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logisticsUsing EDI with your transportation providers or 3PL's is an element of business that is often overlooked, although it shouldn't be. Even business owners who are already utilizing EDI for other aspects of their business, might not be using it with their transportation providers. There are many benefits of using EDI with your 3PL's, and today we are going to focus on a few of those.

With EDI, Everything Is Automated
One of the biggest benefits of using EDI is that it takes human error out of the equation altogether. There is no need to worry about data entry mistakes, forgotten entries, or someone pressing an extra zero when entering the amount of a product ordered. Everything is done via computer to computer technology, so there isn't even a need for someone to handle data entry with EDI. You also don't need to have an employee on duty to respond to individual emails or phone calls. By alleviating those positions within your business, you can actually save money by not having to pay an employee to handle those data entry tasks. You can use the extra manpower to address other areas that you might be needing an extra set of hands in. Using EDI with your transportation providers can cut down on errors, and save money in the process!

EDI Can Improve Communication With Your 3PL's
Another benefit of using EDI with your transportation providers is improved communications. Transportation providers and 3PL's who use EDI are often able to handle more loads and handle them more effectively. Since there is increased accuracy and more attention to detail when using EDI, both you and your transportation partner will have a better idea of what is going on with your shipments and deliveries. With EDI, you are updated every step of the way, getting up to the minute details about pickups, shipments, delays, delivery confirmations and more. Another great benefit is also having that electronic "paper trail" to utilize just in case a problem does occur. That way, you will know just when and where the problem occurred and you can remedy it. EDI can also give you a head's up if there is a problem, like a shipping delay or a supply issue. You might not have much notice, but with EDI at least you can know to expect a problem before it happens. Another great benefit of EDI: reduced costs! Not only will costs be reduced by not having to pay an employee or employees to answer emails, phone calls, and enter data manually, but the costs of sending documents through the mail are much higher than sending them electronically.

But reduced costs are just one extra benefit of EDI. As you can see, there are many benefits to using EDI with your transportation providers or 3PL's. If you are not already utilizing this technology in your business, you might want to consider it in the future. It will be a benefit to you and your company as  well as your transportation provider!  Last modified on Tuesday, 05 March 2013
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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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