3 reasons for EDI integration with Shopify
This article was taken from our blog, published on our EDI2XML platform.
Many times, when I meet business owners and executives, the same question comes up during the discussion: why do companies operating eCommerce stores on Shopify or Magento need to have EDI integration? I decided to publish this post, and explain my points, by identifying the top (3) reasons why businesses running on Shopify, need to comply and integrate with EDI.
What is Shopify?
In a quick description, Shopify is one of the leading Canadian eCommerce platforms offered to clients based on monthly subscription fee, where companies and individuals can subscribe, put up their own items on the eCommerce platform, and start selling to the public. For more information about Shopify, you can visit their website, it has tons of information about how things are done.
Who uses Shopify?
Individuals or companies of all sizes, who want to sell products online to their clients and B2C consumers, are mostly the users of a platform such as Shopify. With less than 100 $ a month, they can start selling products and ship it to their clients.
A word about Drop-Shipping
One important thing to emphasize here is that with the emergence of the online retail and eCommerce over the internet, companies selling products online on platforms such as Shopify, are not necessarily carrying inventory of the products they are selling.
They do receive the order from the consumer online into the Shopify platform (or store), and than they transfer this order to the manufacturing business partner(s) for shipping and delivery, while “white labelling” the packaging delivery. This concept is called “Drop-Ship” (or Drop shipping) in the retail and eCommerce world. The store owner will receive the order from the consumer, who gets paid for the merchandise upfront. The Store owner forward the order to the maker for shipment and direct delivery to the consumer.
What EDI has to do in this context of eCommerce?
As a reminder about EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), it is a set of standards and processes to exchange documents of business nature electronically between business partners. What I mean by business documents is Purchase Order, Invoice. This data exchange can happen in both direction (in and out).
In the context of online sales over the internet on a platform such as Shopify and drop-shipping orders, the EDI comes into play for several reasons:
- Most manufacturing an major distribution will require a system-to-system integration through some sort of EDI
- Shipping companies require also integration via EDI
- Consumer today is very well educated and require to be informed on the status of their orders at every step of the way during the shipping process.
As you notice, all the above requires system-to-system integration between so many heterogenous systems and platforms. All major companies and retailers are well equipped with EDI platforms and standards that they have been investing in developing for years now, so it is the right moment for them to pay off all their investments.
Top (3) reasons why you need EDI integration with Shopify
As you might have noticed from the previous sections, the reasons are very obvious, to have an EDI integration with your Shopify store:
- If you are in the Drop-Ship business and you are selling online, chances are that your suppliers will impose on you to go on EDI.
When you are selling online on Shopify, and you have a high volume of clients, that require to be informed of their orders at any given moment, this is another reason why you need to have EID integrated with your Shopify store
- In case you are dealing with shipping companies (FedEx, Purolator, UPS…) and you have high volume of shipments daily, you need to integrate your systems and Shopify with EDI
The above are the main reasons for such a need, still more reasons are out there, just wanted to share the most important ones.
But can we integrate Shopify with EDI?
Certainly, it is feasible, we do this every day. With the right team of integrators, that have years of expertise in integrating EDI to any system, there is no going wrong.
If you are interested to learn more about this topic or any other issue related to EDI integration projects, please click on the image below and I will be more than happy to contact you for a FREE consultation.
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It’s already nearing the end of 2016. Crazy how fast time flies! For many people, this time is the busiest, filled with corporate events, family gatherings, holiday shopping, vacations and more. For many businesses, especially in the retail industry, it’s also one of their busiest times of the year. However, there are those industries or companies where December is a quiet month, making it the perfect time to look ahead and plan for the upcoming year. It’s when executives can finally set aside a few hours or days to establish and finalize next year’s budgets, prioritize upcoming projects, assess employee performance and review goals and benchmarks for the following year. What our consultants always encourage is to also set some time aside to review business processes and determine which ones aren’t working well anymore. For example, are you noticing an increase in unhappy customers, an increase in manual data entry, duplicated work, an increase in costs, missed deadlines, frustrated, and unproductive employees…? If so, it’s definitely time to improve the processes that don’t work and are leading to these problems.
In today’s world, things can change in an instant. Therefore, your business processes may have been efficient 5 years ago (or even one year ago!), but today, they are considered inefficient or outdated due to new technology, new goals, industry or consumer changes, etc.
So what can you do about it?
We’ve compiled an End-of-Year Checklist for you so that you can overcome challenges and improve outdated processes for 2017;
- Write down the main problems/challenges you’ve noticed this past year;
- Where are costs going up? Where are most of the delays occurring? How come customers or suppliers are growing more unhappy? Why are deadlines constantly missed? Why are errors increasing? …
- Analyze these processes. Focus on either one or many of these problem areas and make them your priority for 2017. A great way to really understand what’s going on is to speak directly with the employees who are affected by the processes and get their feedback on why things aren’t working so well anymore. Perhaps they have an idea on how to improve them. It’s critical that you and everyone involved understand exactly what these specific processes are meant to do before addressing the problems and redesigning the processes.
- Restructure those inefficient processes; brainstorm with your team and jot down all the ideas to solve these problems. Many companies refer to a consultant during this step, to help them find possible risks and points of failure of each possible solution.
- The next step involves securing the resources required to implement change (change = new processes or process alterations required to improve efficiency & solve current challenges/issues). Do you need to hire someone new? Do you need to implement new software applications or outsource an IT provider for their services? Whatever it may be, now’s the time to set the budget (make sure it’s a realistic budget!).
For example, let’s say you realized that costs rose with the increase in incoming purchase orders in 2016. Perhaps this was due to hiring more sales reps to input all of these orders into the management system. Now you have more salaries, more manual data entry, and in turn more errors (human errors are likely to occur with data entry). With more errors in customer orders, there are more unsatisfied customers. What is a possible solution to this problem? Reduce the manual data entry or human intervention when it comes to incoming purchase orders through the use of an automated and integrated Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) service. With EDI, incoming Purchase Orders (POs) can be integrated directly into your management system. No human intervention required! This then reduces errors, plus improves the speed in which orders are processed and delivered to customers. A new budget will then be required for 2017 for an EDI integration project.
Going through the above checklist before the New Year will allow you to see real improvements next year. Now’s the time to ensure that your processes are effective and streamlined, your employees are productive, happy and properly trained, customers are satisfied and the technologies used are up-to-date, simple and a good fit for your business. We find too many businesses with complex software solutions, at which point their executives then wonder why their processes are so complex. By 2017, companies will look to have more affordable, flexible and simple solutions in order to have more agility for change. Set your plan and realistic budgets in order to benefit from efficient, streamlined processes.
In today’s business world, the right technology can make a world of difference. IT experts are always pushing to install the best hardware, software, IT services and cloud applications to simplify the lives of business people. This year has been another big year for IT advancements and we couldn’t be more excited about that. We love seeing businesses leverage technology with the right solutions for them, in order to benefit from efficiencies and cost savings.
Here are our most popular and most requested management software solutions and services.
EDI2XML Translation Service
Year after year, we keep seeing an increase in demand for EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) services. Business executives don’t want to hire a full-time in-house EDI specialist anymore to handle their EDI transactions. Nor do they want to hire more customer service reps to manually enter all incoming purchase orders anymore. Many retailers and suppliers are now requiring that any company they do business with must send and receive documents, like Purchase Orders Invoices and Advance Shipping Notices, via EDI.
Companies today are looking not only to implement EDI but to automate this entire process with an outsourced EDI provider. This is why our EDI2XML Translation Service has been one of our most popular services this year. We handle our customers’ EDI requirements from A to Z; we convert their incoming EDI documents into their preferred file format, such as XML (and convert their outgoing XML documents into EDI), as well as handle all new Partner and document setups and manage their continuous communication with their Trading Partners. Our service is affordable, our setup phase is quick and our EDI support team is easily accessible and available; making it the perfect EDI service for any business.
QBR Business Continuity
With ransomware cyberattacks increasing worldwide, it’s not unusual for business executives to come running, asking about our QBR solution. Using the latest technology on the market, this Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery solution is THE best way to protect your data from hardware/software failures, human error, natural disasters, ransomware, computer viruses and more.
No matter the disaster, QBR allows you to recover your data quickly and easily. Businesses can no longer afford to incur downtime that lasts days or weeks, only to later realize that their old, dusty backup tapes haven’t been working for months! With on-site and off-site virtualization, ransomware detection, advanced screenshot verification emails, infinite cloud retention, unlimited agent licensing, instant recovery of entire servers/workstations and more, a company’s data is well protected!
Learn more about QBR here.
Management Software Solutions – The ErpWizard Suite
We are definitely still seeing a demand for complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in the business world. The demand comes from companies that either don’t currently use IT systems to manage their business operations, but instead still use Microsoft Office tools like Excel and Word, as well as companies looking to update their outdated, complex, expensive ERP software.
The transition to a simple, modern ERP system, like our homegrown system – The ErpWizard Suite, has allowed companies to increase visibility into their operations, improve data quality, reduce manual data entry, improve customer service and increase productivity. At the end of the day, when a company has found the right ERP system and Software Provider for their business, they can automate and streamline their processes and improve business agility and performance. That’s the goal of any ERP system. Unfortunately, not many companies realize these benefits at the end of their software implementation (you’d be surprised how many companies don’t even successfully make it to the end of their implementation!).
Technology in the workplace is meant to make business people’s lives a whole lot easier, which is why executives are realizing the importance of a helpful, available, and accessible support team, a flexible, easy-to-use system, and affordable IT costs.
ERP system qualities
Here are some of the main qualities of an ERP system that business executives are looking for:
- Can easily integrate with other systems
- Is effortlessly accessible from anywhere, at any time to allow users to stay in touch with business operations, even while on vacation or on a business trip
- Easy to use, with a simple, modern interface
- Is continuously updated to accommodate to the ever-changing business environment
- Is well supported by an available and accessible IT support team
- Is affordable !!
This year we have been especially excited about our newly improved ErpWizard Suite. Now, with its new modern, sleek interface, end users will actually enjoy using an ERP system. It’s about time companies moved away from those complex, boring looking, out-dated systems and towards simple, visually appealing management applications, that won’t break the bank.
What do you think of ErpWizard’s new look?
WIMS 2.0 – Warehouse Management
Warehouse Management is another popular software solution, usually integrated within a company’s ERP system. This system allows for better visibility and control of all warehouse activity, which is an absolute must today. A Warehouse Management system allows businesses to know;
What’s been delivered and when
Where all items are stored in the warehouse facility
Which items to pick and how much to pick for delivery
The right items to pack using the right shipping cartons and materials
What items to ship and where to ship them
All of this is exceptionally important in order to reduce operating expenditures, increase data accuracy, shorten fulfillment lead times, move inventory faster and increase data accessibility. By using wireless scanners, this inventory data collection system is truly bringing better control and insight into warehouse processes. If a company’s warehouse is in order, customers are better served and happy!
Business Intelligence & Analytics
A big favourite among our customers is our Business Intelligence offering. Our Business Intelligence experts are integrating Tableau Software’s BI solution into our customer’s management system in order to provide detailed analyses with customized drillable dashboards, using all real-time data. Our customers are now able to identify hidden trends and strategic information, turn raw data into visual graphs and tables, identify new business opportunities, spot areas of weakness and avoid problems. The insights that our customers are getting from this Business Intelligence solution is giving them the ability to stay ahead of competition.
The Best Management Software Solutions
We are certain that demand for these management solutions will only increase, as executives are actively looking to transform their businesses using the latest technologies on the market. We predict that mobile business applications will make this list next year, as business owners are looking to supply their on-site teams with access to their management system to input and review real-time data. Modern, visually appealing, easy to use applications don’t just have to be for personal use; companies should be benefiting from these types of applications as well! One thing is for certain; businesses are looking beyond the brand name when it comes to software systems and taking the time to ensure that the Software Provider and offerings are a good fit for their company.
We are true ‘Cloud’ lovers here at Namtek Consulting Services! We have seen first-hand the many benefits that our customers, big and small, have realized with our cloud offerings – from our EDI2XML service to our ErpWizard system in the cloud. Read more
This post was updated to reflect current trends and information.
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The holidays are finally here! What this means for many is the end of a busy year, some free time to spend with family and friends over holiday gatherings and maybe even some beach time!
For others it means the beginning of a new year, with new projects and tasks. It’s the time to analyze, plan and budget for the year ahead so employees will be ready to tackle new challenges and opportunities. To do this, it’s critical to take some time to look at the year that just passed in order to see what improvements and changes can be made going forward. No matter how successful a company may be, there is always room for improvement! Read more
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