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Giving EDI Trading Partners More Visibility into the Carrier Lifecycle

This series of blog posts looks at how EDI costs can constantly fluctuate. The first post “Get Ahead of Your EDI Costs with Predictable Pricing” addresses how EDI costs can constantly fluctuate. Pricing is often based on the number of transactions sent or the number of kilo-characters. The second post in the series looks at the cost of sending the same data to multiple EDI trading partners. This is also known as a carbon copy (or “cc’ing” data).

Along the supply chain, goods are transported from raw material suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and finally to end users. Brokers, 3PLs and carriers are involved in every step along the way to get a product to market. As a result, real-time visibility into the location and status of a shipment have become essential.  

There are a number of parties wanting visibility into your supply chain data. In transportation specifically, carriers are being hammered on by trading partners wanting full visibility into the shipment lifecycle. This includes the initial point a load is tendered, to the time it gets invoiced. During this process, any number of partners can get involved and the carrier must comply with their request.  

For example, suppose you’re a shipper and you send out a 204 (Motor Carrier Load Tender) to a transportation carrier. Your visibility provider (e.g., Project44, FourKites, Trimble Visibility, JDA Control Tower or any transportation management system) may require you to send them a 204 as well, showing that the load you’re sending is being tendered to the carrier. There may also be a factoring company or insurance company that expects to receive these updates as well.

Let’s take a look at how cc’ing multiple EDI trading partners can increase your EDI costs.

Cc’ing Data Can Double Your Transaction Costs

Trading partners demand full visibility into the carrier lifecycle. As a result, carriers are under more pressure than ever. They’re tasked with keeping up with this demand and providing their trading partners with real-time updates.

If you’re cc’ing data across your trading partners, you may think there are no additional costs incurred. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It all starts when a shipper requests that you, a carrier, cc one or more of their trading partners on a transaction. Sometimes, you can cc the data as is, and no custom mapping or configuration is required. However, you’ll still get charged to send that partner a carbon copy of the transaction, doubling your costs.

Keeping trading partners informed and cc’ing them on transactions can involve more work and additional EDI costs. More often than not, trading partners require some data in the transaction to be formatted in a certain way.

For example, Visibility Partner A and Visibility Partner B have their own specific format of how they want to receive the data. You may not be able to just cc a transaction, because Visibility Partner A wants an MS1 segment using city, state and zipcode, while Visibility Partner B wants just the latitude and longitude in the MS1 segment. Carriers need to be able to manipulate the data in a way that’s in accordance with their trading partners’ expectations. This minor difference in the MS1 segment of the transaction may seem relatively insignificant, however, it requires custom integration work. Which means more time, money and resources to build those point-to-point integrations.

Managing EDI Trading Partners at Scale

Keeping up with the demand for increased visibility and meeting the data requirements of your trading partners, requires a lot of time and effort. Orderful’s API challenges traditional EDI infrastructures and eliminates the need for companies to build point-to-point EDI integrations. As a carrier, cc’ing data across your trading partners can quickly spiral into an abyss. A simple carbon copy can turn into a custom integration. This requires your internal EDI department or EDI consultants to build additional integrations.   

With Orderful carriers can connect to our API, from there we handle all the formatting out to your trading partners. Whether you’re cc’ing Visibility Partner A or making a minor update to the same transaction for Visibility Partner B, we handle all the heavy lifting for you. In addition, unlike legacy EDI systems, we don’t charge you to cc data to your trading partners.

Schedule some time to speak with one of our EDI experts to learn more.

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