2014 January - Getting More

Doing more business via EDI/Electronic Trading with more trading partners was the top priority in our recent survey. It’s a terrific goal for a New Year. Here’s our step-by-step guide to getting this done.

First, create or update your EDI Profile.  This document, shared between trading partners, summarizes your company’s electronic data capabilities and serves as a convenient handoff from frontline associates to the techs.  It typically includes items such as:  trading contact info; EDI contact info; your EDI identifiers; communications protocols; and the list of documents (and versions of documents) you are capable of exchanging.  We are happy to prepare or update yours.

Second, identify your best prospects. If you are going after customers, generate a report that ranks customers by volume of transactions (number of orders or invoices) greatest to least over the course of a year. Similarly, if you are going after suppliers, rank them by number of POs. Take the first page of the report and pat yourself on the back for the ones with whom you are already trading.  Then narrow your focus to the top ten of the remaining. Imagine the timeliness, savings and growing loyalty possible by removing paper and manual handling in trading documents with these prospects.

Third, discuss these prospects with key stakeholders in your company.  Do some have contract renewals coming up?  Are you in a position to insist on electronic trading? Are there opportunities on the horizon so that becoming more efficient now is ideal? Have they been making noise about EDI, electronic trading or streamlining business transactions? Not to worry, if they haven’t, it does not necessarily mean they are not capable or interested. Are the market leaders in their business known for their efficiency? Are your competitors doing more electronically? Now what does the top ten look like?

Fourth, develop a strategy for moving forward. Is this a company-wide initiative or a direct approach with select prospects or both? Visit, letter, e-mail or phone call? Prepare the person making the inquiry to be familiar with the benefits and to involve GraceBlood for the technical aspects. Be prepared to share your EDI Profile. When is the best time to get started on electronic trading together? If your partner is not ready yet they will likely be pleased and impressed you’re interested and capable.

Lastly, we are happy to partner with you on any of these steps! Remember, our mission is to help you profitably and cooperatively manage your daily business transactions.

 



What GRACEBLOOD Clients are saying...

          "GraceBlood is the greatest VAN service and experienced EDI folks I have ever had the pleasure of doing business with."

Anonymous - from 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey