EDI Retail or electronic data interchange solutions for distribution networks and chain stores
EDI has been adopted in the retail sector for more than 30 years now and still has tremendous potential to deliver value.
Even though the retail sector has benefited from EDI for decades, many companies still use paper in their processes, for orders, invoices and dispatch advices. This is a clear indicator that EDI has not been fully benefited from in the retail industry.
In the 1980’s, Walmart and Proctor & Gamble have been the first to pioneer vendor managed inventory (VMI), an innovative concept that since then has been a key element in the industry, cutting costs and increasing customer service. The grocery industry has integrated this concept, successfully dealing with product flow across the supply chain.
In VMI, it is actually the supplier who has greater control over inventory than the consuming organization. This way, there is less waste and the replenishment cycle narrows down from monthly to daily, increasing customer service.
The streamlining of direct store delivery (DSD) procedures and drive towards global data synchronization (GDS) are other key roles for EDI in retail. 20 vendor companies have been surveyed by Forrester, showing that 41% of organizations use an EDI message format.