Key to Aldar’s successful EDI: supplier onboarding

EDI, News, Partner onboarding

Key to Aldar’s successful EDI: supplier onboarding

Aldar Eesti places monthly over 10 000 orders and receives as many invoices. Wanting to automate the process, they started to use EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and discovered the importance of onboarding suppliers. In less than a year, Aldar successfully connected over 90% of their suppliers to EDI.


EDI saves time

Exchanging orders and invoices automatically through EDI between buyer and supplier brings remarkable time savings. Thanks to EDI, an average company saves at least 15 minutes per one incoming document (invoice) on manual data entry activities. So imagine the benefit when 10 000 invoices are received monthly. This is why one of the biggest Estonian retail chains, Aldar, decided to actively onboard their suppliers.


The more partners you have for EDI, the more value you get

The value of EDI is increasing with each partner turning to electronic document exchange. The larger the number of trading partners exchanging information through EDI, the more beneficial the EDI service is. That means: the more working hours it saves. Every business wants to make sure they are getting the most out of their investments. The best way to do that with EDI investment is to ensure all your partners (suppliers and customers) are using EDI. This requires informing partners about transfer to EDI, and working with them constantly towards implementing EDI. Each document, and thus each new supplier contributes to cost savings, and return on EDI investment.


Avoid parallel processes 

Businesses that do not onboard all their suppliers have multiple processes in place. Handling order-to-delivery process documentation by emails, paper, phone, EDI etc. Variability of those channels and processes prevents the team from saving time and eliminating errors. This is especially the case with incoming documents. Allowing partners to send PDF invoices or orders means your employees still need to manually enter the data into your system.


Connecting suppliers is the key

Once Aldar realized the value of EDI, they did everything to encourage their suppliers to start exchanging information through EDI. Within 6 months from implementing EDI, Aldar connected 20% of its suppliers who contributed to over 41% of all goods invoices. By the end of the first year, Aldar had over 90% of suppliers on EDI, saving over 300,000 euros annually.


EDI creates value also to suppliers

At the same time, Aldar’s suppliers also save hundreds of thousands of euros thanks to electronic orders. No more time consuming manual order entries into their warehouse management system. Order data simply pops up in suppliers’ warehouse management software ready to be picked, packed and delivered. Thanks to EDI, errors from rekeying the data are history – data is exactly as it was initially created.


Time savings, confidentiality, security

“EDI has accelerated the process of product purchase and data entry in our company, ensuring even faster product sales in stores,” says Tuuli Pirk-Kesküll, product manager in Aldar. She explains that the main benefit of EDI is time savings, leaving more time for process improvement.“ Invoices and orders sent by email may get lost or end up in the wrong channels, EDI ensures security and confidentiality,” she concludes.


Specify EDI in supply contracts

Business is evolving and changing. Suppliers are changing. New products bring new suppliers. Aldar continuously takes care that all new suppliers are onboarded to EDI. In fact, it is one of the clauses in their supplier contracts. Getting each of them to EDI needs constant attention. The topic should be introduced to the suppliers already in the supply negotiations phase. In delivery acceptance, EDI invoices should be required. The faster partners are connected to EDI, the sooner the benefits will accumulate.


Communication, communication, communication

The secret to successful onboarding is effective and repetitive communication through multiple channels – emails, phone calls and meetings. Partner onboarding is a continuous project of asking, luring, convincing, persuading, coercing and threatening (not a joke 🙂 ). The sooner you talk about your EDI requirements with your partners the better. The more repetitious and consistent you are in your messages the better. The more specific and demanding you are in your rhetoric the better. If the message didn’t work, change it. If your partner didn’t react to your letter, resend it. Even better – call or meet them. If your partner has questions, explain.


Telema offers onboarding help

Telema can guide and consult in the onboarding journey, providing all the necessary instructions, samples and other materials. If you’re interested in learning more about onboarding your partners to EDI, check here and get in touch with us.


About Aldar Eesti OÜ

Aldar Eesti OÜ is a chain with over 30 grocery and beverage shops situated all over Estonia, Latvia and Poland. Additionally they operate a wholesale unit Aldar Cash & Carry and a restaurant with its own brewery. With an annual turnover of almost 100 million euros, they process more than 10,000 invoices every month. Approximately the same amount of orders are sent out as well.