How CPG Can Better Prepare their EDI Systems for the Holiday Rush
As most of the consuming public is experiencing “Back to School” season in stores, our consumer packaged goods (CPG) clients are fully engaged in preparations for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday retail and the .COM shopping season.
We understand this cycle strains many of our clients to maximum capacity. Hey, you’ve planned all year for this. It’s why no one can take a vacation in late summer and why you’ve hired temps for the warehouse.
So, as you launch into high gear, make sure that your EDI solution is supporting your peak requirements.
If you run on-premise, be sure your hardware is keeping up with growing demand for drop ship orders and large SDQ store or DC deliveries.
If you run in the cloud, be sure your dashboard loads quickly—after all, this is most critical at peak times—it’s important that your files get processed on time and your new partners are live before volume orders begin.
Since this period can be frantic, take good notes. You may need to make some upgrades after the busy season, but without huge volume, some problems may hide themselves until the following year’s rush.
Common follow-up activities can include:
- Hardware/OS Upgrades: Sometimes the old EDI server is just not enough anymore. Add processors or RAM, balloon the hard drive a bit, or even virtualize the whole thing. It might even be time to upgrade your Windows Server (EDI/HQ supports 2012 R2) if you are on a Microsoft operating system that is no longer supported such as XP and 2003.
- Integration Projects: You might be on a web-page based tool that works fine for slow periods, but becomes extremely expensive and slow for rush orders. Double key entry, mistakes and transaction costs will accumulate faster during the holiday rush. It might be time to embark on full integration to save time and push toward operational excellence with your EDI platform.
- Business Rule Automation: You might have sent an ASN without a tracking number and been charged back, or sent an invoice with incorrect payment terms and never gotten paid. In any case, do not let this be the season of lost revenue and slow payment—use your EDI platform to enforce business rules. Logic in your mapping engine should catch many of the mistakes that can propagate through your ERP before your customer sees them. And on a flexible EDI platform, these are straightforward to implement.
- Data Visibility: Involve your whole team with EDI by making it easy to find documents and read them. Use EDI rendering tools and dashboards, web-based visibility platforms, and automatic reports to cut out the IT department from simple daily requests. Everyone will be happy. There will be less repetitive searching for IT, fewer e-mails for customer service and accounting, and faster service for customers.
Get prepared now for the holiday season. Give our EDI experts a call to learn about these opportunities at 877-334-9650, or email us at [email protected]