The harmonization of data flows – not an unnecessary luxury
It goes without saying that the current situation has forced today's enterprises to communicate through digital channels and to do business with their partners almost exclusively online. For many, exchanging information via virtual environments is currently the only way that they can work with one another.
Of course, the pandemic is only part of the digital revolution equation. One of the primary catalysts is that business has become increasingly global in nature. Also, there is no place for shortcomings in the competitive world we live in. In addition, it is not only businesses that have changed, but also customers. Today's consumers want to know precisely when a courier will knock on their door and they want to be able to make returns free of charge. Not to mention that suppliers have also become much more technologically advanced, firstly to meet their clients' needs and secondly so that they can grow and expand.
Business experts must therefore work together with their IT departments to choose a B2B communication tool that both covers the new market trends and suits their internal IT environment. Data exchange platforms are constantly evolving in order to keep up with the current market trends. Businesses merge and scattered IT environments shape an ideal business case to unify platforms and cut costs. In today’s global economy, trade does not stop at the border and your platform and IT partner should have the expertise and capabilities to support you on all continents. And as sales and logistics increasingly focus on B2B and e-commerce, your platform partner has to be ready to make the jump with you.
Companies that are planning to implement new systems (or upgrade their current systems) should determine whether or not those systems are mutually compatible. Such implementation can be done all at once (big bang) or in smaller steps (waves). Following this train of thought, the unification and harmonization of data flows should be designed and performed with three areas (dimensions) in mind:
- Processes – commercial, logistics, financial
- Partnerships – clients, suppliers, logistic providers, public administration
- Geography – country, region (or global approach)
When analyzing the above parameters, the available teams should also be taken into account. Keep in mind that some electronic data flows were launched before the 2000s; thus, the analysts or project managers who implemented and managed these solutions are now close to retirement.
To further analyze these issues, Comarch has written an e-book that attempts to explain how a modern EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) system can improve both business communication and transparency in all supply chain processes. Are you curious? You can download the e-book for free here.