As a company, it is often very simple to do everything that is necessary and expect great, immediate results. Maybe you are a good bill payer, and you have all the necessary EDI tools to facilitate communication with business partners. In this case, how come you are still in negotiations with suppliers, waiting for them to join you and implement the EDI tools as quickly as possible?
You don’t need to worry – most of the time, the reason has nothing to do with you. Suppliers may have an inherent aversion to change or simply may not know what EDI systems entail or their effects on their business. You can be the one to educate them in this regard and convince them to join you.
Prioritize the major players – integrate your largest suppliers first
First and foremost, you’ll need to identify all your major suppliers. You’ll be surprised to learn how much you can benefit from integrating these major suppliers compared to integrating those suppliers from whom you order only a few times a year. The number of invoices you receive from a supplier is crucial in assessing their integration priority – the more invoices there are, the clearer it will be that the respective supplier should be included in the integration plans.
As mentioned above, it is crucial not to fall into the trap of believing that if you’ve gone through all the available steps, everything is perfect, and there’s nothing left to do. On the contrary, there’s always more you can do.
For example, in this case, you should dispel the myth that EDI tool integration benefits only you and offers no advantage to your suppliers. Try to demonstrate how their business will benefit just as much as yours from the integration.
Show how the payment cycle will be shortened, and suppliers will receive payments much faster, as well as the fact that they will gain better visibility into customer demand. Additionally, data error rates will decrease significantly because employees will no longer need to manually input data into the system.
Facilitate the integration process
Many companies shy away from the integration process, considering it to be exhausting and difficult, consuming their available IT and personnel resources. Although it is a complex process, it doesn’t have to be exhausting.
As in many other cases, a simple link can have immediate beneficial effects. Invite your suppliers to simply click on the registration link attached in the email you send, along with their username and password. Submitting documents should be easy and accessible to anyone with a basic digital image or scanned version. With such an option available, your suppliers are likely to respond positively.
EDI tools have tremendous business potential, but they need to be used by both you and your suppliers to maximize the benefits. If you need additional advice on how to convince your suppliers to join, don’t hesitate to give us a call