Why do companies in the transport and logistics sector use electronic data exchange – News Couple

Why do companies in the transport and logistics sector use electronic data exchange

Electronic data interchange software has been used in the logistics sector of many companies for decades, mainly because it supports rapid growth. Now we have mobile EDI systems, providing companies with new opportunities to improve the supply chain.

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What are the differences between classic and mobile EDIs?

Since its inception in the 1960s, the EDI system has been constantly evolving due to the evolving needs of businesses. This has led to the creation of the Electronic Mobile Data Interchange. What do you mean different? Classic EDI allows organizations to exchange electronic documents through unified communication channels using a specific format. Depending on different conditions, this could be X12 for the retail industry, VDA for cars, EDIFACT for logistics or many other things.

Mobile EDI is also used to send and receive EDI messages in a specific format but through a mobile application. The catch is that EDI data can also be easily accessed using various mobile applications, similar to how cloud-based solutions work. This provides – if their apps are synced – more flexibility for users. In addition, the electronic interchange of mobile data can improve the efficiency of operations by sending delivery notifications, allowing simple and paperless document management, easily accessible anytime and anywhere so that the user can communicate directly with his customers and partners.

Advantages of EMI in Logistics

If you think about logistics, the first thing that comes to mind is warehouse. It plays a strategic role in the entire supply chain process. There, many processes depend on each other, which is why it is very important to perform all tasks on time and to maintain good communication between all parties without delay. The use of mobile applications connected to a system provides many benefits such as convenience and time efficiency. It allows you to get a lot of things done right from the warehouse. Mobile EDI enables, among other things:

  1. Delivery status update

In the past, delivery statuses had to be manually updated. Now, the electronic mobile data interchange allows customers and suppliers, as well as logistics operators, to exchange information in real time and almost automatically. What are the effects of work? Reducing time-consuming processes, eliminating errors, and optimizing supply chain processes are the most important ones.

  1. Direct scanning of labels or QR codes

Scanning QR codes or stickers directly does two things. It reduces errors and processing time, and improves communication between operator and supplier. This allows the goods to be monitored in real time. An added advantage is that the company is seen as being flexible and tech-savvy.

  1. Signing orders and dispatch notes

Command signing and dispatch notifications improve the security of all processes, while at the same time providing the convenience of workflow tracking. The catch is that the signing is done in a completely paperless manner, making it environmentally friendly and supportive in terms of generating a positive ROI.

  1. Check product condition and quality

The ability to review product condition and quality helps logistics operators better handle potential issues. They can respond instantly, and the knowledge they have thanks to this solution enables them to better communicate with parties facing difficulties.

  1. Communicate with partners in real time

Real-time communication prevents many problems, since problems with packaging, last-minute order changes, accidents, missing information or any other difficulties are common in logistics. It not only saves time, but also improves reliability and trust between all parties.

  1. Check the delivery status in real time throughout the whole process

Apart from speeding up the whole process and reducing the possibility of error, real-time monitoring provides an overview of the entire supply chain. It also gives the supplier and retailer information about whether, when and by whom goods were delivered.

Why future electronic data interchange programs are mobile

Logistics has never been simple, but the growing needs of today’s customers make it more complex than ever. As a result, logistics companies have to choose wisely among the applications that support their supply chain operations. Some companies, for example, have implemented measures that assist in scanning logistics labels directly, enabling the receipt of paperless goods using proof of delivery apps. These apps are already being used by carriers, and now companies are embracing paperless B2B solutions. There is a reason for this – essentially improving the accuracy of documents or any other data that can be tracked via an application connected to the classic EDI software. Other companies use mobile applications (for example, to scan barcodes), so they can issue invoices directly (this is a feature of retail, which uses the docking system).

Moreover, for those who travel a lot and are involved in the logistics process (such as sales or retail managers), mobile EDI applications help monitor data flow and order status in real time, right from their mobile devices. Many applications also include dashboards for more complex data analysis. Other apps enable supply chain parties to confirm orders from their smartphone, send them to other employees, and even issue invoices. It is expected that, soon, more and more EDI functionality will be implemented in the mobile version of the system, as the classic version is constantly being developed due to changing market demands.

The best electronic mobile data exchange ensures complete security

The question often asked is whether mobile EDI can be as secure as the classic version? This question touches on the reliability of EDI mobile applications, external access to confidential information, data breaches, and cyberattacks. For this reason, when looking for EDI software, logistics companies should look for a reliable IT provider. Last but not least, multi-factor authentication, encryption technologies, and data encryption reduce the risk of sensitive data being accessed, altered, or destroyed, reducing the potential for disruption to daily business operations.


With the coronavirus pandemic increasing the pace of global business digitization, the logistics industry has become one of the areas most in need of process automation. As logistics operators expand their networks, they are rapidly adopting the latest technologies to improve their workflow. However, the already improved traditional EDI systems remain strong, making mobile solutions, mainly due to the benefits they bring, are a natural next step for businesses that are constantly looking for further improvements.

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