Is the digital middleman constricting the potential freedom of your business?

Documents. They need to get from one place to another. Once upon a time this happened through the post and couriers. These days, there is a different kind of courier, a courier that is getting business documents from buyer to supplier and back again, especially within the end-to-end supply chain. This method is not new in the historical or technological sense, but it is gaining traction and becoming the dominant form of document transportation. It is Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a standard for the exchange of business documents, which is enhanced by integration without the necessity for any manual processes.

This sounds amazing, does it not? So, what is the problem? Well, choosing the right ‘middleman’ is essential. A common misconception is that once the systems are integrated there is no need for the provider of said integration to be involved. There is still an important step involved in the middle and that is data translation. Perhaps businesses could develop to translating in-house and maybe some already do – but this knowledge is expensive, and the running costs will often defeat this object. Instead, outsourcing translation to specialist companies is the norm.

It is important that this middleman is receptive to the needs of the business and responsive to the challenges that arise in connecting buyer and supplier. Integrating back-office systems, both internally and externally, requires business data security, business process monitoring and management, and visibility of both these internal and external passive data.

One of the ways in which the middleman can cause an issue, a bottleneck if you will, is by being unable to scale their services to the demands of a growing business. As custom for a supplier grows, the data processing service, for example, must be able to deliver a smart, scalable response to support the supplier’s growing infrastructure. By being receptive to the changes in their clients’ business, they can ensure that they are building a healthy business relationship as well as setting their clients up for future success.

At Commerce-Connections, part of our portfolio to support our clients is providing a multitude of options with potential for growth and more cost-efficient tiers to advance to. This has added benefits, firstly of tailoring a data delivery and transformation service to the scale of a business, and secondly reducing the financial pressure of such a service in the long run. This frees up the clients to focus their concerns on more critical parts of their business. By offering a tiered structure of services, the clients not only can feel reassured about potential growth, but they can also see what sort of options they have ahead. Using this knowledge, they can build a long-term strategy built toward the optimum goal.