Over 41% of businesses have no electronic data interchange (EDI) capability and 21% just use web portals, a new survey conducted by leading EDI company, Data Interchange, reveals.
"Businesses failing to adopt EDI, or who are not fully utilising its capabilities through integration with ERP systems, are exposing themselves to significant risk through increased errors and process inefficiencies. If businesses wish to engage with their customers and suppliers more effectively, with fewer errors and with reduced risk of expensive failures, then they must become part of a seamless supply chain that uses integrated EDI," said Colin Fisher, Head of Sales at Data Interchange.
Of the 37% of companies that do have their own EDI capability, around 30% outsource to a third party, leaving approximately 70% to manage their EDI internally.
"Perceptions of cost, implementation complexity and ROI, as well as having the necessary staff, are all possible contributors to a low adoption of EDI," said Fisher. "These issues are addressed by outsourcing to a managed service, which, as this survey suggests, is a growing trend."
The survey, which questioned 138 individual companies, went on to show that invoices (both inbound and outbound) and dispatch notes (ASNs) were the most popular types of messages exchanged. This was followed by forecasts, orders and order confirmations. Bill of materials, credit and debit notes and delivery confirmations were used a lot less.
Commenting on the survey, Colin Fisher said: "The findings of this survey substantiates Data Interchange's view of the challenges that exist for companies seeking to exchange message documents cost effectively, securely, efficiently and without error. EDI is clearly the enabler and outsourcing to a specialist provider is the best way of managing the process, leaving a company to concentrate on its core competence."