We recently sat down to talk with our Director of Sales, Lee Mrkonjic. On the surface, EDI and Sales Data Analytics might seem disparate technologies with little connection, but Lee provides insights showing the value to clients in leveraging both.
It was a fascinating conversation that we’re excited to share with our readers.
We announced that Crisp acquired Integral Group at the beginning of the year. Will EDI play an important role, and will there be a strong EDI focus?
Yes, absolutely! Crisp acquired Integral Group for that reason, to have an EDI focus to complement the existing business.
With many acquisitions, a competitor purchases a business only for the customer base. The result is that the attributes that made customers choose their original provider cease to exist.
That was never the intent with Crisp. The EDI business is essential to them, and the goal is that it continues to flourish.
That’s a perfect segue into asking how the EDI business line is doing.
Last year, the Crisp EDI business line (Integral Group) had the best year in 37 years: That’s a tangible sign of growth and is all-around excellent news.
What is the connection between EDI and Crisp sales analytics? How do they complement each other?
EDI is what I will refer to as the traditional side of the supply chain, and it’s woven into the fabric of so many businesses: it’s here to stay. At a high level, EDI helps companies order products and distribute them to customers through retailers or direct dropship.
EDI gets products where they need to go but doesn’t tell brands how the product sells once in stores. You know you’re shipping to a Walmart distribution center or store, but that doesn’t inform you about in-store performance.
So, if you’re a business owner, the other half of the equation is sales data analytics. Where’s the inventory? Where is it selling well, and is it running out in some areas – should more of a product be going to Miami instead of Dallas?
With Crisp’s sales analytics, brands can see all that data down to a store level on a dashboard. That’s invaluable information.
Combining EDI and sales analytics, you have an end-to-end picture of the supply chain for your brand, and you can take proactive measures to enhance your sales.
If a brand is shipping a product to Walmart and knows it doesn’t sell well in Texas, can it direct the product to another, better-performing location?
Walmart may already know this, but not all retailers are as sophisticated as they are.
For this example, using the Crisp sales data, the brand can say to Walmart,
‘You’ve just ordered a truckload of this product and are sending it to Texas, but sales data shows it should go to Florida because it’s selling better there.’
That’s useful to stop food waste and for products with expiry dates. Brands can also use that data to maximize sales, eliminate out-of-stock issues and for targeted promotions.
But, again, that’s only half of the equation.
You need a strong EDI purchasing side, or the process will fail. It’s essential to know that the product is selling in Florida. But to make that information actionable, you also need a solid and integrated EDI system for ordering and distributing.
That’s the fantastic synergy and power of EDI working with sales analytics.
It’s coming up on a year since Crisp acquired Integral – how has your experience been?
Culturally, the two companies are a great fit. From my perspective, while there are the expected challenges to bringing two companies together, I don’t see negativity or push-back – everyone at Crisp has been welcoming and open. And they respect that EDI is a bit different than the work they’re accustomed to. Our clients still deal with the same people and enjoy the same exceptional service levels as always.
Are there any other benefits you see from the Integral EDI team joining Crisp?
It’s not overstating to say that we will be a formidable force working together. What we’re offering will outpace any of what the competition has. It’s compelling and provides clients with an unparalleled opportunity.
I predict that Crisp’s unique offering of EDI and sales data analytics will be an even bigger force in the industry than was envisioned.
With 30 years as an EDI industry expert, Lee is the definition of a trusted advisor. He understands the technology and our client’s business requirements and is a tremendous resource.
If you’d like Lee to elaborate on anything he touched on above or discuss how you can enhance your business by combining EDI and sales analytics, please get in touch with him.
Direct: (289) 301-2410
Mobile: (647) 377-0131