There’s nothing necessarily new about dashboards – software that serves as a control panels for enterprise applications and provides high-level views of a variety of performance and data-intensive information. But what’s clear is their growing importance for supply chain managers.
Getting started with EDI may not seem to be the easiest venture a business could undertake. But regardless of the level of difficulty, it’s a necessity for a growing number of trading partners who want to transact business together. Take these steps to ease the ongoing efforts necessary to use EDI and to turn it into a performance enhancement for your operations.
According to James H. Davis, director of sales of Amosoft, an EDI provider, a vast majority of “all commerce is done through EDI.” Because of its unparalleled importance to the success of supply chain communications, it is imperative for trading partners to speak the same shipping language or hire an outside resource to communicate for them.
In many ways, EDI standardized formats have simplified supply chain logistics for retailers, and put them in the driver’s seat in their relationships with suppliers. In short, if suppliers don’t comply, they don’t get the benefit of incentives, and may suffer the consequences of penalties. Suppliers who are often out of compliance will also suffer from a lack of repeat business.
Value-Added Networks (VANs) have been around for more than 30 years. But today’s VAN is definitely not your father’s VAN. VANs have evolved from simply being a managed network on which to exchange EDI information and documents between a company and its trading partners to a more robust service that includes not only the network but also a variety of services aimed at facilitating more effective commerce amongst numerous organizations.
In today’s technologically advanced world, businesses enjoy great benefits from implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). ERP solutions offer the ability to manage an entity’s various operations such as finances, supply chain and inventory, for example.
Any company involved in supplying products through the retail channel already has two things — communication with their trading partners and a way to manage their finances and inventory. These are typically known by their acronyms, EDI and ERP. But what many of the companies using these systems do not ahve is an integrated connection between them.
The standardized format of EDI documents has been a boon to both retailers and suppliers, providing common grounds for communications and efficiency. Retailers are, in many ways, in the driver’s seat when it comes to EDI – you tell the suppliers what you want and how you want it, and they fall in line.
Supply chain visibility is of paramount importance to all the players who rely on it, says Ken Jones, director of Executive Education at Western Michigan University’s Center for Integrated Supply Management and an instructor on supply chain matters.