An increasing number of small and mid-sized businesses are turning to EDI — electronic data interchange — in order to increase growth, improve efficiency and connect more effectively with suppliers, clients and customers.
The worldwide market for EDI software has grown at a significant pace over the last decade, as cloud-based software such as XEDI replaces traditional in-house EDI systems.
Data shows that approximately 85% of business transactions occur through some form of EDI system, as of 2017. A report from Grand View Research values the market for healthcare EDI systems alone at an incredible $2.7 billion.
Previously, much of the growth of EDI systems has been due to large businesses and brands — established, highly profitable companies with the cash resources and scale to implement their own internal EDI systems.
However, as cloud EDI software has grown in popularity, an increasing number of smaller and mid-sized businesses are starting to make the switch to EDI as a way to fuel growth, increase efficiency and run smarter, more accurate businesses.
EDI software offers a range of benefits for smaller and mid-sized businesses, particularly for those that depend on larger suppliers and customers.
One of the most significant benefits of EDI is an improvement in data quality and accuracy. On average, businesses that use EDI for businesses processes have a reduction in mistakes of as much as 40 per cent.
This can produce a measurable increase in customer satisfaction and quality of service, helping with important processes such as customer retention and overall service.
EDI systems are also closely correlated with overall improvements in efficiency. Many small and medium-sized businesses that have implemented EDI report increases in the speed of business processes by as much as 61 per cent.
This increased efficiency not only affects speed — it also has a significant impact on costs. With effective use of EDI, many businesses can eliminate large amounts of printing, paperwork and general logistics work, helping to save money and eliminate office waste.
Finally, businesses of all sizes report the ability to operate more efficiently and intelligently as a whole through the use of EDI. The improvements made possible by EDI allow many businesses to make smarter, faster decisions on key issues and opportunities.
EDI also allows for faster execution, helping to create businesses that not only operate faster and more efficiently, but are more able to respond to new opportunities and changes as they occur.
With cloud-based EDI software becoming more accessible, it seems that EDI will continue to be a hot topic in the world of small and mid-sized business. The advantages of EDI are clear, with the simplicity and accessibility of cloud EDI systems allowing any business to make the switch.
Like many other recent technologies, EDI’s huge advantages make it essential for businesses to view implementation as a priority. After all, the improvements in efficiency, growth and accuracy made possible by EDI are tough to compete with, making it a new small business essential.