Electronic Data Interchange has made radical changes to traditional transaction-based processes within the distribution industry over the past 20 years, from the early years of price books and POS to today's ﾑpaperless' environment. Implemented correctly, EDI can improve a company's transaction throughput while decreasing error rates many times over though technology, not headcount. Here's a primer on the myths and realities of EDI, and a short implementation guide.
Myths and realities
Simply defined, EDI is the electronic exchange of information between business systems with no human intervention. The key words here are no human intervention. Too often, dial-up and internet services for placing orders or checking stock and the exchange of data files via CD and ...
Business system package selection can be an extremely trying experience for your organization. The traditional process of creating an RFP, distributing it to potential vendors, reviewing the responses, and then sitting through hours of vendor demonstrations can consume valuable hours of key resources and doesn't always produce the desired result. It can also leave the door wide open for the pursuit of ﾑneat' features that don't contribute to the bottom line; Nor does it ensure an apples-to-apples comparison of the packages from vendor to vendor.
An alternative approach is to use a combination of well-defined strategic goals and demonstration scripts to drive the process. The following 10-step recipe is based on experience and results, and premised on the belief that the foundation ...
More than ever, distribution firms are looking at information technology projects on an ROI basis. Here are 10 ways to keep technology focused on results.
1. Know your inventory
2. Make technology "business-centric"
3. Understand your errors
4. Do business with yourself
5. Standardize business information
6. Warehouse your data
7. Gather the sales details
8. Understand transaction costs
9. Involve I/T staff in the business
10. Stay strategic
With business systems at the core of so many processes today in distribution companies, the successful implementation of process improvements and cost control measures rely at least partially on computer systems and staff. It is not uncommon to see managers ...