As the old saying goes, no job is done until the paperwork is finished. In the logistics world, this truism is particularly apropos, as load requests turn into tender offers turn into invoices turn into payments turn into receipts, again and again, and again.
Processing a shipment lifecycle from pick up to delivery is wrought with paperwork and doing it by hand is no way to run a business. The time, resources, and errors created by manual paper processing can put a drag on profitability, not to mention the ever-important factor of user experience in today’s digitally enabled supply chain environment.
That’s where a transportation management solution (TMS) lends true value to a shipping operation. Especially when it is equipped with an electronic data interchange (EDI) capability as robust as that offered by Blue Yonder (BY), recently lauded as a leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for TMS.
Open Sky Group is a global specialist in the BY supply chain platform and as such, we would like to offer you some valuable insights into the BY Cloud EDI service and what to consider when implementing it as part of your BY TMS.
Blue Yonder Cloud EDI Service for Transportation Managers
Let’s start with the basics. EDI facilitates the exchange of information between computers using a standard format. Compared to traditional processing via emails, phone calls, and faxes, EDI enables:
- Reduced costs – Not only will you save due to reduced administrative, resource, and maintenance costs, expenses associated with paper, printing, postage, and document retrieval are all reduced or eliminated when you switch to EDI.
- Faster document processing – EDI exchanges shipment data within minutes, instead of days or weeks. Since all transactions are computer-based, lost faxes and illegible handwriting problems are eliminated entirely.
- Automated workflows and business processes – EDI allows you to send load requests to carriers at the click of a button. The system automatically notifies you when a carrier accepts the load or if it needs to go to someone else. Once assigned, all shipment details get automatically updated within the system.
- Fewer errors – Manual processes are fraught with human error, characterized by bad faxes, lost or incorrect orders taken by phone, and data entry errors. By minimizing human intervention, EDI dramatically improves accuracy and efficiency.
- Real-time visibility – Lastly, EDI enables faster decision-making and improved operational responsiveness.
Best yet, adding BY Cloud EDI service to your existing BY TMS is easy because your BY Cloud EDI team does all the heavy lifting.
Better Communications Make for Better Carrier Relations
To initiate EDI services with your carrier(s), all you’ll need to do is contact your carrier to confirm they are EDI-capable, then provide the list of pre-qualified carriers to your BY Cloud EDI Team. The BY Cloud EDI Team can take it from there.
BY Cloud uses common maps and workflows, however, so if your specific requirements are not met out of the box, your BY team will evaluate your request, determine what needs to change, then map the changes for you.
Regarding message types, BY Cloud EDI supports both X12 and EDIFact for inbound and outbound Motor Carrier, Air, and Ocean freight. These messages typically include load tenders, replies, shipment status, invoicing, reservation and booking requests, confirmations, scheduling, itineraries, and other instructions, charges, and reports.
To ensure system integrity, it is imperative that you fully test your carriers’ systems to confirm that they can connect, send and retrieve messages on BY Cloud FTP/SFTP servers and that their system software is receiving these messages in formats that translate correctly on their side. If there are any mapping issues or changes required, again, your BY Cloud EDI Team will evaluate the request and determine if the changes can be accommodated.
Once you are live on EDI, your carrier may contact you with questions, comments, or concerns. Either way, your BY Cloud EDI Team will remain engaged to:
- Contact your carrier(s) and correct any EDI technical issues.
- Maintain your EDI cross-reference table to better map locations, freight, etc.
- Provide standard daily reports of failed messages to you and your carriers.
Make the Most of Your TMS with BY Cloud EDI
BY Cloud TMS EDI is a fixed service offering designed to provide BY Cloud customers with a cost-effective EDI option. It is not a full-service offering, but rather a low-cost option for TMS EDI support.
Life’s too short to mess with the paperwork. Take your TMS to the next level with BY Cloud EDI.