The Importance of Trading Partner Management

Blog | October 3, 2016

The Importance of Trading Partner Management


Trading Partner Management (TPM) has become a vital part of any major retailers’ operations in today’s industry. TPM solutions provide retailers with the ability to automate data transfers or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). EDI is the means to move electronic files between two sources, typically business entities. This protocol has been around for several years, but recently optimization has become more imperative than ever.


Why is EDI Important?


For many retailers, EDI controls the way they communicate with other entities, and it can be expensive. The main objective for optimizing EDI is attempting to reduce these costs. On average, the process of creating, routing and fulfilling an order by hand can cost upwards of $20 each. To combat these costs retailers are automating the order process via integration with all systems across the supply chain. This omni-channel integration creates a homogeneous order ecosystem in which orders are routed and fulfilled automatically.


What are some of the challenges retailers are facing?


The ways in which people shop are changing. The advancements in mobile technology have granted customers the ability to shop anywhere and at any time, as such, their expectations have risen. In addition, online retailers are optimizing their fulfillment processes more and more, thereby delivering unique shopping experiences to their shoppers and creating more competition.  Having less overhead has created a lower barrier to entry for new businesses to sell goods online. Between the copious numbers of new retailers and the fulfillment optimization of more established entities, the retail industry is a battleground.


How does EDI help retailers overcome these challenges?


EDI optimization allows retailers to evolve shoppers’ experiences from just buying products to a more unique shopping experience. Most of today’s shoppers don’t simply want to get in and get out of the store, as they can do that online. When visiting a brick and mortar store, they want to feel they’re having a relationship with it and its associates. In this respect, customer service is a high priority, which means providing customers the services and products they want, when they want them. This level of clienteling with customers requires a retailer to have inventory visibility across the entire supply chain, and EDI optimization can provide that visibility. This level of visibility can also allow retailers to drop ship out of stock products from their vendors directly to the customers. If you want to be able to look at your vendor’s inventory in order to make a promise to a customer, you have to have an integration component to give real-times updates. EDI or trading partner management needs to be a core part of your retail strategy so that you represent all stores and channels as an integrated solutions and not just one.


EDI in the Modern World


EDI solutions have become a staple necessity amongst modern retailers. The optimized communication protocols create an automatic order routing and fulfillment functionality that is vital to any omni-channel supply chain. Customer expectations are only going to continue to rise as technologies advance and retailers optimize. See how Enspire Commerce can optimize your EDI processes today.

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