Technological Solutions for the Retail Industry

Retail Industry

The United States is a global leader in the retail industry, a sector that, today, faces important challenges as the immediacy demanded by the final consumer or the globalization. In this sector, retailers are increasingly relying on the use of technological solutions, such as electronic data interchange. In fact, the retail industry is by far the most advanced when it comes to the incorporation of EDI into company operations.

Why is EDI technology an ally in the retail industry?

Although only in recent years have retail companies had to optimize their technological processes to be competitive, EDI technology has been tied to this industry for decades. This is due to the specific characteristics of the sector, such as the high volume of commercial transactions, the heterogeneity of products or the communication between partners with very different characteristics.

The main reason EDI and technology have become allies of retailers is that they can solve all the aforementioned situations. As well, they have the following advantages:

  • Automation of commercial transactions
  • Increased productivity
  • Economic savings
  • Reduced errors
  • More agility and efficiency in the supply chain management
  • Fluid communication with suppliers and customers at a global level
  • Increased safety during processes

EDICOM’s Technological Solutions for Optimizing the Retail Industry

EDI Platform:
The retail industry has a variety of players, ranging from large distributor chains to small suppliers. That is why EDICOM has developed different EDI solutions, which are adapted to the needs of each type of profile:

  • Ediwin XML / EDI Server: This is a software that allows companies to integrate electronic data interchange with their management system, so that transactions are automated. With this platform, the retail industry streamlines operations, increases security and adds traceability to all processes.
  • Ediwin Viewer: This is a low-cost, quick-start alternative designed for companies that exchange low volumes of documents, as with certain suppliers or small retailers. The EDI Web solution does not require companies to implement any systems; they need only an internet connection.
  • Ebimap: This application is a data mapper, which is a module that integrates into the EDI solution to automatically translate any message to the standard required by the owner or the recipient. It is essential to establish fluid communication between partners of all kinds.
  • Business@Mail: Occasionally, retailers send messages to recipients who do not have an EDI solution. To avoid duplicating work, this solution integrates with the EDI platform of the issuer and automatically publishes the electronic documents in a secure web portal, through which the recipients can access with a username and password.
  • VMI Flow: This solution is based on VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) technology that aims to improve the management of the supply chain. This system submits the information exchanged between partners through complex mathematical analysis to synchronize supply and demand to the maximum. The goal is for the final customer to receive greater value, better service and a greater variety of products.

Cortefiel, Grupo Gigante, Toys R’Us and Harrods are some of the big retail companies that already use these solutions to optimize their B2B communications and their work procedures. You can learn more about their success stories here.

We link up your SAP solution for SII with the AEAT

SII

The new Immediate Information Sharing (SII) system, which involves electronic VAT management, will be mandatory from next July 1. With the countdown clock now ticking, many businesses are asking how to start up an SII solution integrated with their ERP which will streamline transactions and not require any modifications in their in-house working processes.

Submission and safekeeping of VAT books issued from SAP

Businesses using SAP have the option of creating their VAT ledgers in the XML format required by the Tax Agency from their own ERP. This is an important advantage in terms of adaptation to SII, but it entails the search for alternatives to connect with the AEAT for the submission of these files and to receive status responses for each communication.

To overcome this situation, EDICOM provides an agile and immediate start-up solution for connection with the AEAT. If your business has the capacity to issue VAT books in accordance with the SII specifications, EDICOM can manage the automatic forwarding of this information to the Tax Agency safely and transparently. This way, you can complete your SII solution quickly and in compliance with all the requirements.

The EDICOM platform has tried and tested operational developments that ensure smoothly flowing and secure communication with the Tax Agency. Through the communications platform, users automate forwarding of their VAT books and can also store them along with the response notifications from the AEAT. The service, designated EDICOMLta (EDICOM Long Term Archiving) is a long-term safekeeping facility that guarantees the integrity and authenticity of VAT ledgers submitted over time, raising them to the rank of evidence through “Trusted Third Party EDICOM”.

Does your ERP issue SII system-compliant VAT books? If so, you’re just one step away from compliance with the AEAT requirements. Contact us and find out how to complete your solution by incorporating our communications and certified storage services.

–> Download the White Paper on the SII to find out how this new e-VAT model affect your business.

–> Download free White Paper on EDICOMLta long-term electronic storage.

How to ensure cybersecurity in business?

cybersecurity

The latest global cybernetic attack, caused by Wanna Cry ransomware, has raised cybersecurity awareness in companies. More than 200,000 victims from at least 150 countries have seen their information compromised, reports Europol. Among those affected were large companies and public bodies, such as the National Health Service (NHS), which are still weighing up the consequences. However, although this cybernetic incident has had the most media impact in recent years, the truth is that every day there are around 4,000 malicious attacks worldwide, according to the FBI.

In the light of these figures, the question arises of how to ensure cybersecurity in companies which, immersed in digital transformation, are exchanging large amounts of confidential information daily, ranging from personal details to financial affairs or business reports.

In this sense, one of the most effective tools to combat the risks of electronic submission of information is EDI, which encrypts the data and provides more advanced security mechanisms than email or the traditional communication channels. So, this technology is expanding in a multitude of sectors, such as healthcare, automotive, retail or logistics.

But over and above the methods used, it is crucial for companies to assess the security level of the solutions provided by their technology partners. This task involves demanding certificates and international authorizations accrediting their cyber security.

Trust qualifications

EDICOM carries out more than 400 million transactions annually through the EDICOMNet Value Added Network. Invoices, payroll, contracts and all kinds of protected information of some 14,000 companies from all over the world travel safely through this VPN. To ensure cybersecurity, confidentiality and data integrity, the service is subject to the requirements of the main international accreditations in the security scope.

The latest certificate, granted by the UK government, is CREST, which authorizes EDICOM as a technology services provider in the country under the Cyber Essentials initiative. Nevertheless, the list is also bolstered by other global trust accreditations, including these five:

  • ISO 27001 on Information Security, certified by the Spanish Standardization Association (AENOR).
  • ISO 20000 on IT services management for provision of the ASP-EDI service.
  • ISAE 3202 as per requirements defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  • TIER II Design by Uptime Institute Certified.
  • European Certification Authority, approving EDICOM as Certification Authority for the whole of Europe.

Cybersecurity in data storage

One of the most immediate consequences of cybernetic attacks is theft and loss of information. To this end, businesses must not only ensure cyber security in data interchange, but also in subsequent storage.

When the volume of documents is high and, especially, when it is necessary to preserve the legal validity of files, as occurs with invoices or employee payrolls, simply copying the data onto a hard disk is not enough. In these cases, it is indispensable to have advanced electronic filing mechanisms.

EDICOMLta is a long-term safekeeping service which applies the identification, electronic signature and time stamping methods governed by the eIDAS regulation. This enables businesses to preserve all their data in the cloud for the legally set period and, most importantly, with security guaranteed.

EDICOM, as a trusted third party, performs permanent audits of the files held, equating digital documents to the rank of electronic originals which can act as legal evidence in the event of legal requirements.

In addition, to maximize cybersecurity, all the data are stored in parallel in two Data Processing Centers (DPC) belonging to EDICOM, along with their respective backup copies. Each of them is located in different physical installations, but they operate in a synchronized manner and maintain a permanent replica of the files in real time. This way, businesses are assured of the maintenance and availability of the information through time.

–> Download free of charge the White Paper on the eIDAS regulation and long-term storage.

Challenges of e-Invoicing in Mexico and LATAM countries

e-invoicing

Electronic invoicing for taxpayers is becoming a mandatory issue for companies throughout the world. The latest study on E-Invoicing/E-Billing International Market Overview & Forecast from Billentis calculates a volume of e-invoices exchanged that could reach 36 billion in 2017.

Countries across the American continent have been at the forefront in use of this technology for years, with Mexico and Brazil being the countries with the most advanced e-Invoicing legislations. Tax authorities within Central and South America are looking up to these models and adapting them to their own fiscal models, like those of Costa Rica and Colombia. However, in the United States e-invoicing is still in the initial stages of development in comparison to countries in Latin America and Europe.

Mexico has become a global e-invoicing leader through establishing a system which has influenced e-invoicing compliance on an international level. The Mexican CFDI has experienced updates since 2014 designed to ensure a better user experience, and to solve incidents that are detected over time with the application of this system.

Read the complete article in globaleinvoicing.com

Would you like to know more? Download our free Expert Analysis on e-Invoicing in Latin America (available in English, Spanish, Portuguese).

How can TIERs comply with MMOG/LE practices?

MMOG

In sectors like the automotive industry, that utilize methodologies like Just-in-Time manufacturing, efficiency and control of the supply chain becomes a priority. For this reason, more brands require their suppliers to comply with MMOG/LE (Materials Management Operations Guidelines / Logistics Evaluation) practices. However, in Brazil, many TIERs still do not know how to meet this demand of their customers.

What is MMOG / LE? 

MMOG/LE is a set of good practices defined by ODETTE and AIAG, the two most important regulatory entities in the automotive sector, which aim to improve the performance of manufacturing, purchasing and logistics processes to reduce economic costs.

It is a self-assessment tool that allows TIERs to know their weaknesses and improve them. In total, it audits 206 logistical criteria, related to work organization, the interface with the supplier and customer, production capacity and other areas.

According to the score obtained in these practices, the TIER is classified as level A (when it defined as world class), level B (if it is deficient in 2 or more criteria) or level C (when it is deficient in 1 or more critical aspects of high impact).

Renault, Ford, Chrysler, Peugeot or Volvo are some of the major automotive brands that already require their suppliers in Brazil to comply with MMOG/LE practices to guarantee shorter production times and more precise deliveries.

Solutions to meet MMOG/LE 

Successful completion of the MMOG/LE evaluation requires fluid communication between partners and a high volume of data exchange in real time (from CAD files to commercial messages). Therefore, EDI is presented as an essential solution for companies in the sector. It is no coincidence that this technology was born linked to the automotive industry as early as the 1970s.

Today, communication between major brands and their TIER I partners are carried out in most cases electronically through EDI. However, in the case of lower level providers, who must also comply with MMOG/LE practices, this tool is not so widespread in Brazil.

Meanwhile, the goal is for EDI to be massively expanded among all partners in the supply chain, regardless of their size. In fact, the most recent version of this audit, known as Global MMOG/Lev4, is already extending electronic data interchange to smaller suppliers.

For companies that don’t have EDI, the MMOG/LE evaluations can occur with these solutions that optimize communication and logistics.

  • Business@Mail. This is a platform designed by EDICOM that integrates with the manufacturer’s EDI solution. Each time it creates a document (invoices, orders, PDF, etc.) addressed to a supplier without EDI, it is automatically published in a secure web portal.

The TIER receives a notice and can access the information in Business@Mail by way of a username and password. In this way, the confidentiality of the data is guaranteed. The manufacturer has access to process traceability and it is not necessary to duplicate the work using other parallel methods such as electronic mail. This makes communication more efficient for both.

  • Partner Web Portal. The sending of information by suppliers without EDI occurs through different means such as email, fax and paper. This prevents manufacturers from automating the integration of messages with the management system and requires a longer management time.

Partner Web Portal is a solution for TIERs without EDI to be securely connected to send delivery schedules, dispatch notices or other basic transactions. The platform acts as an EDI solution that automatically integrates these messages into the manufacturer’s management system.

The advantages of MMOG/LE 

Although the implementation of the MMOG/LE practices requires an initial investment by manufacturers and suppliers, it has been proven to produce significant logistical improvements. In fact, optimization increases annually, even after more than 3 years.  Among the main advantages are the reduction of stock, the reduction of economic costs and a greater precision in delivery.