, more importantly, they had freed up their teams to manage the trading relationships and needs of a new normal. These teams had the time to make the decisions needed to quickly pivot the business and keep orders filled.

The bottom line about EDI integration, it’s a good choice at any time. But it’s necessary when faced with abrupt changes to the business and ongoing disruption.

To learn more about full-service EDI solutions with proven integrations to 200+ ERPs, contact SPS Commerce at 866-245-8100 (option #2) or visit us at www.spscommerce.com.