What does API and EDI software do for manufacturers?

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Here’s how data handling tools like Application Programming Interface (API) and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software are turning tables for manufacturing businesses.

Back in 2019, Businesswire reported that nearly half (48 per cent) of manufacturing companies use spreadsheets or other manual data entry documents in their everyday operations. As a result, only 12 per cent can automatically take action on data insights in real-time.

Pressure is mounting for manufacturers, with 78% looking to invest in IoT technology

Now, the pressure is building for manufacturers to create increasingly efficient and automated operations to stay ahead of industry shifts. This new decade is already seeing supply chain price hikes and shortages. That’s alongside the increased demand for faster, frictionless services for both the B2B and B2C manufacturing industries.

Over-achieving targets on time and cost savings, as well as increasing accuracy and fulfilment levels, have become all the more important for the manufacturing industry. A great place to enact these targets is cutting out any slow, error-prone manual processes and connecting operations seamlessly. In a PWC 2021 survey of over 60 large UK manufacturing businesses, 78% said that implementing Internet of Things (IoT) technology is a high priority for the next one to two years.

Where API and EDI software fit into the manufacturing process

When working on a much smaller scale, some businesses find a manual approach can work without end-to-end technology. Already experts in manufacturing their own goods, small-scale manufacturing businesses have all the tools and the know-how to do so well. But, with growth, many quickly find that the gaps in their management abilities quickly begin to grow too. Problems emerging in the wider connections across their business leave operations wide open to costly oversights. That’s where a solution featuring EDI and API software can help.

As tools for automating data handling, tracking and transferring, solutions that offer API and EDI software are the best means to ensure seamless communication. Allowing systems to read and process information in real-time, you can connect your processes frictionlessly, whether internally, with business partners, or with your customers directly.

Connecting the dots online with API software

Application Programming Interface (API) software quickly moves data from one application system to another and allows devices and input pages to exchange information in real-time. Third-party systems and external platforms gain the ability to access the data they need from your back end system in an immediate, controlled and secure way, giving your business easier integration from with other services online. By connecting front-facing services with back-end operations, API software helps ensure the user experience flows seamlessly.

If you’ve ever wondered how your business can integrate with your web shop and ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Mano Mano, and all your chosen couriers, or provide customised services from third-party sites, API software is the technology behind the processing. With APIs, the shift happens seamlessly from the perspective of the user – to the extent where it can be unnoticeable at the front-end.

By communicating in real-time with your back-end systems, API software allows your stock quantities, customisation options, pricing and descriptions to stay up-to-date across your sales channel applications for customers. With a range of integration tools available, businesses can also have the ability to use time-based file options, to ensure the best solution can be used for your operations and provide you with the maximum amount of flexibility.

Linking business partners and internal processes through EDI software

Establishing a set of messaging standardisation with the systems of couriers, business partner portals and your internal systems, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software allows you to transfer data like business documentation from system to system automatically, without using paper. Immediately, EDI software eliminates the need for manual inputting and data rekeying, creating huge time savings and increased accuracy, as well as freeing up your team’s efforts for more valuable tasks.

With the right EDI’s within your business management software, you can transfer your data from your systems with all your chosen suppliers, streamline any drop-shipping communication and ensure your internal operations connect from end-to-end within the inner workings of your business. Daily tasks like tracking supply chain lead times, receiving works orders, sending order acceptance confirmations and stock availability, and submitting invoices and delivery details quickly become seamless transitions around the flow of your wider manufacturing operations.

In order to work with many larger businesses, having EDI software that allows your business to integrate with their systems directly is often a prerequisite of partnering and trading.

As a manufacturing industry report by Gov.uk explains, to create security and sustainability for trading in the long-term, it is vital to incorporate strong pre-procurement communications with the whole supply chain, gain clarity of expectations around value, and enable strong monitoring and transparent reporting of supply chain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

By tracking and building your data with the use of API and EDI software, you can not only speed up your processing internally and externally for your back-end operations, but also, you can start to monitor your performance using this information. As a result, with more agile and visible operations, bring on new trade partners quickly, be increasingly responsive to manufacturing industry shifts, and proactively troubleshoot errors. Mitigating risk moving forward, you can begin to work ahead of time to get the best results for your manufacturing operations.

Find out what your manufacturing operations could achieve with API and EDI

To discover how EDI and API software could help your manufacturing business, or for more information on how to optimise your operations for the future, talk to an OrderWise expert today.

Making the most of our integrated API and EDI functionality, an OrderWise end-to-end solution provides businesses with a full tool kit of software capabilities, so you can be sure your business can meet demands now and for the future.

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