EDI or Electronic Data Interchange can be used to describe sophisticated technology which is used to transmit electronic documents including orders, invoices, receipts etc.
EDI is growing at the rate of 200 per cent (edi case studies); with the UK accounting for roughly around 70% of the European market. EDI is being embraced globally for many reasons:
Reduction in hard materials such as paper
Customer service improvement
Reduction in transcription errors
Increased competitive advantage
The EDI philosophy closely follows that of the Japanese Just-in-Time (JIT) approach. This focused around a large number of small deliveries of stock, rendering huge stock warehouses useless – as and when stock was needed it was delivered.
2.0 EDI in Use in the Supermarket Industry
Early adoption of EDI took place in the 1980s. EDI had been around much earlier than the 1980s, the problem being that the technology to access and utilise EDI was much too expensive to justify implementation. It roughly too around 2 to 3 years for the ‘big 4’ supermarkets to introduce EDI – primarily they had used magnetic tape as a form of stock control – these had direct lines to a few major suppliers.
There was an introductions of an industry standard known as TRADANET which enabled the development of networks and gateways which aided the development of business (retailer – supplier) communications.
2.1 Sainsbury’s Information Direct (SID)
Initially launched in 1998 and took the format of early EDI – where standardised information was exchanged. SID is now much more advanced and incorporates personalisation, end-user preferences, relevant information and the ability to cross-reference information with suppliers – which has furthered the competitive advantage brought by offering such a system.
2.1.1 Sainsbury’s Reasons for Introducing EDI
The fundamental reasons Sainsbury’s introduced EDI was to reduce the time taken to communicate with...
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