Electronic data interchange software has been used in the logistics sector of various businesses for decades, mainly because it supports rapid growth. Now we have mobile EDI systems, offering companies new opportunities for supply chain improvements.
niekverlaan / Pixabay – Valuewalk
What Are The Differences Between Classic And Mobile EDI Software?
Since its creation in the 1960s, EDI system has constantly been developing due to the evolving needs of businesses. This has led to the creation of mobile EDI. What are the main differences? Classic EDI enables enterprises to exchange electronic documents via standardized communication channels using a defined format. Depending on various circumstances, this could be X12 for the retail industry, VDA for automotive, EDIFACT for logistics, or many others.
Mobile EDI is also used to send and receive EDI messages in a specific format but through a mobile app. What is important is that EDI data can also be accessed easily by using various mobile applications, similar to how cloud-based solutions work. This – if their applications are synchronized – provides much more flexibility for users. In addition, mobile EDI can improve the efficiency of processes by sending delivery notifications, allowing simple, paperless document management, and being easily accessible at any time and in any place so that the user can communicate directly with their customers and partners.
The Advantages Of A Mobile EDI System In Logistics
If you think about logistics, the first thing that comes to mind is a warehouse. It plays a strategic role in the whole supply chain process. There, many processes depend on each other, which is why it is extremely important to perform all tasks on time and to maintain good communication between all parties without delays. Using mobile apps connected to a system offers several benefits such as convenience and time-efficiency. It allows you to get a lot of things done directly from the warehouse. Mobile EDI enables, among other things:
- Updating Delivery Status
In the past, delivery statuses had to be updated manually. Now, mobile EDI allows customers and suppliers, as well as logistics operators, to exchange information in real time and almost automatically. What are the business effects? The reduction of time-consuming processes, elimination of errors, and optimized supply chain operations are the major ones.
- Directly Scanning Labels Or QR Codes
Directly scanning QR codes or labels does two things. It reduces errors and processing time, and improves operator-supplier communication. This allows real-time monitoring of goods. An additional advantage is that the company is perceived as being flexible and tech-savvy.
- Signing Orders And Dispatch Notes
Signing orders and dispatch notes improves the security of all processes, while simultaneously providing workflow tracking convenience. What is important, is that the signing is done in a totally paperless way, which makes it environmentally friendly and supportive in terms of achieving positive ROI.
- Reviewing Product Status And Quality
The ability to review product status and quality really helps logistics operators to handle potential issues better. They can react immediately, and the knowledge they possess thanks to this solution enables them to communicate better with parties that face difficulties.
- Communicating With Partners In Real Time
Communicating in real time prevents many problems, given that issues with packaging, last-minute order changes, incidents, missing information or any other difficulties are common in logistics. It not only saves time, but also improves reliability and trust between all parties.
- Checking Status Of Delivery In Real Time Throughout The Entire Process
Apart from speeding up the whole process and reducing the potential for error, real-time monitoring provides an overview of the entire supply chain. It also gives the supplier and retailer information about if, when, and by who the goods have been delivered.
Why Electronic Data Interchange Software Of The Future Is Mobile
Logistics operations have never been simple, but the constantly growing needs of today’s customers make them more complex than ever. As a result, logistics companies have to choose wisely between applications supporting their supply chain processes. Some enterprises, for instance, have implemented measures that help with scanning logistics labels directly, enabling paperless goods reception with the use of proof of delivery applications. Such applications are already used by couriers, and now companies are adopting B2B paperless solutions. There is a reason for that – mainly the improved accuracy of documents or any other data that can be tracked via an application connected to classic EDI software. Other companies use mobile applications (for example, for barcode scanning), so they can issue invoices directly (this is characteristic of retail, which uses the dock system).
Moreover, for those who travel a lot and are involved in the logistics process (such as managers in sales or retail), mobile EDI apps help monitor data flows and order status in real time, directly from their mobile devices. Many applications also include dashboards for more complex data analysis. Other apps enable supply chain parties to confirm orders from their smartphones, forward them to other employees, and even issue invoices. It is more than expected that, soon, more and more functionalities of EDI software will be implemented in the mobile version of the system, as the classic version is continuously developed due to the changing market requirements.
Best Mobile EDI Guarantees Full Security
A question often asked is whether mobile EDI can be as secure as the classic version? This question touches on the reliability of EDI mobile apps, external access to confidential information, data breaches, and cyber-attacks. That is why, when looking for EDI software, logistics companies should seek a reliable IT provider. Last but not least, multiple-factor authentication, cryptographic techniques, and encrypting data minimize the risk of sensitive data being accessed, changed, or destroyed, limiting the potential for interruptions to everyday business processes.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic that increased the pace of global business digitization, the logistics industry became one of the fields with the greatest need for processes automation. As logistics operators are expanding their networks, they quickly adopt the newest technologies to improve their workflow. However, the already enhanced traditional EDI systems remain strong, which makes mobile solutions, primarily because of the benefits they bring, a natural next step for a business that is constantly looking for further improvements.