When you want to enable your company to respond faster to changes in markets and the competitive environment, it helps to have close connections and productive relationships with the trading partners and enterprise customers you care about the most. There are a number of ways to use your technologies to accomplish such engagements.
In the cloud, for instance, you can give partners and customers controlled, secure access to a subset of your company’s information. They might then be able to respond to quotation requests, update shipping information, enter and review orders, manage returns and exchanges, read product documentation, and more. Much of the time, customers and partners will use a browser to get to the portal or site where they gain access to the resources you offer. If you offer them a mobile app as well, that’s an excellent move to stay in touch with them and enabling them to do business with you whenever they wish to.
To make your app or portal convenient and effective, you need to make it easy to get to the information that partners and customers want to see. You don’t want them to navigate multiple systems or wait for data to load, ruining their experience. Therefore, you will need to use integrations with your business systems and the e-commerce or other utility that provides the interface. Some companies are accomplishing this by means of robust, easily configured and managed integrations created with Columbus integration solutions, especially Connectivity Studio.
In a typical scenario, companies want to improve their service levels and empower their channel partners to take care of business on their own. They use Connectivity Studio to connect the company’s ERP system to their dealer portal, replacing the sharing of product and other information through posts at the portal, newsletters, or other means. By using Connectivity Studio to connect the ERP system and the portal, they can deliver real-time information directly. Channel partners can then verify the availability of inventory, look up invoices, verify shipments, and access whatever other information the company chooses to make available.
As a result, it becomes easier for partners to do business with the company. This use of Connectivity Studio has helped a number of businesses maintain productive partner relationships and grow into other global regions without the obstacles of delayed communications across time zones. Products can get out faster, and processes are also more accurate because the integration does away with the re-entering of information.
Often, electronic data interchange (EDI) is considered a type of integration technology for intercompany communications. Businesses you sell to or purchase from may use electronic data interchange (EDI) as the standard protocol for communications. Orders, invoices, and other documents need to be in EDI format. Sometimes, you cannot do business unless with them unless you use EDI, and with other companies it relegates you to a lower tier of less preferred trading partners. Simplifying EDI setup and configuration, EDI Studio helps you take advantage of the efficiency of this technology.
When you can offer both EDI and easy access to a portion of your company’s data assets to the companies you engage with, you have a much better chance at gaining their loyalty and winning favorable terms.