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Four Ways EDI Can Help the Food Industry

Today’s consumer demand for information and transparency has had the food supply chain shift toward more standardization, technology and lot tracking of the food origin, ingredients and other product information. With low margins, stiff competition and digital integration it puts additional strain on the food industry.

Automation is the key to ensuring the food industry continues to meet the demands of the consumer along with meeting short and long-term success. The way to do that is with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), which automates the flow of orders, invoices and other file types.

EDI ensures that your business systems speak the same language with your vendors and logistics partners. It provides you with a standard format for automating order processing and inventory management. In today’s 24/7 food processing operations, each part of the production process has to be planned with precision to ensure that products are delivered in prime condition. EDI drives round-the-clock operations, reducing costs and securing efficiencies.

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How EDI Can Help the Food Industry

1. Complete Order Visibility
EDI automates and standardizes your documents such as purchase orders (EDI 850) and invoices (EDI 810) between you and your vendors giving you the power to know where your product is at all times. 

2. Reduce Out-of-Stocks or Overstock
Electronically processing your purchase orders means product gets to the consumer faster, eliminating the fear of out-of-stock or overstocks for your customer.

3. Advance Ship Notices (ASNs 856s)
This electronic document provides information on when an order has been shipped and what products are contained in the shipment. This information allows you to better manage your inventory and improve margins.

4. Improved Visibility and Traceability
Restaurant chains such as Chipotle continue to make headlines due to food-borne outbreaks such as E. Coli. The outbreak for Chipotle was made worse because they couldn’t trace the origins of the contaminated food. An ASN allows you to easy track everything back to the original source, allowing food vendors to better isolate and manage outbreaks or product recalls. Utilizing an ASN meets the FDA regulatory data requirements for traceability, the Food Safety Modernizations Act (FSMA) and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

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Data Communication Solutions (DCS) has years of experience working with the companies involved in the food industry helping them implement EDI and ensuring they get the most  out of their investment.

Regardless if you have been asked to trade via EDI for the first time or you are moving from an outdated system or an under-performing provider, DCS’ EDI Consultants can help you achieve your short and long-term business objectives from development to managed services. Contact us for more information or schedule a no-cost assessment to help to get you started.