It doesn’t make sense to deny the fact that tablets and smartphones are gaining more and more ground, becoming indispensable for people everywhere, and at the same time, an important business tool for companies. Considering that EDI is a cornerstone in B2B e-commerce, it was only a matter of time before these two major players intersected and combined their capabilities. Companies have begun to realize that it’s a winning combination and have started, one by one, to integrate their mobile devices with EDI document exchange processes.
Although the uncomfortable process of typing important information on the small keyboard of a mobile phone is not very enticing, there are certainly some advantages that you should not miss. We will discuss them in detail below:
1. Key Moments Notifications
Having real-time access to sensitive information is a fantastic bonus for companies from the get-go, regardless of their industry or size. Now, imagine that in addition to this advantage, your employees can be kept informed of everything that is happening through smartphones and tablets. This advantage would give them the opportunity to react immediately to potential critical points and to correct or eliminate any issues that may arise. Similarly, this ability to make decisions more quickly translates into higher revenues for your company and an increase in customer satisfaction. Below are a few examples to help you better visualize the benefits:
- As soon as an invoice is received, a notification will be sent via email or SMS to inform that the document has been received and is awaiting approval. Of course, this can happen within a few minutes, as soon as the invoice is received. Another bonus would be the possibility of benefiting from potential early payment discounts.
- An SMS or an email can notify the customer that the Shipping Notification for their order has not been sent yet. This way, the supplier can expedite the process, if necessary, to maintain good relationships with customers.
2. The ability to check the status of a transaction
It is essential that whenever key personnel of a business are not in the office, they can promptly find out if a transaction has occurred. Some possible scenarios:
- Every time a supplier calls to inquire about an unpaid payment, the purchaser can check on their phone or tablet to see if and when a return receipt has been sent.
- Every time a sales agent is on the move but needs to know the status of a delivery for an order, he or she can simply use their phone or tablet to find out, instead of calling back to the office.
3. Convenient Access to Important Metrics
Orders, invoices, and shipping documents are key components when the buyer or supplier wants to evaluate delivery performance or payment history for the purpose of signing a new contract. They can easily access the information through the smartphones and tablets provided.
4. Specific Mobile EDI Applications
EDI has been facilitating the electronic exchange of important business documents for some time. It was only natural for IT developers to create new mobile applications to enhance efficiency. Currently, these have the greatest applicability in the retail industry.
- In the same vein, tablets can be used very effectively in warehouses and distribution centers. They enable staff to accurately identify any damaged packages received and determine the value to be discounted in the corresponding invoices. Subsequently, the responsible employee will submit the discount for further processing by the debt payment department, where a decision will be made on whether to approve the discount or not. This process significantly reduces the number of manual tasks involved and also simplifies potential disputes.
B2B e-commerce is already benefiting greatly from emerging mobile technologies. Of course, they will add to the complexity of B2B commerce, but just think about the multitude of as-yet-unexplored opportunities! If you want to take the next step for your business, contact us.