EDI is mature and reliable, but it has inherent problems. Discover five ways that Celtrino has managed to fill in the gaps and make EDI robust for the 21stcentury
EDI – Electronic Data Interchange – is a 50-year old technology. And this 50-year-old technology is now more relevant today than it’s ever been – and still growing!
Today, so many businesses and industries rely on EDI so that it is at the heart of many key business processes. The technology is in greater demand now than ever. In healthcare industry alone, the most recent estimates suggest the EDI market will be worth €5.2 billion by 2025 – an annual growth rate of 9.4%.
Of course, we at Celtrino are big fans of EDI – its it’s been an integral part of our business for 30 years. It can be complex, and, sure, it incorporates a broad range standards and technologies – but it’s a powerful way of connecting to your suppliers and to your customers. It’s a mature technology, its secure and reliable: it just works!
But EDI does have its limitations. That’s why Celtrino have developed the TradeHub platform over the last 5 years to fill the gaps EDI.
Let look at a few features of EDI and see where Celtrino have augmented it basic capabilities with TradeHub to make it fit-for-purpose in the 21st century.
- EDI is great at sharing information between one system and another system, but it’s not very people friendly. It’s impractical for the everyday person to take an EDI file and to decipher its meaning by reading it. That’s where Tradehub comes in: it allows you to view EDI files like a normal text document applying friendly labels that are easy to understand.
- EDI is not a good way to store information – especially if you want to use that information for reconciliation or business intelligence. EDI files are all self-contained units that don’t reference one and other well. And there isn’t a good way to query information from EDI files other than actually opening up each file. Not exactly useful functionality when you need to find out what the average shelf-life of a one individual product was last month or understanding what was the worst performing category by region. That’s why TradeHub links all related documents together and has data warehousing features allowing you to analyse all this information from your fingertips.
- When systems take in EDI files, they often discard up to 40% of the information that was sent because they don’t require it. This, as you can imagine makes getting the information you need very challenging. However, TradeHub customers have managed to find insights they never thought possible. For example, one customer who was trying to improve his supplier’s service levels realised that they could analyse the response reason sent by their supplier in TradeHub. However, their own system did not not capture it. Using TradeHub, the customer allowed him to identify that 40% of fulfillment failures were down to an “unknown product code” response, and by updating product codes service levels improved from 92% to 96%.
- As EDI is over 50 years old, it is even older than the internet. All the original Internet protocols were built after EDI. This makes it difficult to integrate with more modern technologies that use REST or other web APIs. You can call it a “generation gap” between web APIs and EDI. Celtrino’s TradeHub bridges this gap because TradeHub’s primary purpose is to be the middle man between various systems and technologies of all types. TradeHub has a large suite of integration tools and communication options that leverage the best of modern technologies to allow you to get access to your messages.
- EDI is often accused of being rigid, inflexible and incapable of handling custom requirements. Given that EDI is a standard, it allows lots of companies speak the same language. But the downside is that there is no inbuilt flexibility, so it’s always a real challenge to make it meet your specific requirements. For this, TradeHub has a wide range of Mapping, Enrichment and validation services that help provide the flexibility you need to meet your communication challenges.
Celtrino’s TradeHub platform has evolved EDI for the 21st century, filling in the gap and building out the capabilities that are sorely miss. And TradeHub also includes other value added services like Product and Inventory Management, Marketplace Manager or Vendor Management.
Today, TradeHub is enabling Celtrino’s clients to manage and adapt their supply chains to propel their business forward regardless whether they need to trade with Global Multinationals, the local corner shop, eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.