Accumulating data from orders is easy. The challenge? Transforming all that information into a format that makes it easy for your business to move, manage, and work with it. But the process doesn’t have to be difficult: here are five ways to process data for order fulfillment.
1. Cloud-based Software
Here at eZCom, we know all about this one—we launched our company in 2000 as a provider of software for EDI transactions.
Our Lingo platform ensures that brands maintain EDI compliance with their retail trading partners. While EDI is often considered a time-consuming, challenging requirement, a full-service provider with robust software and expert support can transform it into a genuine competitive advantage. Transactions are handled seamlessly, compliance is maintained, and retailer relationships improve.
Of course, the retail landscape has evolved, so suppliers need a software solution that adapts. Not only does Lingo handle EDI transactions, the platform allows users to easily process other types of data, including direct-to-consumer orders from online marketplaces and eCommerce stores.
Bottom line? The right cloud-based solution will make it easy to move, manage, and work with order data of all kinds.
2. Application Programming Interface (API)
An API is built to define interactions within multiple software platforms. It simplifies programming because it limits actions to defined, specific tasks.
The flexibility and ability to customize an API makes it an effective way to exchange EDI documents. At eZCom, we offer a RESTful API with clear documentation. With it, suppliers can exchange documents with retailers, while still having access to our Support Team and other resources. The same API can also be used to process eCommerce orders, whether they originate from a seller’s website store or from an online marketplace like Amazon.
3. File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
While it is a legacy technology, FTP is robust and reliable, and continues to be utilized by many organizations.
An FTP will not provide comprehensive message management—there is no confirmation returned to the sender that documents have been successfully received. A full-service EDI provider, however, closes that gap, and will offer the non-repudiation, message management, and interoperability required for the efficient exchange of documents between trading partners.
Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS). Both SFTP and FTPS are considered secure Internet protocols. With both, data is encrypted while in transit—moving across the internet—and then decrypted when it arrives at its destination.
As with FTP, an EDI provider is required for the secure and efficient exchange of information between suppliers and retail trading partners when using SFTP or FTPS. Here at eZCom, our Lingo software provides the message management that is required.
Dropbox is a leading file hosting service, and can be an effective way to exchange EDI documents with trading partners. Our Lingo software integrates with Dropbox to make the process seamless. If Dropbox is an integral part of the established workflow, EDI can fit easily into the process.
5. File Connectors
With File Connectors, an application can exchange files according to an established system. They make it easy to move X12 and XML files within databases. When an EDI file is received, an EDI 997 (Functional Acknowledgement) should be returned to the sender using the File Connector.
Stay EDI-compliant and enhance retailer relationships.
Moving, managing, and merging data is essential for EDI compliance and productive trading partner relationships. Ensure that your software provider offers the flexibility that makes it possible to work with your data in a way that optimizes the systems you have in place and produces efficiency in your supply chain.