3 ways to bring value to your EDI supplier relationships

As a company, it’s easy sometimes to do all the right things and expect immediate, great results in return. You may be on time with paying your invoices, you may have all the right EDI tools too that facilitate communication. So why is it that you are still debating this with your suppliers, waiting for them to onboard and implement EDI tools faster?

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You needn’t fret about this – more often than not, it’s not about you. Suppliers can have an innate fear of change or they simply don’t know what EDI systems are all about and what their effect on the business can be. However, it does not mean that the situation is definitive and that it will remain like this for ever. You can be the one to educate or persuade your suppliers to join you and your EDI system.

Go Big – Onboard your Large Suppliers First

First of all, rally around all your big suppliers. You would be surprised how much more you would benefit by onboarding these suppliers rather than the ones from which you order only a couple of times a year. The number of invoices you receive from the supplier is extremely important in assessing your suppliers for onboarding – the more invoices, the clearer it is that they should be included in your onboarding plans.

Be Proactive About It

As mentioned before, it is essential that you don’t fall into the trap of believing that if you’ve done everything in your immediate reach, you’re set to go. On the contrary, there’s always more to be done.

For instance, in this case you should bust the misconception that coming on board with EDI tools only benefits you and does not hold any perks for the suppliers themselves. Focus on proving why this will benefit their business as much as it will benefit yours. Demonstrate how the payment cycle will be reduced and thus how they will receive payments faster, as well as how they will gain increased visibility into customer demand. What’s more, the data error rate will drop drastically as employees will no longer need to manually key in information.

Facilitate the On-Boarding Process

Many companies are typically afraid of the integration  process, thinking it will probably be cumbersome and difficult to carry out, using up all their IT and personnel resources. Although it is a complex process, it does not need to be draining.

As per usual, a simple link does wonders. Simply invite them to click on the registration link in the email you send them, along which they can also find the username and password. Submitting documents should be easy and should be doable for anyone in possession of a simple digital photo or scan. Having such an amazing option available, your suppliers are bound to respond positively to your invitation.

EDI tools hold huge business potential, but for the benefits to be reaped properly, both you and your business partners need to use them together. If you need assistance in persuading your suppliers to integrate with your EDI system, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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