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10 key elements to look for in a digital exchange or EDI solution



If you're currently considering software solutions to digitise your finance and/or sales processes, consider these essential key elements. 

  1. It should work for 100% of your suppliers or customers – whether they’re large, medium or small.
  2. Ability to handle all document types – such as invoices, purchase orders, sales orders, ASNs, freight notifications, notifications.
  3. Ability to handle all document formats – so that it does not matter what ERP solutions your suppliers or customers are using, the solution should be able to communicate with any.
  4. Easy to implement and set up new connections and trading partners – you should not need to go to your software provider for all of this.
  5. Easy to make changes if something changes in the process – your customers or suppliers should be able to make the necessary changes themselves if something changes in their data file or format.
  6. Ability to track documents and self-diagnose errors – whichever solution you choose should give you the ability to track where any document is at any stage of the process. You should also be able to fix the error and resubmit.
  7. Integrated solution with several layers of functionality – this is the key to being able to digitise as many of your processes and connections as possible. Look for a solution that gives you EDI functionality, as well as OCR capability to convert Epaper and PDF to digital, as well as manual document entry.
  8. Ability to connect to any ERP solution – so that you can use it for your current ERP and if your organisation decides to move to a different ERP in future.
  9. Strong collaboration ability – choose a solution that gives you the ability to have conversations with your suppliers, or customers, or your team. This speeds up any queries on orders or invoices so that you can resolve outstanding issues quickly. You should also be able to easily find these conversations in future.
  10. Good analysis / reporting capability – should be flexible and fully customisable so that you can create the reports that your organisation needs. Ability to connect to the reporting solution you choose.

Key differences between DX2 digital document exchange and other EDI providers

The number one key difference between DX2 and other solutions is that:

DX2 digital exchange can be used for several processes (EDI, Epaper, PDF, manual entry), for any document type (invoices, sales orders, purchase orders, ASNs, freight notifications), for any document format (xml, cxml, pdf, ubl).

Here are some more key differences you should think about when making a decision on what solution to choose for your organisation.

Standard EDI solutions

DX2 Digital Exchange

Because of the expense, it's common to set up EDI connections for only your largest suppliers or customers. This leads to some processes being digital while others still handled manually.

Able to use DX2 for largest and smallest suppliers and customers due to several ways to receive and convert files and documents.

Several tools required to complete several tasks in a process.

One integrated digital document exchange solution to input the document or digitally capture the document; or receive the document file; then send it on to a digital approval, then collaborate on the document, then analyse the data.

Connections with trading partners are expensive to setup and maintain

Simplified setup process, trading partners can participate and take responsibility for their part.

Every time a supplier or customer needs to change something in their process, it is expensive to change

DX2 enables suppliers and/or customers to make changes to their files themselves cutting down on work for your team.

Errors can be difficult to self-diagnose and rectify.

DX2 includes a digital courier which allows your team to keep track on where documents are in the process, gives you the ability to self-diagnose errors and resubmit documents.

Email conversations about errors in invoicing or purchasing mean the messages are not held alongside the document, are difficult to search for and can be lost.

Conversations can be held right alongside the purchase order, sales order or invoice and are easily retrievable.

Difficult to access from outside an organisation’s firewall

DX2 is cloud based and mobile – it works for distributed teams and organisations.

Limited life span

DX2 can be used for just a few of your processes /connections now, but is also ready to turn more of your processes digital as your organisation needs to.

Standard procurement solutions

DX2 digital document exchange as a procurement solution

Do not have collaboration functionality

Conversations can be held right alongside the purchase order, sales order or invoice and are easily retrievable.

If integrated as part of your ERP solution are only accessible by Finance users  

DX2 sits outside the ERP solution meaning that both your finance and your operational users can access.

If external to your ERP solution, is often based on per user pricing making it expensive to give access to all your finance and operational users

DX2 pricing is based on transactions not users. You can have as many users as you need.

Require several tools to complete an end to end process i.e. a separate OCR solution, then a separate Approvals solution, a separate PO solution

DX2 is an integrated digital document exchange solution that includes modules for digital capture (OCR), manual invoice entry, EDI, purchase orders and spend management, approvals and analysis/reporting.

Poor usability leads to poor user adoption

User friendly user interface that staff enjoy using which improves user adoption.

Poor approval chain

Flexible approval chains to several use cases and cope with parallel and sequential approvals and different approval levels.

Only deal with procurement documents such as invoices and purchase orders

Can deal with any document on either the purchasing, or the sales side.

Standard customer/sales portals /sales processes

DX2 can be used as a sales solution

Not connected to your ERP solution

Can connect to any ERP solution.

Can not receive orders digitally

DX2 can receive all your sales orders digitally and send to your ERP solution.

Can’t handle catalogues

DX2 can connect to your catalogue.

No personalisation

Highly personable, utilises previous customer data to offer targeted product suggestions.

Difficult and slow to make changes and configure

Deep level of configuration so owner organisations can make all the changes they need themselves. Enables you to keep up with sales promotions and other changes in sales strategies.

Slow responses to invoices leads to slow cash to bank process

DX2’s collaboration functionality enables your customers to communicate with your team right alongside the relevant invoice meaning errors, queries can be dealt with quickly speeding up the approval process on the customer side.

 

To find out more about how PGW Wrightson is using DX2 to deliver their invoices to Dairy Holdings Limited as digital data please read more at: https://blog.olympic.co.nz/pgw-wrightson-and-dhl-set-up-digital-delivery-of-invoices-saving-time-and-money 

You can also read about how Dairy Holdings Limited, NZ's largest dairy farming company is using DX2 to process and get approval for payables invoices across 74 farms in the Canterbury region, at: https://www.olympic.co.nz/project/dx2-delivers-time-and-cost-savings-to-nz-dairy-farms/

If you're like to talk to us about your project, and how you'd like to make more of your business processes digital, please get in touch