Learning Center

EDI pitfalls

These are the top five EDI pitfalls we see and what you can do to avoid them.
The topics on this list may not be top of mind for you, but acting on them can positively impact your business.

Be aware: The term standardization is not all-encompassing.
EDI is synonymous with standardization – so many assume that doing EDI is the same in all cases. And that's not true.

With EDI, there is a standard data format.
But there is no standard in the way that business is conducted.
Not every retailer does EDI the same way, nor do they all use the same EDI transactions.

But every supplier must be compliant with all of their retailers and know the intricacies of each.

At Crisp, we stay current with the requirements of each retailer. Note that every supplier also needs to do so themselves to meet the retailer's order expectations and not face costly chargebacks.

Integration should continue beyond the doors to the warehouse.
Most companies understand the value of integrating their ERP applications. Integration is cost-effective, error resistant and lessens the load on staff. Despite that, the warehouse often remains a manual process for many companies that embrace integration in other areas. Labour represents a high cost to all businesses, and it just makes sense to let integration take care of repetitive tasks – and focus staff on high-value work.

If you have your own warehouse, adopting automation to save time and money is a clear win. If you use a 3PL, you need to be aware of their level of integration, too. Any 3PL slow-downs due to manual processing can directly and negatively impact your ratings.

We encourage you to talk with us about having Crisp integrate your shipping systems. Doing so, you get the same benefits in your warehouse as in the front office.

A single service provider is the best solution.
We see customers who have been told they need multiple portals, systems, and service providers. There is a perception that you are required to have separate retailer-specific solutions. All these order management applications are essentially doing the same thing.

With overlapping services, you deal with many contacts for support and billing. You must ensure your staff is trained on every platform. This adds complexity to your environment. It's non-productive and inefficient.

Having multiple providers isn't necessary or advantageous to you. A retailer may make suggestions, but you always have the choice to consolidate your services with one provider.

Consolidate and let Crisp take responsibility for all your order management processing for a one-stop, smoother, more straightforward order management process.

Don't view EDI as an afterthought.
It's a coup to land new business with a large retailer. There are financial rewards and great exposure for your products. But to make this new relationship work, you must deliver according to the retailer's stringent vendor guidelines, which almost certainly includes being EDI compliant. The last thing you want to do is disappoint your new customer when they issue the first EDI 850 (purchase order).

We see suppliers who wait until the contract with the retailer is signed to think about EDI order management – and that sequence of events is fraught with challenges.

Think about your EDI infrastructure before you go after the big deals. Consider the end-to-end process before onboarding new retailers, so you are not struggling to go live when an order arrives. At the same time, make sure your 3PL is also EDI compliant.

Bad advice: If it's not broken, don't fix it.
We've said this before, but it is worth repeating. The bar for service providers needs to be set far higher than not being broken. EDI might be seen as a workhorse in the background, but it can significantly impact all areas of your business.

If you don't have a high level of satisfaction with your provider … make a change to one that better matches your needs and expectations.

We have provided technology solutions (EDI, API and custom applications) since 1986. We are a stable, agile, self-directed company, and we have designed and honed our infrastructure so it does not go down.

We believe in developing long-term customer relationships by providing an exceptional experience. Our talented development team has a broad range of technical expertise to tailor your solution. We have teams dedicated to working with you throughout the implementation and integration processes. And our customers always have access to included, ongoing, one-on-one training and support, as well as self-serve how-to videos.

We are always pleased to hear from happy customers. But we also know that sometimes things don't go as planned. If that happens, we encourage our customers to reach out to us so that we can take steps to resolve the issue and improve generally. In addition to day-to-day contacts, customers have direct access to our management team as needed.

We want to help you address these pitfalls. Contact our Director of Sales, Lee Mrkonjic, to discuss what Crisp can do for your company.
(289) 301-2410

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