When you started up your business, what was your long term dream? For many it was to have their amazing products listed in all the big stores. You soon realized that wasn’t going to be as easy as you once thought when after your first conversation with a large retailer they sent you their EDI compliance specification, letting you know that basically if you couldn’t comply with it then it didn’t matter how good your product was, they couldn’t list it. So this is why web EDI software has suddenly opened up a massive opportunity for many small companies like yourselves to take your company to the next level, by supplying the large retailers directly.
What Came Before Web EDI Software?
Before there was Web EDI there was Internet-based EDI. For a small company like yourselves the cost and time involved in adopting Internet-based EDI was insurmountable and therefore you had to walk away from a potential opportunity to supply that large retailer whose buyer loved your product. You already knew that your cash flow would be tested to its absolute limit by supplying the retailer, as they would order a pallet of stock and then not pay you until many months later. But when you also realized that the EDI system would also cost you tens of thousands of dollars and take several months to be implemented you wrote it all off.
The cost of Internet-based EDI was linked to the purchase of the initial software, and then on top of that the hardware you would require to host the software and data, and then send the data to the retailer. Add to that the likelihood that you would now need an IT Manager pretty much full time to ensure it and the whole system was running smoothly, and also a disaster recovery system in plan to back up your data in case of a disaster.
Why is Web EDI a Great Solution for Small Companies?
You can now stop worrying about all that upfront expenditure and up times, and disaster recovery, web EDI has suddenly made EDI and therefore access to supply of large retailers much more viable for small businesses. Instead of purchasing software outright and hosting it on your own servers, web EDI uses cloud servers and SAAS software, paid for monthly on subscription. Your entry cost has plummeted massively, and potentially you can be up and running in a matter of days rather than months.
There are good reasons why larger companies still prefer internet EDI, because data is transferred quicker, and data costs are greatly reduced, but as a small business a Web EDI solution should be optimal for you. So you can now start dreaming again about having your products listed in the large retailers and running up against much larger competitors.
EDI also means that your order process will be a lot quicker and efficient so you may be able to eliminate a lot of manual data entry from your order process.