When it comes to EDI, small businesses are often compelled to implement by their larger trading partners and suppliers. While a business may think it’s too small to warrant such a change, it’s easier to get started with EDI for small businesses than one might think.
EDI For Small Businesses: Burdens And Benefits
There are, as with many transformative technologies, initial barriers to be overcome. However, this is true for entities of every size when implementing EDI. In fact, smaller businesses have an easier time with some of these barriers than their larger counterparts. For many, the biggest barrier is costs associated with infrastructure and staff, for others, it’s the transition from paper-based systems to digital and automated ones. Whatever the hurdle to overcome may be, the benefits of integrated EDI for small businesses far outweigh the benefits that may be holding a business back from making the change.
Satisfaction, Loyalty, And Growth With EDI For Small Businesses
When it comes to the many arguments for a small business to begin leveraging EDI, nothing trumps growth. EDI enables growth in a big way, especially for smaller businesses. Two significant avenues through which EDI facilitates this are customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. When the experience of purchasing goes smoothly, and communication is fluid, customers appreciate the experience. Consistent performance in this regard delivers repeatable experiences that drive customer satisfaction. Positive word-of-mouth and online recommendations increase, which earn more business and retain loyal customers.
Accuracy, Automation, And Accountability
It’s not unusual for small business staff to wear many hats and assume several responsibilities from day to day. Even specialists make mistakes, but staff tasked with multiple duties at a business are provided more opportunities to make simple errors. These errors can have far-reaching consequences. With EDI many of the repetitive and manual tasks associated with purchasing, invoicing and shipping can be automated, accurately enacted, and provide transparent records for superior accountability. The result is fewer botched orders, better follow through on commitments to customers, and another opportunity to prove their loyalty is earned and valued.
Reducing Overhead With An EDI Partner
For many small businesses, envisioning the added burden of managing EDI infrastructure and maintaining knowledgeable staff can sink the idea of before it’s put into action. Fortunately, there are options that don’t place these anxieties squarely on the shoulders of a business. After the initial set-up of EDI, an EDP partner can maintain the system apart from a business’ day-to-day operation and IT structure. These systems are repeatable and scale with growth and can be easily integrated into existing ERP systems or to those added further down the line as time goes on.
By passing off the cost of an EDI project to an external partner, small businesses can enjoy the benefits of EDI without the additional staff, software, and hardware to maintain. This leaves in-house talent free to take on value-added activities that drive business growth and focus on customer care.
About Encompass Solutions
Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in EDI, business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.