Supply chain management is a process by which e-commerce companies handle the production flow of materials necessary to manufacture their products. It includes a wide range of activities that these corporate enterprises need to plan, coordinate, schedule, and monitor carefully. These include:
- Procuring of the relevant raw materials and components to manufacture the products,
- Overseeing the entire production process to ensure proper quality control, and
- Deliver the brand product to the customers’ doorsteps.
Companies generally create a complex network of reliable suppliers and other businesses known as ‘’links’’ who form their distribution channels. These trading partners deliver the necessary raw materials to the companies and ensure the end products reach the customers.
How does a web-based EDI supply chain management solution streamline online operations?
Electronic data interchange (EDI) exchanges vital business information and documents between two or more companies via computers. The web-based software platforms allow these enterprises to receive process electronically and send data with one another. However, the companies need to agree on adopting a secure communication channel and standardized EDI document format. These could include:
- American National Standards Accredited Standard Committee X12 (ANSI ASC X12),
- United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Transport & Commerce (UN/EDIFACT),
- Organization for Data Exchange by Tele Transmission(ODETTE), and
- Voluntary Inter-Industry Commerce Standard (VICS).
Most companies operating on e-commerce businesses choose to use a suitable web-based EDI solution to run their supply chain. E-commerce is the process by why these enterprises allow internet users to buy their products via their online storefront. Using the web-based EDI supply chain management software solution to automate and streamline supply chain operations will enable companies to:
- Minimize lead time in the manufacture of their brand production,
- Achieve cost savings by minimizing the administrative expenses on the processing of paper documents,
- Eliminate clerical errors at the time of material procurement and processing customer orders,
- Obtain real-time inventory information from their trading partners, and
- Provide real-time information to clarify customers’ queries on the current status of their orders,
Web-based electronic data interchange technology plays the following critical roles in the companies’ supply chain management strategy:
- Electronic integration with the other essential business solutions like ERP and CRM,
- Ensure proper real-time information collection, analysis, dissemination, and sharing with their trading partners, and
- Good coordination of the trading partners’ distribution channels and logistic activities in the market.
The advantages of operating a web-based EDI supply chain management solution to automate logistic operations for e-commerce companies are as follows:
- Streamline critical procedures like customer order processing, tracking shipment and issuing invoices,
- Help in forecasting market trends and analyzing customer purchasing pattern for better decision-making,
- Enhance inventory management and control for better demand planning, and
- Provide the management with real-time analysis of the business operations,
Operating a web-based EDI supply chain management solution allows e-commerce companies to enhance the internal efficiency of their supply chain. However, the platform they choose should be user-friendly and integrate easily into their IT infrastructure.
Moreover, the platform should have the latest business intelligence features to improve inventory control, customer order processing, shipping tracking, and forecasting. Above all, the system should be with the companies’ budget for it to be maintained seamlessly.