This article was written by our friends at eZCom Software, specialists in EDI and ecommerce integrations.
While FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a condition that may be unhealthy in your personal life, it’s actually critical that you have it if you’re a supplier, a brick-and-mortar retailer or an online sales platform.
It’s a harsh reality. But in today’s retail environment, if you snooze — you lose.
In other words, FOMO will make your business healthy. The trick is to have the right amount of FOMO and manage it so the actual ‘Missing Out’ part never happens.
We’re always working on ways to automate the trading process and speed up the order process for everyone. For instance, Target DVS recently established new response standards for the EDI 855, otherwise known as the Order Acknowledgement. For many suppliers, they could be overwhelming because if they get an order from Target DVS, they now have just 30 minutes to return the 855. And Target DVS is hardly an outlier — every retailer and online seller needs to move fast if they hope to keep pace with consumers who have become accustomed to instant gratification.
Now imagine if a supplier was trying to return that 855 manually. With human beings who face real life challenges like traffic jams, a lunch that runs long, or a conference call that seems to go on and on….and on. Could they be confident that the 855 would be sent back in time? Probably not — and that FOMO affliction definitely wouldn’t be something that was just in their heads.
An 855 that needs to be returned this quickly is a great candidate for automation. Here at eZCom, when we learned about the new Target DVS standards, we made sure our clients could do just that. By automating the process, our clients are now getting the 855 back in 22 minutes or less. That’s good for everyone. Target DVS gets the speed they want, while suppliers don’t have to worry if that lunch order seems to take forever to arrive. Fact is, all retailers change requirements — so we always look for solutions that will satisfy them and improve the overall trading relationship.
The 855 is just one example of how quickly today’s retail business moves — and how suppliers need to adapt. Whether it’s a major retailer like Target or a booming online sales platform, success demands speed. When a supplier has a business that is growing, the demands also increase — more trading partners, bigger orders, tighter timelines. A reliable supply chain is critical for strong retail relationships, the efficient flow of data between all parties, and long-term success.
A critical component in that supply chain is EDI and online order management, and a provider that knows the complexities of it is essential. For the supplier, that translates into more efficiency and fewer costly chargebacks. Features like batch processing make it possible to exchange hundreds of documents with just a few key strokes.
Information can be transferred directly to FedEx or UPS to speed up both label creation and shipping. Built-in validation checks keep good data in and mistakes out. And the right portal connects everything — EDI, online orders, a system like Brightpearl — so the flow of information between all parties never stops.
When it’s done right, FOMO evaporates for everyone. Retailers know their orders will be packed correctly and arrive when needed. Suppliers can be confident they’re handling requests within the appropriate windows of time. Inventory is synched and up-to-date. Most importantly, business opportunities for both the supplier and the retailer are not squandered because information failed to travel back-and-forth like it should.
When EDI and order management are done right, FOMO gives way to productive, effective business relationships that reward everyone involved. Extensive automation reduces the mistakes that manual data entry can create, confusion is eliminated, and delays are infrequent.
Choosing the right partners for all aspects of a business, whether it’s EDI or anything else related to your operation, makes all the difference. Today’s retail environment is challenging enough — spending valuable time trying to manage every detail is a chore nobody will miss.