Over the past four decades, EDI – electronic data interchange – has become known as the business standard format to relay documents electronically in a network. Even though using EDI comes with an array of benefits, it also experiences challenges from time to time.

The good news is, for most businesses, the benefits offered by EDI outweigh the drawbacks. Modern technology and methods have worked to provide more potent benefits for small businesses, with some of the most appealing listed here.

The Financial Benefits of EDI

Since EDI is a digital method of communicating for your business, it offers an array of advantages over more traditional, paper-based systems. Additionally, it can help you avoid expensive errors, extensive wait time, and an array of other issues that businesses that are not using EDI will experience.

One example is paper and postage, which represents the biggest difference between communication with EDI and other communication systems commonly used. Since all EDI transactions are handled electronically and instantly, the cost of forms, envelopes, postage, paper, ink, and other transit costs are eliminated. In addition to saving on materials and waste for a business, EDI also provides resources that go beyond the walls, including the labor and fuel that are associated with transit and shipping activities. Even maintenance and administrative costs are reduced thanks to EDI because of the storage, filing, and the retrieval costs no longer being in the equation.

Even labor costs are reduced, as the manual entry and review of documents and other administrative tasks, such as filing, copying, and sorting are no longer a factor when EDI is used. The automation provided frees up worker’s time allowing them to take on other tasks while reducing mistakes.

The Operational Advantages Offered by EDI

While the automation offered by EDI helps with cost-savings, that’s not all. When your business is able to run more efficiently, then trading partners, along with customers are much more inclined to come back to you time and time again with their business.

By keeping your paper-based trading network accurate (which is a full-time job) you can ensure a higher level of productivity and customer satisfaction. This is something that is possible with EDI. The fact is, there are more than a few opportunities for human error when processing returns, re-keying data from an order, and handling the payment process. With EDI, these issues are virtually eliminated.

Are You Ready for EDI for Your Business?

As you can see from the information found above, if you run or operate a small business, EDI offers an array of appealing benefits. It’s a good idea to consider these carefully to determine if this is something you want to invest in. If so, working with a professional service provider will help ensure you can reap all the benefits that EDI consulting services offer. Trying to do this alone may leave a lot on the table in terms of cost savings, efficiency, and business productivity.