Marlow's EDI Done Right

Lean and Green

Written by Marlow Atticus
Published on Monday, 16 May 2011

green-initiatives-1024x1023For years we’ve been aware of Manufacturing Companies implementing LEAN initiatives. Those same concepts were looked at for the Retail industry over the last 5 years, and companies were building out teams that were tasked with looking within their organization to improve the customer experience and provide better value through the elimination of waste. These days those same principles are being used, but many organizations are taking the concept future through “Green” initiatives.


 

In May one of the presenters at the 2011 NEECOM (New England Electronic Commerce) User Group meeting talked to “Greening the Business Process” where it was shared that we all still have processes in place that include using paper to manage processes and exchange of information between partners. In that presentation it was indicated that we print trillions of pages of paper and that number continues to by grow 3% every year. Ant that does not include the ink used to print the information, and the resources to manage the paper through entering data into a system and then filing.

These days there are many partners that are trading electronically, and EDI is the method that this is being used. I was surprised to hear in the NEECOM presentation that studies have concluded that only 20% of orders within a supply chain are fully automated. 

  • If your already supporting an electronic trading program, re-evaluate that you are fully implemented with all of your partners. Review all manual processes within your company and look for areas where a business document could be switched from paper to electronic, and implement those EDI documents with your partners. You don’t have to restrict yourself to the paper process, but also look into areas in which you have not been exchanging paper, but there is an interest in collaborating with your partners such as providing POS data, on-hand inventory and forecast for future sales.
  • If you have not yet decided to implement electronic trading, what are you waiting for? Implement a supply chain strategy program and include representatives from various parts of your organization. Start small and work your way through the established strategy. If you’re wondering what it takes to begin supporting EDI, talk with your partners, 3rd Party providers, and experts in the space. The 2011 U Connect Live Conference is in a few weeks so perhaps it would be helpful to attend that event where you can learn the basics, meet with other companies, and network with them to gain knowledge, learn what the future holds and meet with some of the support organizations in the Exhibit Hall to learn what services they provide.

Whether your company is implementing LEAN or GREEN teams, Electronic trading with partners is a must, and it is our collective responsibility to collaborate with one another to get these projects underway and do anything in our power to stay the course once the initial implementations are done.

Good luck and see ya at U Connect.

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Marlow's EDI Done Right

Marlow Atticus writes about the right way to use EDI and transactions in the supply chain. His 20 years' experience shows up in his frank commentary about how companies are using (and some times misusing) the transactions that drive the supply chain.

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