Growth of e-Commerce driving use of EDI in the fashion industry


In the retail sector, the fashion industry has a great impact on business and exports in countries such as Italy. The country is a major hub of suppliers and distributors with department stores such as Printemps, Harrods and Saks, among other big names. The sector is in continuous movement and covers a wide range of products, which entails complex operational and supply processes in the international scope. A new scenario in ongoing development that calls for agility and efficient solutions.

The future of fashion is digital and defined by the customers’ needs. e-Commerce in the retail sector and the use of mobile devices are growing year after year and require new, more complex processes to which companies must adapt. According to an e-Marketer study, a 23.2% increase in e-commerce worldwide is expected in retail. Electronic sales amount to 10% of total sales for the sector. This study also states that, by 2017, mobile commerce will account for more than 70% of e-commerce sales in China and India.

The sector’s features have made it one of the most advanced in adopting technological processes in its logistics operations and the exchange of business documents. The great heterogeneity of products and globalization has led fashion companies to implement electronic data interchange (EDI) to deal with the large volumes of information they handle and to be able to connect with companies from any part of the world.

In a sector where the commodities are constantly changing and must reach the end client in record times, it is indispensable to find ways of working which are more efficient and immediate. Automation of the exchange of information between businesses in the sector savings on cost and times by accelerating data processing.

How to reach any part of the world?

Through an integral EDI system such as EDICOM’s, a single company can exchange its orders, invoices, or delivery notes electronically and immediately with any supplier, wherever they are located and using any type of standard message. When an invoice or business document is created, the EDI solution processes it automatically, translates it into the standardized language required by the partner and forwards it. This happens the same way with any other business, logistical and administrative transaction.

Some of the biggest brands already rely on EDICOM to implement their EDI solutions. To name but a few, Harrods, Cortefiel, Printemps or El Corte Inglés, four of the main fashion market hubs. This experience enabled EDICOM team to develop a Global EDI solution, which tackles the two needs of businesses in the sector: internationalization and product heterogeneity.

What other documents can be exchanged?

This electronic system allows the exchange of other types of messages such as product and price catalogues, sales reports, despatch advices or returns, etc. EDI automates the sending of this information and also ensures traceability of the documents, at all times providing knowledge on whether the document has been opened, read, etc…

Benefits of EDI in the fashion industry

  • Faster response times
  • Saving on administrative costs
  • Efficiency in working procedures
  • Accuracy in the reports sent, as they come from the ERP
  • Providing greater visibility of the status of processes throughout the supply chain.

The digital transformation of warehouse logistics: EDI and AS2 Connections

almacenes logísticos

Digital society demands more and more immediacy, product availability and shorter delivery times.  For this to happen, supply processes and the movement of goods in business logistics must be optimized with standardized and electronic models that allow them to connect and send commercial information in seconds to any trade partner in the world.

In the logistics chain, warehouses play a fundamental role, facing the challenge of finding the balance between distribution and supply. All the stages of the logistics chain should have perfect communication and be connected for optimum warehouse management and control of merchandise movement.

For instant communication between warehouses and suppliers and distributors, there is an increasing demand to use EDI technology in order to save time, reduce costs, and increase security and traceability. Through standardized and automatic communication, warehouses are able to interchange a multitude of commercial documents, providing a large amount of information to the rest of the entities in the supply chain. For example, sales reports, stock reports, shipping notices, shipping instructions, etc. Using these messages automates the supply chain’s communication flow and decreases the amount of errors.

In addition to establishing these electronic communication flows in the sector, customers demand that AS2 servers make the connections. Through this standard of communication one can exchange all types of documents in a secure way using https protocol with encryption and digital signatures. This ensures the integrity, privacy and authentication of the data. A fundamental requirement of these connections is that both the sending and receiving of messages must occur between AS2 servers. For this reason, most companies decide to outsource the service to a provider like EDICOM that is always ready to send or receive any document. This means that with a specialized solution it is no longer necessary for members in a business relationship be connected at the same time to exchange data. This makes it possible to maximize the advantages of this system.

The final objective is to provide the best service to consumers, but for logistic warehouses this involves obtaining a work plan that meets delivery times and conditions. Both requirements can be achieved simply and automatically using EDI processes that respond to the needs of each entity in the supply chain.

How can you start using EDI in this sector?

EDICOM has developed different technological solutions designed for logistics such as the B2B communications infrastructure  EDICOMNet, the VMI tool or Vendor Management Inventory and the possibility of exchanging communications through AS2 servers with any partner that requires it. Thanks to them, the large companies in this sector at the international level have simplified and improved their day-to-day management.

EDI Academy – Why outsource EDI to a trusted provider

EDI Outsourcing

Every day, companies waste time and resources on tasks which are not their main activity and which, moreover, bring them no added value. In the long-term, these actions constitute an obstacle to business growth. So, in this edition of EDI Academy we discuss a trend taking hold worldwide – outsourcing. With outsourcing, companies can focus actions on their core business, while other outside organizations take care of the added activities.

Outsourcing to a trusted provider is part of this business-focusing strategy. This is one way to relieve them from managing their B2B platforms, from all the associated tasks entailed and, most importantly, from having to administer their technology resources.

Backup copies, servers, controlling errors, databases registering new partners, maintenance… Any activity related with the electronic data interchange solution is left in the hands of an outside provider. This is what is known as EDI outsourcing, an approach that lets you maximize the benefits of this business technology, ranging from cost savings to increased productivity.

How EDI Outsourcing works

The Global Outsourcing service from EDICOM is designed for total delegation of EDI management and e-invoicing in conditions of maximum trust. A specialized technician acts as an advanced user of the company’s communications platform and manages all parameters of the B2B e-commerce solution.

In the event of any incident or error cropping up, this administrator also coordinates the solution to the problem with the support team. In other words, company employees are relieved of an important work burden.

But what specific activities can the company delegate to the Outsourcing service?

  • Solution configuration and EDI platform rollout.
  • Error or alarm handling and processing.
  • Control of communications and unassisted processes.
  • Defining profiles in the communications network.
  • Partner parameterization.
  • Coordinating initial interchanges through the company’s test framework.
  • Controlling the information flow between the company and new partners joining the platform.
  • Opening up gateways between different communications networks.
  • Constant updating of backup data copies and information security.

Outsourcing all these EDI-related tasks gives a boost to productivity in different company areas, from the IT department to admin. As a result, economic costs are reduced and growth encouraged for the business, which now has greater resources for development.

How to choose a trusted technology provider

Although EDI outsourcing entails great benefits for businesses, it also involves certain risks. Companies leave highly confidential information and the responsibility of knowing how to manage it in the hands of a third party. So, it is crucial to choose a trusted technology provider.

When it comes to choosing the most suitable partner to outsource EDI, aspects such as technological capacity, support, safety certifications or experience must be taken into account. We expand the information in this other issue of EDI Academy.

Chile renews e-VAT return system

declaración de IVA electrónico

After a decade using Income Declaration Form 22 in Chile, the Internal Revenue Service (SII) has brought out a new application for creation of a VAT Return proposal. As 99% of tax documents are electronic, this application will generate the VAT return based on the information contained in the electronic tax documents (DTEs).

The taxpayer will be able to view all the e-tax documents and their status, which will be included in the Purchases and Sales Record. If issuing documents on paper, they must be included separately.

The SII will now set up your Purchases and Sales Books in the application and offer you an F29 proposal, which your company must then ratify, thus removing the obligation to submit the Purchases and Sales Books and forms DDJJ 3327 and 3328.

The VAT proposal will contain the following prefilled information:

  • Form 29 VAT codes, related to Invoicing, Credit Note and Debit Note transactions.
  • If you need to include information on receipts, vouchers or other documents authorized by the SII, you must enter the summary in the sales record, and it will be included in your proposal.
  • Withholdings for invoices issued to third parties.
  • The different remnants from the previous period are also brought over.
  • The VAT Refund Exporter or Subject Change amounts requested will be included when applicable.
  • If you are a self-employed worker, you access the PPM (Provisional Monthly Payments) proposal through the invoices that you issued in the period.

The new system comes into force as of August 2017 for sales and purchasing information for this month, so in September you will no longer need to send the old purchases and sales file to the SII. Download the resolution and find out all the details.

Proposal benefits

  1. As the information is obtained from already validated documents, there will be fewer errors and inconsistencies in the VAT return process.
  2. The obligation to generate the purchase and sales book disappears.
  3. It simplifies and makes the task easier for taxpayers, as it comes prefilled with the VAT amount to be declared and paid.
  4. There is e-invoicing calculation assistance for sales, services or professional fees, among others.

In addition, the proposal replaces the obligation to stamp and keep the Purchases and Sales Books and avoids fines arising from delays or failure to send the e-books.

With this initiative, the SII continues to innovate in terms of billing and electronic tax compliance to ease the day-to-day grind for taxpayers. Access Frequently Asked Questions about the Form 29 proposal.

Europe achieves 75% interoperability

interoperability europe

Interoperability among European Union countries grew in 2016 compared to previous years. The “State of Play of Interoperability in Europe – Report 2016” report, drafted by the NIFO (National Interoperability Framework Observatory), states that the degree of alignment with the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) has reached 75%.  Among the countries analysed, 23 had reached 50% and 12 of them exceeded 80%.

Although the figure on average is positive, the study notes that there are still great differences between regions. Estonia is the most interoperable country (100%), followed by The Netherlands (99%) and Spain (97%). On the other side of the scale are others such as Ireland (18%), Belgium (32%) or Portugal (41%).

These percentages refer to the total level of alignment with the actions set out by the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), which is divided into 5 main dimensions: the conceptual model, interoperability levels, interoperability agreements and interoperability governance.

Analysed individually, the least developed aspects are the levels of interoperability (64.33%) and interoperability agreements (66,32%). Even so, in all cases there is at least one country that achieves 100%. Another notable figure is that the level of interoperability worldwide has grown by 9% compared to 2015.

The NIFO report also studied the implementation of national interoperability frameworks. In this area, Spain leads the way (100%) with the National Interoperability Scheme. Next up are Denmark (88%), The Netherlands (87%) and Luxembourg (85%). The average is, however, at 56%, although it rose by 12 points compared to the previous year. Of the 26 countries analysed, 16 scored over 50% and 5 were above 80%.

Another aspect assessed in the study was monitoring. In other words, the ability of countries to analyse trends and adapt to changes. In this sense, the states that achieved the highest score were those with their own agencies specifically dedicated to interoperability. This is the case of Austria (100%), Denmark (88%) and Spain (88%).

Why interoperability?

The Digital Single Market strategy, designed to foment a more technological and interconnected European Union, acknowledges interoperability as a basic prerequisite. Yet the paperless revolution in the different countries has taken place over the years in fragmented form, hampering communication between the businesses and agencies of each state.

To address this problem, the ISA2 programme (Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations) was created, to run from 2016 to 2020. Through this initiative, the European Commission will coordinate and monitor implementation of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). This action plan is based on a conceptual framework including 4 levels of interoperability and 47 recommendations for Member States.

In addition, the rollout of Directive 2014/55/EU, promoting the use of the European standard and e-procurement by 2018, will be a further definitive impetus for interoperability.