Going ahead with an EDI implementation has many benefits. There are the strategic benefits such being able to adopt new business processes. Then there are the operational benefits such as cost reduction, elimination of human error and improved cash flow. One aspect that is often not given prominence are the opportunity benefits that EDI services can provide.
There are two primary opportunity benefits: Enhanced image and competitive edge.
Most organizations have to deal with customers one way or another. These customers can be end users and consumers or other businesses. Often customer service affects how the business is seen. The product can be robust, but if the customer service is sub-par then the company image suffers. This is where using an EDI provider comes in. It provides customer service agents or staff the ability, in real-time, to see the current state of an order. This allows them to provide the customer with an accurate estimation of completion.
Competitive edge follows a similar concept. Both the strategic and operational benefits of EDI directly affect the ability of the company to respond to market changes. Potential customers can be won over with the lower costs, accurate delivery estimates, and faster order completion. This competitive edge extends to all parts of the company: customer service, sales, marketing, and management.