Few years ago there were a couple of articles describing if EDI will survive in the constantly developed internet era. Some of them were trying to predict its death. In spite of these pessimistic predictions we can see that electronic data interchange continues to grow.
Electronic data interchange standards still remain the major protocols in the field of B2B connections and the traffic is constantly growing.
One of the reasons why retailers will continue using EDI and will invest in its development is that too much force was used to build properly working systems worldwide. It took years for implementing reliable and efficient EDI solutions as well as creating and supplying proper products. Trainings and seminars are provided by experienced bodies and companies. That is why the first reason is that today EDI is a powerful and stable system with developed support network.
The second reason for electronic data interchange stable position is the following: over past ten years the biggest retailers understood that bigger business transactions volumes do not influence staff growth. Some companies raised their documents turnover from 10 000 purchase orders per year up to 100 000 ones, and thanks to EDI implementation this situation did not made them to hire new account department staff.
Speaking about vendors we should mention the third reason. Once joined a retailer system a vendor can easily stay in for years and stop suffering all that paper rush. Testing period can take long time and much effort, but the results are quite visible. EDI networks grow and new companies, both small vendors and big hubs, enter electronic data interchange world. EDI provides easy and comprehensible way of document circulation between two partners.
Though traditional EDI can be treated like an expensive business tool, the cost for its implementation and support can be covered even by small-size companies. Many exhisting providers offer money-saving cloud service or dedicated mapping teams that is much cheaper than installing all needed costly hardware, hiring IT staff and constantly supporting all this.
One more thing that should be mention is standardization. Existing electronic data interchange standards (both global and regional) simplify documents circulation and reduce misunderstanding in documents format, demands etc. Standards are constantly supported and upgraded by standardization bodies. Also partners themselves customize standards to suite their local specific needs.
Speaking about further development and implementation of EDI we can sum it up with the following information: according to latest statistics documents circulation volume via EDI is constantly growing – 15 million EDI transactions per day as separate example of one worldwide retailer (the quantity regards to the global retail network). Such results show that electronic data interchange will continue to be major alternative in document exchange field for further years.