Full implementation of EDI in grocery retail sector
Despite the near saturation of electronic ordering and invoicing in this sector, the uptake of electronic despatch advices is comparatively low at 38%. GS1 UK’s research has identified further cost savings of £200 million if the sector fully adopted EDI despatch advices for all of its orders. The UK retail grocery sector has the opportunity to gain a total of £288 million a year in cost savings by fully adopting electronic order, invoice and despatch advice messages.
Automating the order-to-cash process
Companies can save costs further by automating the full order-to-cash process through the use of EDI. Order-to-cash refers to the process in which a customer’s purchase order is taken through various channels including email, online and direct and is fulfilled, delivered, an invoice generated and the payment collected. When the process is carried out manually, there is an increased risk of an error occurring. For example, if an order is taken incorrectly and is fulfilled, delivered and invoiced, the customer may decide to cancel or return the order. If the order delivered has more stock than ordered and invoiced, customers may choose not to inform the supplier. This can be very costly for the supplier and the inconsistent data could affect the customer’s stock control systems.
As a result, it is not surprising that many businesses have looked to automate the entire process, through the use of EDI. When implementing EDI a business can choose to automate the entire order-to-cash process, or take it one stage at a time. Many companies start with the order process and then move on to invoicing. As each stage is automated, the overall benefits and return on investment (ROI) increase.
To learn more about EDI and become a certified EDI Professional, please visit our course schedule page.