EDI Management with Blockchain for Efficiency, Automation, and Security

Posted by : Mudit Kumar | 28-Oct-2020

  • EDI management with Blockchain

    The multichannel supply chains of today need to be more transparent and productive. End-to-end transparency in a supply chain with a single version of the truth can be transformative for any organization. Businesses have moved from manual to paperless transfers with the development of electronic data exchange (EDI). In the supply chain of any company, EDI is the cornerstone of digital transformation.

    As technology advances over time, business demands for increasing performance, compliance, and sustainability also increase. Blockchain-based supply chain management solutions for EDI management can augment and address all various challenges of today’s systems. 

    As traditional businesses’ supply chain operations grow more complicated, the complexities of dealing with EDI also become more challenging.

    Common EDI challenges

    Scalability  

    The document types and market guidelines vary from one trade partner to another, even when EDI’s basic protocols are in place. Thus, it can be challenging to add a fresh trading partner with a distinct transaction suite to the network.

    Inconsistent and Inaccurate Data Transmission

    Inaccurate manual reports, like duplicate transactions, price disparities, or other purchase-related issues, account for a high proportion of EDI problems with inefficient data.

    Transmission Speed 

    While transmission once a day is a significant development from the EDI process’s traditional slow and opaque pace, it fails to add no value to the current demands of the speed of trade. The need for the hour is real-time paper distribution.

    Operational Opacity  

    It can be a daunting task to maintain transparency and accountability at each stage of supply chain operations. In this time where companies are moving to more direct contact networks with customers and trading partners, transparency has become much more crucial. Establishing rigorous means to ensure consistency in EDI protocols between partners can be an ideal way to accomplish visibility in the supply chain.

    Interoperability 

    Several organizations have not incorporated this technology. It can be very demanding to do business with trading partners that have not upgraded to EDI. In the course of EDI adoption, the above problems may be stumbling blocks. There are smart ways, however, to solve these problems to ensure the smooth development of EDI.

    Also, Read | Streamlining Supply Chain Management with Blockchain Technology

    Applying Blockchain Technology

    In business-to-business (B2B) information management, blockchain technology can offer a more transparent, all-inclusive solution and can be seen as a building block for cross-organizational business networks. EDI is a structured information sharing methodology that blockchain technology can store as one or more blocks in its ledgers, manage data through smart contracts, and transfer and exchange data through its consensus processes.

    Let’s give you a better picture of what blockchain technology is, how it functions with EDI, and to save you some time learning, researching, and analyzing its feasibility for your operations.

    Blockchain Integration with EDI  

    EDI management with blockchain would render the implementation more complicated when more enterprises, organizations, and policymakers utilize the technology for their supply chain management. On an optimistic note, after the dust has settled and expectations have met, it promises to shorten the complicated supply chain for all concerned. Organizations will examine their current supply chain workings and shift to a path of a more digitized and multi-enterprise version of data sharing that blockchain technology can offer.

    In supply chain management, the use of blockchain technology will serve as a foundational component, removing the existing system’s vulnerabilities and inefficiencies. In a blockchain, from one coherent device, all the transmission, data, and communications in a business network are extracted. Contrarily, It is in opposition to a conventional B2B / EDI strategy in which multiple frameworks handle data processing and sharing.

    In several areas, from manufacturing and processing to logistics and transparency, blockchain technologies can revolutionize organizations. For transparent and permanent documents, each occurrence may get listed and verified. Consequently, blockchain can address the challenges that are so prominent in conventional management structures of supply chain networks. Also, we might explore EDI when data migration from one company to another or from an organization to a blockchain is required.

    Also, Read | Making Supply Chains Smarter with Blockchain Smart Contracts

    Establishing a Single Source of Truth Across Multi-Enterprise Business Network

    Blockchain is also a means to prevent identity theft or manipulation. By establishing security and governance around data sharing, it can improve the flexibility of global trade activities, decrease the burden of officialdom and niceties. 

    Additionally, blockchain technology can guarantee traceability across the whole supply chain, with sufficient implementation. An all-embracing approach to multi-enterprise market transaction management is a trait provided by Blockchain technology. As the popularity of blockchain technologies increases, EDI will seek to provide the transmission system linking to these networks.

    Also, Read | Preventing Fraud in Contracts, Supply Chains, and Identities with Blockchain

    EDI Management with Blockchain Technology

    The block is just as stable as the application that communicates with it in the blockchain network. Platforms for supply chain orchestration enable their customers to establish communication in two ways with partners:

    a) By specific peer-to-peer communication with the preferred trading partner of a customer through their network option or direct integration.

    b) By integrating multi-enterprise business networks (specialized networks). The integration, among all other parties in the network, of new trading partners with demanding collaboration capabilities, to enable smart automation and the orchestration of orders/transactions within the network and its parties’ systems.

    In the end-to-end supply chain, the transformation from specific partner networks (direct relationship) to multi-enterprise business networks provides key advantages. For instance, it includes collaboration with a wide variety of suppliers, technology, and data across various processes.

    In these advanced supply chain systems, stakeholders may gain from pre-built linked parties, procedures, and integrations. A decentralized ledger and a single view of the truth constitute crucial aspects of multi-party blockchain networks. And, with multi-party and group data models, almost real-time data remove anomalies and synchronizes improvements. It delivers unmatched enterprise agility, performance, and protection to minimize the time for innovative solutions. 

    So, if a company is on a journey to embracing this, not only the implementation of the EDI infrastructure that links the multi-enterprise business network should be embraced, but also prioritized for stability, networking, and governance. As a result, it will optimize ROI and eliminate the dangers associated with the introduction of new technology.

    Also, Read |  Driving Supply Chain Innovation with Blockchain Solutions

    Conclusion | Can EDI Management with Blockchain Technology Complement Each Other

    With the EDI feeding data from siloed applications, from one entity to another, it will continue to perform its role. At the same time, EDI will also connect such segmented applications to the blockchain network. Blockchain will function as a decentralized ledger that acts as a reliable source across the network. Consequently, It will increase trust and build a single source of truth across multi-enterprises. 

    Indeed, we may see more companies embracing intelligent contracts in the coming days and pursuing a genuinely end-to-end strategy. Then, EDI will begin to feed siloed databases containing only minimal traceability and the blockchain system.  


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Mudit Kumar (Writer)

Mudit has been working with Oodles since 2017. He writes about technologies that not only disrupt the digital space but also influence the physical world. Initially, he explored revolutionary technologies like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Now, he focuses on unfolding the elements of blockchain technology, given its potential and edge over others.

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