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The Benefits of Personalized Service in the EDI Industry

There are many operational benefits realized by organizations as a result of having a personalized relationship with their EDI, catalog or VAN provider. Whether from the perspective of client or service provider, it’s well understood that effective business interactions are built upon open channels of communication and the establishment of a sense of trust between all parties.

In an ideal world, having an open and constructive dialogue between a service provider and a client would be the norm; however this is all too rarely the case. For two separate organizations to nurture an ongoing conversation that addresses the needs of the client there must be a concerted effort by the service provider not only to reach out to the client in a timely manner, but to remain available for ad hoc consultation at the client’s discretion.

When it comes to the transmission of important business documents like purchase orders, ship notices, invoices, etc, and the updating of product information for data synchronization with trading partners, there is no better way for suppliers and retailers alike to ensure continuity and peace of mind than by having access to knowledgeable and attentive support staff.

Technical questions can hamper workflow and cause expensive delays if they are not addressed clearly and rapidly by a service provider who has a vested interest in the success of your business.

Personalized support delivers clear benefits during:

-          EDI implementation and synchronization with ERP systems

-          Setup of electronic catalog and review of technical requirements

-          Day-to-day operations and troubleshooting

-          Supplier on-boarding and post-setup support services

-          Procedural and technical questions on an ongoing basis

The ability of a service provider to deliver personalized experiences for their clients is dependent upon the resources allotted to customer support services within the providing organization. When choosing an EDI, catalog or VAN provider, retailers should take the time to carefully examine the level of personal attention that a provider is able to offer a buying organization, and ask important questions such as: What are the hours of availability of the provider’s customer support team? Do the customer support representatives have a good understanding of the product they are providing support for? Are the customer support agents able to communicate clearly in the client’s preferred language? Are there service level agreements or strict limitations on the number of service inquiries allowed by the provider? By asking these and other pertinent questions, retailers can determine how involved in the support process a potential provider will be.

Too often, the personalized customer service experience is minimized by service providers in the name of the bottom line – which is too high a price to pay when it comes to the effective handling of a client’s high-priority business information. Searching for a service provider who will offer the personal attention your organization deserves is a valuable investment of your time.

Nathan Munn | InterTrade.com

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