EDI, Automated Ordering, and You
SSCS has been harnessing the power of EDI on behalf of customers for more than a decade.
As the gas station and convenience store industry changes, the needs of our customers change and the SSCS Technology platform must evolve to meet their emerging requirements, a mission we take to heart. Our adoption of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in the Computerized Daily Book (CDB) back office software over a decade ago serves as a good example of how we incorporated a technology on the rise and contextualized its significant efficiency advantages for the convenience store operator.
EDI adds the speed and accuracy of SSCS technology to the processing of delivery invoice and item information. Think of it as an electronic alternative to the traditional method of dealing with a hard copy invoice or item list from your vendor, or having to scan in bar codes on the items you receive in a Direct Store Delivery.
Better yet, the CDB captures the pricing and other information that are passed using the EDI (and selected other) modules, making it an invaluable repository of information that makes it possible for us to provide automated ordering based on sales history, a standout feature of the CDB. Because the suggested reorder is based on the items you know you are really selling in your store, you won’t order (and receive) too much or too little of an item. You can pick the period of time for which you wish to replenish your shelves, and better yet, automatically generate precise vendor orders when you need to, weekly, monthly, or whenever you wish.
When your electronically generated reorder goes out to your vendor, that vendor receives the order in a very specific format. This means that conveniently, when your items arrive, something else arrives—an electronic invoice summarizing the physical items that have showed up onsite. The simultaneous arrival of electronic invoice and physical items makes it fast and easy to add an entire delivery to inventory without scanning boxes and boxes of new items. And with our software’s capacity to record minimum order quantities (for instance, a 36-count box of candy bars) our reordering calculations always take into account the physical pack sizes of items that you purchase.
While reordering based on sales history helps you maintain exactly what you need onsite based on real sales information, options are always a plus given the differences between how operators…well, operate. So if you need to, SSCS Technology lets you reorder based on criteria you choose (date range, department range, vendor, etc.).
You can also reorder items based on what we call “Minimum On Hand Level.” In other words, you can establish the minimum quantity of each kind of item you want to have stocked on your shelves, and tell our software to analyze your inventory and make sure these minimum quantities are met. Set it up and let the orders pour in!
Managing inventory by item is no longer a novelty—it is a necessity, and tracking items as such a granular level requires the help of technology. With thousands of item types, a competitive and evolving market, and a need to tighten profit margins as businesses centralize, reordering based on sales history—as provided by the CDB and its EDI module—should be a cornerstone of any gas station or convenience store operation.