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Supply Chain

How an EDI solution can facilitate communication throughout the supply chain     

There are many players in the supply chain: producers, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and individual customers. In today’s complex market, the supply chain must also be expanded to include service providers who extend the capability of these players, enabling them to survive and thrive. Read on to learn how these categories interact and how an EDI solution can simplify communication throughout your company’s supply chain.


Who are the players in the supply chain?


Producers are companies that provide raw materials. Think of a farm supplying cotton, a mining company supplying ore, or a logging company supplying timber. Suppliers are companies that refine raw materials. For instance, they might weave fabric, refine metals, or mill dimensional lumber. Manufacturers are companies that take raw materials and turn them into finished products, such as T-shirts, vehicle frames, or wooden furniture. Distributors are companies that buy products in bulk and bundle them with similar products for delivery to retailers. They are also commonly known as wholesalers and often sell products in larger quantities than an individual consumer would usually buy.

Retailers are companies that gather many individual products from multiple distributors and merchandise them to individual customers. They closely track customers’ preferences and demands and often use some combination of price, product selection, service, and convenience to attract customers. These categories can sometimes be blurred: for example, the producer and the supplier could be two divisions of the same company, or the retailer could be the “customer” of a distributor. But, in general, individual customers are the last player in the supply chain—the end user who buys a product to consume or use it.


Expanded supply chain


Beyond the players described above, each level has multiple business needs that “widen” each link in the chain. The pressure to compete in today’s complex market requires the use of service providers who specialize in logistics, marketing, and IT solutions. These providers—for instance, a shipping company that provides a robust tracking system; a marketing firm that can successfully target the appropriate supply chain “customer”; or an IT company that provides an EDI solution to facilitate collaboration between supply chain partners—help the company’s supply chain become more secure and agile.


InterTrade’s EDI solutions


Whether your “customers” are manufacturers, distributors, or retailers, electronic data interchange (EDI) can bring supply chain partners closer to ensure the quickest time to market. InterTrade’s suite of services can connect partners, whether they’re down the street or across the globe, with simple, integrated solutions that will simplify communication throughout your company’s supply chain.



Successfully navigate today’s complex supply chain


Contact InterTrade today to find out how an EDI solution can help your business successfully navigate the complexities of today’s supply chain.

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