In order for our company to be in a leading position of innovation in the seeds supply chain, we decided many years ago to embrace the EDI process for exchanging messages with our partners and customers in the seeds business.
EDI is the acronym for Electronic Data Interchange which is a universal computer-to-computer communication language, and applies to all types of documents (commercial, logistical, financial, administrative, accounting, etc.). Furthermore, it is independent from computer type, operating system and from the programming language, which is really great. This process consists of transforming and digitizing a materialized medium into a digital medium. This can be for example a paper document; a non-automated document flow (fax, mail, telephone) or a manual processing of documents (re-entry).
Under the EDI process, transmission takes place in real time and data entry is digitized without the risk of error. We have noticed that implementing such a system leads to a cost reduction (administrative processing, exchange and archiving costs). In addition, it also leads to a reduced operating cycle for supplies, billing and regulations.
Today around 60% of our seeds sales administration in France from order to invoice is done through EDI. For two campaigns, our EDI delivery advice message ‘DESADV’ includes the data matrix codification of our commercial units: seeds bags and our handling units: pallets. So our customers can link automatically the EDI message DESADV we sent them when we ship the seeds with physical reception of the pallets when they get them in their warehouse. This insures a full traceability.
To develop EDI messages and codification of our products, Euralis works in the frame of the Agro EDI Europe association. This association has been involved in the development of electronic data interchange in the agricultural sector. To support the evolution of the different types of exchanges and to standardize them, Agro EDI Europe ensures the creation of standardized messages, specific to those of the agricultural sector, in accordance with the existing international standards.
So in terms of outlook for the future as a company, we wish to promote the development of digitization and traceability in our distribution in both France as well as in Europe. In that respect, we prefer to be leaders rather than followers and as such, we want to be ready for future evolutions, which includes the dematerialization of invoices and phytosanitary certificates.