August 20th, 2020

We understand the challenge: EDI order processing and EDI invoicing can be complex for smaller partners who may not have the budget, nor the resources, for EDI technology. But just because these partners don’t have their own electronic data interchange software doesn’t mean B2B EDI is out of the question. Forget about sending or receiving paper documents and emails; you can still connect with these partners electronically with EDI solutions for small businesses.

Here are 3 approaches to implementing EDI with smaller partners:

1. Web-Based EDI with ERP Integration

Great for suppliers and vendors that don’t have high order volumes, a web-based EDI solution is a simple way to cut down order processing costs. It’ll also free up countless hours of valuable time without impacting usual business processes on either end.

How Does It Work?

Suppliers and vendors enter their business document data into a web-based EDI portal and submit it. The data is then automatically translated into EDI, XML, or any other format, and sent directly to your ERP or other existing system for further processing—manual data entry becomes a thing of the past. Good news is, this solution is a two-way street meant for inbound and outbound documents. That means your partners are not only able to submit their own documents as EDI messages in the web-based portal, but they’re also able to download EDI communication that is sent to them.

2. Automate PDF Processing

Who doesn’t have suppliers or vendors that send invoices and other business documents in the form of PDFs? But did you know that you can automatically process PDFs with 100% data capture accuracy regardless of your existing system? And no, we’re not talking about error-prone Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. As a convenient alternative to web-based EDI, this solution is perfect for partners that send large orders and/or high volumes of orders.

How does it work?

A purchase order, invoice, or any other type of business document that is traditionally sent as a PDF via email is instead uploaded to a secure application that has been installed on the sender’s device. From there, the data contained within the PDF is automatically mapped to the appropriate format and delivered to the intended recipient. This enables the document to be processed automatically by the recipient’s ERP or other financial system. In other words, small and mid-sized partners can continue to send PDFs and still comply with the EDI requirements of larger partners.

3. Invoice & Order Automation

Did you know that it typically takes 40 to 50+ days to fully process an invoice? Electronic invoicing (AKA e-invoicing, EDI invoicing) enables you to automate invoice processes for immediate cost savings that can positively impact your business. Order automation takes it one step further.

How does it work?

Your business creates a document—any document, in any format. The document is then run through advanced data capture, validated, translated, and sent directly to your partner in their preferred EDI format, or other format (EDI, PDF, flat file, database file, etc).

All in All

All 3 of the B2B EDI solutions mentioned above are great alternatives to standard EDI with smaller partners who aren’t capable of EDI communication on their own. By eliminating manual processes, you’re able to receive all the benefits of EDI, namely, automation capabilities, without impacting your partners. That makes it much easier to get them on board, and much easier for you to collaborate with one another.