Using RPA to Expand B2B Automation Beyond EDI

  • Using RPA to Expand B2B Automation Beyond EDI

The Tangentia EDI Gateway is a platform that seamlessly integrates with multiple business systems to enable small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises to attain full compliance with the EDI requirements of their trading partners, whether they are on the front end or the back end.

The Tangentia Gateway provides a range of state-of-the-art features, such as EDI connectivity to over 2,000 trading partners globally, full integration with eCommerce platforms and ERP/WMS/Carrier systems, support for multiple EDI standards, and support for multiple configurable user accounts.

However, automation can do so much more. It is vital to any business, large or small, to expand beyond their EDI to get the most out of automation. Tangentia makes this possible by providing an RPA platform to expand your order-to-cash and procure-to-pay systems.

Expanding the Order-to-Cash System

The current order-to-cash system involves the supplier organization sending the buying organization an invoice once they have received the purchase order. In this way, 20% of your EDI customers account for 60% to 80% of your transactions. But what about the other 80% of your customers that account for 20% to 40% of your transactions? These customers are small businesses that lie outside of your EDI and that means you are stuck manually processing their transactions.

This is where robotic process automation (RPA) comes in. RPA has the power to automate transactions with customers outside of your EDI. This includes transactions made via email, fax, PDF, and paper, making it possible for you to automate 100% of the transactions you have with your customers.

The benefits of automating order-to-cash are clear. They include:

  • Onboarding smaller customers that do not have EDI capabilities
  • Reducing back-office staff by as much as 90%
  • Increasing the speed of payments
  • Improving cashflow
  • Reducing costs and increasing performance by as much as 83%
  • Improving customer service

Expanding the Procure-to-Pay System

The procure-to-pay system from the side of the buying organization operates in a similar fashion. In this situation, it is still 20% of the EDI vendors accounting for 60% to 80% of the transactions, with smaller businesses operating manually via email, fax, PDF, and paper. Even vendors such as communications suppliers and cleaning companies send invoices manually.

Again, RPA can automate the procure-to-pay process, onboarding those vendors that do not operate via an EDI. Manual transactions can be processed through the RPA platform in a similar manner to order-to-cash transactions. The benefits of this include:

  • Reducing invoicing costs of up to 80%
  • Reducing invoice processing time from days to minutes
  • Increasing data capture for improved decision making
  • Improving procure-to-pay efficiency and vendor relationships

Which Bot Type is Right For Your Business?

RPA relies on software bots that are capable of accessing and pulling data from databases, forms, purchase orders, invoices, and other sources of data and information. For example, a bot can read through an invoice, access the required information, fill out forms when required, and will learn the first time it goes through this process. The next time the bot encounters a similar invoice, it will know precisely what to do.

Tangentia Intelligent Automation (TiA) is Tangentia’s bot platform. TiA bots are capable of performing tedious, repetitive tasks and processes that are not the best use of human time, and they do it faster and without human error. An example is the TiA bot that deals with purchase orders and invoices. This bot will:

  • Open the purchase order attachment in the email
  • Scan the purchase order
  • Pull the required information from the purchase order
  • Input the information into the proper fields of an Excel file
  • Create and fill in all the details of the sales order
  • Create and automatically send the invoice to the customer

One purchase order could take as long as 10 minutes to process when it is done manually. However, the bot can process four purchase orders in less than 30 seconds. This is a win, especially for time-sensitive purchase orders. It can take less than four hours from the receipt of a purchase order to dispatch.

Expand Your EDI Capability with RPA

The turmoil of today’s global environment, which is largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, has increased the need for automation. However, EDI is limited to partners who also have an EDI system. RPA can expand your automation capabilities to include partners who do not have EDI capabilities. In fact, close to 50% of businesses worldwide will increase RPA adoption simply due to COVID-19, with the following goals:

  • Open the purchase order attachment in the email
  • Increasing agility, resilience, and diversity in supply chain operations
  • Dealing with increased cost pressures through the automation of back-office processes and operational tasks
  • Supporting remote workforces

It’s time to start thinking about expanding your automation. If you are interested in learning more about what RPA can do for your order-to-cash and procure-to-pay systems, reach out and speak with a Tangentia team member today. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Expand Your B2B Automation Beyond EDI Using RPA. Watch our 45 min On-Demand webinar where you will learn how RPA & EDI can extend your automation capabilities.

Expand Your B2B Automation Beyond EDI Using RPA

Watch our 45 min On Demand webinar where you will learn how RPA & EDI can extend your automation capabilities

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ArcESB Case Study

  • Tangentia managed services for successful ArcESB migration

Since 2003, Tangentia has been a leading provider of digital transformation solutions to companies of all sizes, implementing wide-scale automation, B2B, and digital integration solutions. Among their solutions, Tangentia provides end-to-end EDI integration services, spanning B2B/EDI document exchange as well as backend ERP, WMS, Carrier System, and database integration.

With 15+ years of digital transformation experience under their belt, Tangentia has helped companies automate supply chains and streamline business activity to boost productivity, efficiency, accuracy, reliability, and security.

The Challenge:

Upgrade internal legacy technology to solve internal pain points, reduce complexities and provide customers with a more agile Tangentia Gateway SaaS cloud solution

For years, Tangentia has used IBM’s Sterling B2B Integrator to implement end-to-end integrations for clients, processing up to 2,000,000 EDI transactions per month. However, they discovered that Sterling B2B Integrator in some use cases restricted the breadth of the solutions they could offer to clients. Some of the limitations included:

  • Limited error logging meant Tangentia required a dedicated team to exclusively monitor transactions, making it resource-intensive to operate & maintain.
  • The lack of a REST API limited Tangentia’s integration flexibility and management efficiency.
  • Limited workflow capabilities forced Tangentia to develop custom C# and Python scripts to handle EDI processes.
  • Complex user interface making it time-consuming to set up new maps/connections and troubleshoot EDI issues

Tangentia decided to search for a solution that matched the processing power and scalability of Sterling while also addressing their existing pain points and providing more expansive opportunities for integrating with 3rd-party applications. Most importantly, their desired solution needed a tool that could accelerate the process of migrating away from Sterling to keep the transition overhead low.

The Solution:

ArcESB and the Maps Import Wizard

As a global digital transformation solutions provider with a widespread clientele amongst hundreds of companies, Tangentia required a sophisticated solution with the following features:

  • Robust managed file transfer capabilities with Drummond-Certified AS2, SFTP Server, and other file transfer protocol support
  • Automatic EDI translation for ANSI X12 and EDIFACT files
  • Reliable ERP, CRM, and RDBMS connectivity from within the user interface
  • API functionality to issue REST and SOAP requests
  • Detailed logging & error identification processes
  • Scalability to handle high-volume transactions
  • Intuitive EDI mapping features and time-saving UI
  • Reliable and responsive support

In ArcESB, Tangentia found a solution that exceeded their expectations for an enterprise integration platform. Not only did ArcESB meet their requirements, but it also alleviated many of the pain points that had limited their management efficiency:

“ArcESB supports web services that allow us to directly interact with databases which used to be our major limitation with IBM Sterling” said Rushabh Dharwadkar, B2B Technical Lead, Tangentia. “Another ArcESB feature that we highly value is its extensive error logging. We used to dedicate a team of seven people just for error monitoring and monitoring transactions previously.”

Seeking to avoid a costly transition period, Tangentia leveraged the ArcESB Maps Import Wizard to begin their quick and automatic migration process:

“We were able to reduce the number of maps we use throughout our projects by more than 50%. That was extremely beneficial, as it translated to fewer errors, and even easier error identification, which was a considerable sticking point for us on our old platform.”

The Results:

11 Migrations in 4 Months

At the time of writing, Tangentia has implemented ArcESB for 11 of their clients over a duration of four months — easily outpacing their expected timelines.

“Typically, our IBM Sterling implementations take four to five months, which is a major challenge for a lot of our customers who need to be EDI compliant as soon as possible. With ArcESB, we were able to migrate all 11 existing projects in just about four months, and new clients take less than two months to onboard,” Dharwadkar said.

ArcESB has also boosted Tangentia’s bottom line by automating error monitoring, allowing their engineers to focus on value-added digital transformation projects.

Perhaps most importantly, ArcESB has enabled Tangentia to offer end-to-end EDI integrations on a unified platform — while cutting EDI costs for their customers and passing on the savings. ArcESB’s affordable unlimited EDI license enabled unlimited EDI processing at a fraction of the cost.

Moving Forward: A Growing Partnership between Tangentia and ArcESB

Tangentia Gateway SaaS Portal powered by ArcESB

Tangentia and ArcESB both look to embrace the momentum and substantially set up more clients on their latest ArcESB powered Tangentia Gateway. The push towards streamlining their EDI management enhances Tangentia's ability to continue providing market-leading digital transformation solutions. Nonesuch offerings are more exciting than the new improved Generation 3 Tangentia Gateway SaaS Cloud EDI offering

“Tangentia Gateway in its latest Gen 3 release allows business users at their organization as well as their vendors and their customers to easily interact with their EDI documents without the need for specialized EDI skills. We’re now processing more than 2,000,000 files per month and continue to scale as we add customers globally” says Karen Briones, Customers Success Manager at Tangentia”

ArcESB stand-alone EDI solution configured, managed, and hosted by Tangentia

Tangentia not only uses ArcESB in their Tangentia Gateway SaaS Cloud offering but offers to resell, consulting, migration, and managed services offering for ArcESB to customers that manage their own EDI infrastructure internally.

One of Canada’s favorite ice cream manufacturers recently moved their EDI to ArcESB solution which was migrated and managed entirely by the Tangentia EDI team. The Tangentia EDI consulting team can migrate your existing EDI maps and connections from any legacy platform to ArcESB, and can be entirely managed or hosted by Tangentia.

If you’re looking for an affordable, scalable, and easy to implement EDI solution, contact Tangentia and experience the difference that a customer-focused Canadian-based team can provide. Contact:

North America

Karen Briones
EDI Customer Success Manager at Tangentia North America


Rajhans Gupta
Enterprise Account Manager at Tangentia India

Get Started Today

Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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How Cloud EDI Can Transform Business Invoice Reconciliation

  • How Cloud EDI Can Transform Business Invoice Reconciliation

It’s no secret that automation is a hot topic right now in virtually every industry. The ability to use software to save employee hours and costs and defer that burden to a machine that can process tasks in a fraction of a second is essential for any business with low-profit margins, like the restaurant industry.

After all, every task is critical, and every second counts when your employees are on the clock. And when it comes to finance processes like invoice reconciliation, EDI and automation are rapidly changing the way companies approach these tasks.

This article will explore EDI and invoice reconciliation, and how adding EDI can benefit your business over the long run.

How Automated Invoice Reconciliation Can Benefit Your Company

Any process that a human can do, a machine can do faster and more efficiently, even tasks vital to a business’s profitability, like invoice reconciliation. It is essential to reconcile your invoices as accurately as possible. Doing so will reap the following benefits for your company:

  • Saving work hours. Pre-automation, businesses will assign multiple employees to sift through invoices for hours at a time. With automation, these same employees can be contributing to other tasks, while EDI software reconciles the invoices for them.
  • Reduce invoice errors. People make errors all the time, even best our best intentions. Invoice errors can profoundly negatively impact a business, from overpaying/underpaying a supplier to not billing a client correctly. The software will not make these same mistakes as all values are based on computer calculations and checks and balances are in place.
  • Reconcile many invoices simultaneously. Humans can only process one invoice at a time. The software can process invoices in a fraction of a second. By reconciling many invoices quickly, you will save valuable employee hours.
  • Prioritize other more critical business processes. By automating invoice reconciliation, you can re-assign your human employees to other tasks. Every task needs to be prioritized for maximum efficiency to ensure maximum profits.
  • Establishes precedence for more automation. Automation saves money, especially when a whole business process can be automated, as in the case of EDI.
  • Cloud-stored data. Even the best office practices of data storage are no match for cloud-based storage. Cloud data can be accessed at any time, in any location, as long as you have online or offline access to your data. The same cannot be stated for data locked in an office. By utilizing cloud storage, EDI allows you to save copies of reconciled invoices, and check the reconciliation process for errors when you need to.

The Value of EDI and Invoice Reconciliation

Companies are using automated invoice reconciliation to scale up their business processes, especially in centralized billing. If you own or operate several establishments, you will need to process invoices from multiple locations quickly and efficiently. EDI allows you to do this, even if your various locations are being run independently by different managers.

By using EDI and automating the manual collection of data, you can reduce processing errors and increase efficiency when reconciling invoices. Messy handwriting, wrong inputs, and scanning issues are no longer a problem. You can enter all the pertinent information into a terminal, generate an invoice electronically, and send a copy to a centralized office for automated reconciliation.

Automated EDI is one form of IT management that is transforming business infrastructure and processes. Automation reduces complexity and increases efficiencies that can affect whole work teams, replacing manual, error-prone processes, and saving many more useful employee hours spent on other tasks.

Seamless EDI and Business Automation Starts With Tangentia

How is your company leveraging powerful cloud EDI functionality and automation to transform your invoice reconciliation processes?

Tangentia provides digital solutions for businesses of all sizes. If you’re looking to kickstart your automation journey, we can help. Get in touch with one of our EDI specialists today to get started.

Get Started Today

Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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A Quick Guide to Warehouse Inventory Management in 2020

  • A Quick Guide to Warehouse Inventory Management in 2020

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means retailers and wholesalers must be efficient in organizing their products and managing the inventory of their products.

Depending on the size of your operation, how you manage your products may differ. However, warehouse inventory management is not just a requirement for compliance with SEC regulations and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) for public companies—it’s crucial to the success of any retail company.

We’ve put together this brief guide to help you understand the basics of warehouse inventory management.

What Is Warehouse Inventory Management?

Warehouse inventory management is the system used to organize and track all of the company’s owned products. For warehouse operations, this helps to ensure the right level of inventory is in the right place at the right time. Inventory is then converted to revenue once it’s sold.

In the United States, manufacturers, retailers, and merchant wholesalers carried more than $1.9 trillion in inventory in June 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Accurately evaluating the inventory for the company’s balance sheet requires either physical stock count or an automated inventory system that creates an accurate record of each inventory-related transaction.

This quantitative product management differs slightly from a company’s warehouse management system (WMS), an umbrella term that supports the entire operation of a warehouse, including inventory management.

The best warehouse inventory management systems keep track of products and provide actionable business intelligence, such as identifying trends in product performance and sending reorder notifications when stock is low.

Current warehouse inventory management systems are outdated and often haven’t embraced everything automation has to offer.

Features of Inventory Management

There are many steps involved in warehouse inventory management, some of which include:

  • Picking and packing
  • Shipping
  • Managing locations
  • Receiving orders
  • Tracking inventory levels
  • Cycle counting
  • Generating reports
  • Providing business insights

What Are the Different Types of Inventory Management?


Every step of the delivery, tracking, loading, and data manipulation is done by workers. This manual system can increase the risk of human error at any point in the inventory management process. If there is ever a mistake, the only method of resolving the problem is another manual re-do.

Another downside to this type of inventory management is its unsustainability for more significant warehouse operations. Without computerized report generation, companies may see difficulties in turning paper-based information into useful data.


This system uses the familiar label of black stripes that are affixed to the product, packaging, or pallet. Using wearable barcode readers, workers can speed up warehouse inventory management and save seconds scanning per item. This digital format is efficient and accurate by counting goods in real-time.


Radiofrequency identification tags are found in two configurations: active and passive. Active systems use battery-operated tag readers located throughout a warehouse and updates of inventory count and location. Passive systems are read-only when someone activates the readers through hand-held devices. Passive technology can be read at up to 40 feet, while active readers are effective up to 300 feet, but both systems automatically record inventory.

Warehouse Robots

With growing advancements in technology and automation, companies are starting to turn to optical systems mounted on the ground or aerial platforms. These systems use machine learning to read existing labels without barcodes or RFID and maintain accurate, up-to-date inventory.

Warehouse Inventory Automation: Is This the New Norm?

Modern supply chains are more complex than ever. Traditional manual processes are no longer viable for businesses that want to optimize workflows and reduce wasted resources.

Automation is the natural solution to these problems. It’s ideal for individual warehouses or companies that support numerous locations across the entire supply chain.

Effective fulfillment requires sophisticated solutions that are able to predict trends, make actionable recommendations, and increase the visibility of potential issues before they turn into larger problems.

Successful manufacturers, 3PLs, and retailers know the importance of optimized supply chains. That’s why they’ve heavily invested in cloud-based automation solutions for their supply chains.

Automate Your Warehouse Inventory Management With Tangentia

Here at Tangentia, we understand the transformative difference automated solutions can make for your business.

When you’re processing hundreds or thousands of pallets or cartons per day, automated processes can significantly save time, effort, and costs. For many retail companies, creating greater warehouse inventory management efficiency translates to a multi-million dollar impact.

Are you interested in learning more about warehouse inventory management automation? Get in touch with Tangentia today to learn more.

Get Started Today

Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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5 Ways to Prepare for the Holiday Season in the Age of the New Norm

  • 5 Ways to Prepare for the Holiday Season in the Age of the New Norm

The world’s a much different place than it was over eight months ago. Supply chains continue to be tested, manufacturing is still playing catch up, and digital transformations are no longer a luxury—they’re essential. Businesses in all industries find themselves at a crossroads: embrace digital technologies or die.

And with the 2020 holiday season fast approaching, it’s no secret that this will be a holiday season unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

But what can you do to prepare? And how can you ensure your business is ready to capitalize on this new norm?

1. Expand Your Ecommerce Capabilities

The best way to protect your business is to expand your ecommerce capabilities. We are living in a new world, and that means a holiday season full of unknowns.

The days of selling your products through a single channel are gone. Successful ecommerce sellers and brands are already focusing on a multi-channel approach.

But what does this mean? Your company needs to explore all avenues—whether that’s selling through brick and mortar retailers, Amazon, dropshipping, or something else. Choice is king today, and you need to give your customers the luxury of choice.

The new push for digital has made this easier than ever. You can easily configure your existing systems to meet the trading requirements of new channels, ensure your products are properly specked, and ready for shipment come the holiday season.

But don’t wait too long. You need to get accepted and onboarded in the system before it’s too late.

2. Ensure Your EDI System Is Up to Speed

You rely on your cloud EDI system to do a lot of the heavy lifting for your business. It keeps you compliant with your trading partner’s requirements, streamlines and automates workflows, and ensures your data is compatible and standardized.

You need to act quickly before the busy holiday season, and that means having an integrated EDI system that keeps up with changing demand.

Take the time now to assess your current EDI system to see whether it’s meeting your needs, can cope with increasing holiday demand, and future shopping trends in the ever-evolving world of ecommerce.

3. Optimize Your Inventory NOW

You need to start optimizing your inventory immediately to avoid getting blindsided when the holiday season hits.

Remember, your retail trading partners are overworked, short-staffed, and struggling to cope with increasing demand.

Take the time to optimize your inventory. Look at what items are low in stock (or at risk of going out of stock). Go the extra mile and tell retailers what products they should restock based on your sell-through and inventory data.

4. Be Wary of New Retail Relationships

Many businesses have forged new relationships with retailers that were more prepared for this new digital-first world.

But keep in mind, these new relationships are still an unknown. It’s important to protect your business by diversifying and not over-relying on any single new retailer too much.
Make sure you communicate with your trading partners at all times, so you can meet their trading requirements, fill orders, and work through hiccups as they occur.

5. Be Prepared for the Unknown

Experts will try and predict this holiday season—but the truth is? We don’t know what’s going to happen. This is uncharted territory in the digital age.
Will consumers flock to brick and mortar stores, malls, and other popular holiday locations? Or will they go all-in with digital?

The best thing you can do is to prepare for these trends. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Ensure you have enough merchandise to restock retailers should they sell through initial orders
  • Have a stock replenishment plan in place with your retailers
  • Develop a rock-solid fulfillment strategy that leverages a powerful fully integrated EDI system, sets expectations with retailers, and keeps shipments on time and on budget.

Need Help Preparing for the 2020 Holiday Season? Tangentia Can Help

The 2020 holiday season promises to be an exciting one, for one reason or another. Here at Tangentia, we’ve been helping our clients optimize their cloud EDI systems in preparation.

Are you looking to do more with your EDI system? Get in touch with our EDI specialists to see how you can leverage enhanced functionality, automation, and more to improve your workflows.

Get Started Today

Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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How Just-In-Time Inventory, EDI, and RPA Keep Your Business at Its Most Efficient

  • Automating Your Inventory : How Just-In-Time Inventory, EDI, and RPA Keep Your Business at Its Most Efficient

When it comes to your company’s supply chain, one of the most common weak links is inventory management. There are very few businesses that handle their inventory management well. Typically, retail businesses face problems scaling up their inventory management systems as they grow.

As your business grows, efficient inventory practices become more and more worth investing in. Retail companies with poor inventory management can suffer from stock issues, slowed turnover times, and needing to order excess inventory to prevent running out of stock. Slow delivery and stock issues are a sure way to reduce customer satisfaction, so keeping these issues at a minimum is important.

How can retail companies improve their stock management and inventory processes? For most businesses, the answer is automation. Most inventory management issues stem from human error, inefficient practices, and incomplete item information. Automation resolves all these issues. It is intrinsically efficient and requires complete item information, and eliminates human error.

So, how can your business get started with inventory automation? The process isn’t as difficult as you might think. Just-in-Time Inventory (JIT), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are a few strategies that you can utilize onto your supply chain to be well on the way to an optimized system.

What Is Just-in-Time (JIT) Inventory?

JIT inventory is a way to decrease waste and increase the efficiency of your supply chain. With JIT, your supply chain only receives goods as they become needed.

Pros of JIT?

JIT keeps your business at maximum efficiency. By having goods on hand only when they’re needed, you can keep your supply chain operating smoothly without needing to worry about long-term storage of stock.

Maintaining JIT inventory reduces the amount of waste your supply chain produces from leftover, unused goods. It also keeps the investment into your supply low, as you don’t need to stock more goods than you need.

Cons of JIT

While JIT keeps your business on top of its efficiency when supply is readily available, it can cause your business to suffer greatly from issues farther down the line of the supply chain.

Since you don’t keep a stockpile of the goods your supply chain uses, if they suddenly become scarce or expensive, your business might unexpectedly run out of stock. You might also end up needing to buy overpriced stock.

What Is Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)?

In general, Electronic Data Interchange is simply the technical term for two computers communicating with each other. In the context of the supply chain, EDI is a way to get a full digital picture of your electronic transaction exchanges with your customers, as well as your inventory.

Pros of EDI

Many supply chain issues, such as inventory shortages and surpluses, happen because of a lack of inventory visibility. EDI allows you to keep track of all your inventory in one centralized location, making it easy to track and prevent inventory errors.

With EDI, it’s also much easier to manage more complex inventory processes, such as multichannel sales. The more complicated the process, the more likely it is for human error to occur.

Having a guarantee that all of the information about your inventory is accurate allows you to make supply decisions with the big picture in mind. Overall, EDI improves almost all aspects of the inventory management process.

Cons of EDI

EDI can be hard to adjust for your supply chain to work around, especially if it is a legacy EDI system that is in place. This is especially the case for rapidly growing businesses, which don’t usually have particularly well-optimized supply chains.

If your inventory isn’t well-suited to EDI, it can take some work to get full value out of the EDI system. You may need to overhaul some of your inventory processes altogether.

What Is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

RPA is a way to increase the efficiency of your inventory management by replacing human operators for various digital systems. With an RPA system, the computer essentially uses itself by means of a virtual operator, called an RPA robot.

RPA robots have a wide array of functionalities, and are able to completely replace human users for many applications. They can perform tasks such as moving and collecting data from various sources, as well as process data by performing calculations.

Pros of RPA

RPA can allow for quite a lot of inventory management automation, sometimes up to 90%. In general, processes that can be automated should be, as humans are almost always slower than an RPA robot. RPA robots can drastically increase the efficiency of your inventory management processes.

Like EDI, RPA removes the human element from many processes. In particular, RPA robots can handle data entry, data processing, and other repetitive tasks easily, with a 0% rate of error. This gives them a sizable advantage over humans, who are unable to focus on these tasks for as long.

RPA systems can also keep running overnight, giving them yet another advantage over human operators. Overall, RPA is almost guaranteed to provide a large boost to your business’s supply chain efficiency.

Cons of RPA

Like EDI, a proper RPA system is not trivial to implement. Rolling out an RPA project into your business’s inventory management or production environments actually has a good chance of failing at first. After some troubleshooting, you will likely start getting full value out of the RPA system.

Tying It All Together

Automation is a great way to increase efficiency and eliminate errors within your inventory management process. It can’t do the job on its own, though: if you want to optimize your inventory management, you should use a combination of JIT, EDI, and RPA.

How JIT, EDI, and RPA Complement Each Other

On their own, these three methods of optimizing your inventory are sure to increase your efficiency significantly. When put together, though, they are more than the sum of their parts.

The biggest weakness of JIT is that it’s prone to human error. Improper data entry can result in an unexpected stock outage of your product. EDI and RPA prevent this by removing the capacity for human error in the majority of the inventory management operation.

On the other hand, EDI and RPA can suffer from bottlenecks. It doesn’t matter how efficient your data processing is if your business is bogged down by extra costs relating to storage or other inefficiencies. JIT helps alleviate this bottleneck by increasing the efficiency of your business outside of data processing.

Can I Have JIT or EDI Without RPA?

While JIT, EDI, and RPA are tools that are best used together, they can be used individually to great effect. You should make sure you’re on the lookout for the potential issues with using these tools.

So as long as you build your inventory management process around the tools you’re using—you should be able to work around JIT, EDI, and RPA’s various weaknesses. Overall though, we recommend trying to implement all three inventory management tools, as they work best in tandem.

An Investment in JIT Is an Investment in Efficiency

If your business has been growing and you’re having trouble handling demand for your products, the solution may not be to expand and spend more. Oftentimes, it’s much more budget-friendly and effective to invest in ways to improve your efficiency than expand your flawed, existing system.

When it comes to improving the efficiency of your supply chain, the best way is with automation. JIT, EDI, and RPA are all easy-to-implement forms of automation that are designed to provide you with a quick return on investment. Once you have these systems in place, you’ll find that your inventory management model is much more scalable.

If you’re interested in learning more about JIT, EDI, or RPA, feel free to contact us today to find out how these tools can help your business be the best it can be.

Get Started Today

Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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Integrating Your EDI Data Into Your ERP Systems: What Are Your Options?

  • Integrating Your EDI Data Into Your ERP Systems: What Are Your Options?

    By Karen Briones

Everyone’s heard about Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems by now. But seamlessly integrating EDI data into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is one area where many companies struggle. It’s important that these two systems communicate flawlessly to minimize processing times, eliminate errors, and avoid compliance issues.

Many companies rely on EDI systems that they struggle to maintain as they start to transition into the era of cloud technology. Most of them are legacy EDI systems that have been patched along over the decades, and trying to make them compatible with modern ERP systems is often a challenge.

So, how can you ensure that your EDI data is compatible with your ERP system? Let’s start by assessing the types of problems that most companies face when trying to integrate their EDI data with their ERP.

The Most Common EDI Data Integration Problems

Let’s face it—incorporating your EDI data into your ERP system isn’t an easy task. Here are a few of the most common problems you’ll encounter:

  • Poorly-built integrations that aren’t standardized. The entire premise of EDI is built around the idea of standardized file formats. Your organization may have developed a series of internal processes and policies over the years. Each layer of added difficulty only complicates the integration process.
  • Handing the project off to an inexperienced team. Every aspect of your integration needs to be managed carefully as a simple error could potentially lead to a halt of the rest of the downstream processes, and worst, compliance issues. Don’t make the mistake of handing the project off to an inexperienced team. The data you send and receive is important to your business, and it’s vital that your vendors and suppliers have access to accurate and compliant data to minimize disruptions to your business processes.
  • Relying too heavily on manual processes. Accountability and control are important aspects of EDI—but relying on manual processes can complicate the integration process. It is best practice to automate these processes to ensure that the data that you are integrating is accurate and reliable from end-to-end.
  • Deploying too many back-end applications. It’s not uncommon for businesses to use various CRM’s, ERP’s, and other applications to simplify their back-end processes. However, integrating your EDI data into multiple applications can increase the likelihood of costly errors being made.

Every organization is unique, and the challenges you face may be different. Still, your main focus should always be on maintaining the integrity and accessibility of the data that is essential to your business and your customers.

EDI Data and ERP Integration: Your Options

Several options exist when it comes to integrating your EDI data into an ERP system. The most popular options include:

Use a Third-Party EDI Integration Plugin

Some companies use a Third-Party EDI Integration Plugin that acts as a bridge between their EDI and ERP systems. While this may prove successful for your organization, the cost associated with this option is typically high.

Work with a Third Party EDI Service Provider

Third party EDI service providers not only ensure your EDI compliance with your trading partners’ EDI requirements, but they also typically offer ready-to-use integration modules for most ERPs. Many companies rely on Third Party EDI Service Providers to fully manage their overall EDI infrastructure, freeing them from costly in-house management and maintenance of these systems.

Utilize Web Services

The more modern ERP, WMS and eCommerce platforms have started to embrace web services/API integration to allow their applications to seamlessly communicate with other applications. EDI data can be incorporated into your ERP by utilizing APIs.

Implement Flat Files

Flat files are known as text database files. They are the most basic form of EDI data available. This method uses simple text files called flat-files (or CSV) to ensure data is compatible with the majority of ERP systems. Other EDI systems may use the XML format. These two file formats are the global standard in EDI and are highly-integratable with other ERP solutions.

Need Help Choosing the Right Integration Option for Your Company?

Integrating your EDI data into an ERP system is a major process that every organization that handles huge amounts of data should consider. Tangentia specializes in fully integrated EDI solutions, and can help your company successfully build the bridge between your EDI, ERP, WMS, eCommerce and other business applications.

Tangentia has decades of experience working with EDI systems, and we understand exactly what it takes to build an automated system that is flexible, compliant, and functional while being cost-effective.

Get in touch with a member of the Tangentia team today to see how we can automate your EDI data flow between your existing business applications.

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Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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Tangentia Offers Support for SWIFT 2020 Updates

  • Tangentia Offers Support for SWIFT 2020 Updates

SWIFT is a messaging network designed to facilitate the global transfer of funds. It works by sending electronic messages from one financial institution to another to notify them when a transfer of funds is made.

Each year, SWIFT updates its service based on changes requested by their customers. This update is the MT Standards release and it ensures the message types (MTs) exchanged by SWIFT users continue to meet their needs, both for existing businesses and new businesses.

The release for 2020 is called the Standards MT November 2020 and includes the following

  • Payments MTs to facilitate migration to the ISO 20022 Program and to ensure compliance with regulatory and FAFT requirements
  • Manual and automated solutions for mandatory payment confirmations
  • Support for additional security information to be transported in messages as per regulation
  • Support for local regulatory requirements
  • Support for local regulatory requirements
  • Increased structure to messages for both party fields and trade party fields
  • New features that offer support for changing business processes and new financial instruments
  • Clarification of definitions to ensure improved consistency in messages and improved automation
  • Changes agreed to during a fast-track maintenance process

Applying the changes in the SWIFT Standards Release Guide is mandatory for all financial institutions. However, making the required changes can be costly and it is important to balance that cost against the resulting benefits.

Tangentia can help with the update process, ensuring it is as efficient as possible and minimizes costs, while ensuring full compliance. We have extensive experience implementing SWIFT EDI gateways using solutions from IBM WebSphere Transformation Extender (WTX), IBM Sterling B2B Integrator, GXS, TIBCO and others.

Contact Tangentia for more information on SWIFT 2020 updates.

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Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.
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With 2019 Nearly Over- Where are AI, RPA & EDI going in 2020?

  • Where are AI, RPA & EDI going in 2020?

    A perspective by Tangentia CEO, Vijay Thomas

2019 was a significant year for Tangentia. As a recognizable ‘global boutique’ consulting firm that provides bespoke services in Canada, USA and India—we are excited about the progress we saw.

Whether it was our core B2B business of EDI(Electronic Data Interchange) and Ecommerce or the development of our new AI(Artificial Intelligence) and RPA(Robotic Process Improvement) segment, we empowered many businesses to improve their core operations.

But what trends really defined 2019? And which ones will continue to lead the way into 2020?

2019 Was a Milestone Year For Tangentia

2019 was the year we committed to automation through our AI and RPA service offerings. While we had some exposure previously (mostly through providing staffing solutions), we expanded our offerings by creating a new range of services that focused on key problems that businesses face in a multitude of industries. We expanded our partnership with IBM to become a Platinum partner of IBM for Watson AI. Also we are global partners for Automation Anywhere, UI Path and Blue Prism in the RPA space.

We also consolidated some of our legacy services, improving our B2B business segment—which includes our legacy EDI and Ecommerce business. These services continued to grow substantially outside of North America with many significant wins in 2019 in India including India’s largest retailer.

Our global headquarters also moved in Toronto, from Willowdale to the Waterfront district, which saw us join the likes of Google,Uber, LCBO, Royal Bank, and soon Microsoft in what is arguably the fastest-growing tech hub in the world. We are beyond excited to be located in such an innovative area of the city.

How Will 2020 Impact Digital Transformations?

Company accomplishments are important, but the real value is in the lessons we learned from the exciting technologies that we offer.

So, what were the main takeaways from 2019?

Automation Isn’t a Magic Bullet

The RPA industry saw between 600-1000% growth in 2019. These numbers are large and signify that many companies are investing in this technology heavily. Major players in this industry have become unicorns in the investing world as the markets realize the potential that automation has.

However, AI, RPA, automation, and similar technologies aren’t a guarantee. Companies that invested millions into this technology without a plan saw minimal results.

Automation is a catalyst for innovation, but your business needs the right systems in place to take advantage of it. The goal of RPA is to enhance existing systems that are already working. An automation solution will decrease costs, improve efficiency, and other core metrics- but only if an organization understands what areas they need to improve.

It’s important that a company makes small changes that compound over time. We encourage our clients to push for real value and not to fall victim to the marketing pitches that they’ve heard about automation. Our team even has a Continual Process Improvement(CPI) using RPA model that we encourage our customers to try out.

In 2020, we expect to see more companies identify how RPA can help their organization cut costs, improve productivity, and make their business more agile.

EDI Isn’t Dead. It’s Evolving

Yet again, critics made the claim that EDI is dead. But as an EDI solution provider, I can assure you that EDI isn’t going anywhere.

If anything, EDI is evolving and adapting to the digital age. At Tangentia, we see EDI as any B2B communications between two business entities and not through the traditional lens of ANSI X12 or EDIFACT. And while this traditional EDI may be slowing down, XML and API formats aren’t going anywhere—especially in the age of integration. Today, businesses rely on countless apps having the ability to communicate and synchronize flawlessly. This alone will ensure the longevity of EDI as companies look to simplify B2B communications.

Legacy companies will always rely on some form of EDI, while modern startups have the benefit of building out in the digital world. Still, even startups require EDI solutions using either the XML or API formats.

Digital Transformations Matter – But You Must Define What It Means to Your Company

Digital transformation is the buzzword today. Every company is claiming they are making a digital transformation.But what does it really mean?

An effective digital transformation should be all about making incremental changes that drive long-term value and improve the user experience.

For example, a business may use an invoicing system that takes one month to complete. They could realize substantial gains by automating this process down to several days.

One advantage that we can offer our clients is the perspectives we have gained from working in Canada, the United States, and India. We can help companies identify what’s working in one region and find ways to adapt that same technology in another.

Digital transformations aren’t going anywhere in 2020. Successful companies are always looking to modernize and improve the way they connect with customers, employees, and partners. However, we expect to see companies focus more on what their personalized digital transformation looks like.

Where Is Tangentia Going in 2020?

Agile Digital Transformation

Our unique agile approach to digital transformation has allowed us to deliver complex digital transformation projects for the largest beverage alcohol distributor in the world, the largest retailer in India and many mid sized companies worldwide. We will continue to stay true to our belief in the power of the iterative agile delivery model.

Global Boutique

Tangentia is a ‘global boutique’ firm. We know how to execute using a global delivery model with much less overheads than our competitors and that provides our customers with high-end services at a value driven price.

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Interested in Automation but don’t know where to start? Looking for somebody to help maintain, support and enhance your existing bots? Or just want to say hello? Contact us now. We promise a human will answer your query, not a bot.
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Tangentia + Dynamics 365 Business Central – Cloud ERP made easy

  • Tangentia + Dynamics 365 Business Central
    Cloud ERP made easy

Tangentia + Dynamics 365 Business Central – Cloud ERP made easy

The latest trends in the marketplace have shown that companies have begun to be more and more open to keep their data on the cloud. This is fast becoming true with their ERP systems. For Microsoft, it is not just a strategic decision to therefore re-brand their ‘on premise systems’ but a means of keeping up with the competition. Customers these days are not just looking for an ERP system that handles the finance and operations of the company but also embeds ecommerce solutions. This allows for a one stop shop cloud based solution that companies can exponentially benefit from.

Keeping the above in mind Microsoft has introduced ‘Dynamics 365 Business Central’ (formerly known as Microsoft Dynamics Navision) which is available on both “Premise” and on “Cloud.” Business Central offers organizations a single, end to end solution for managing finances, operations, sales and customer service and a solid opportunity to easily upgrade from entry-level accounting software and legacy systems.

Business Central is customizable and brings the full power of Dynamics NAV to the cloud. One of its most telling features – it provides businesses with tools that they can use to analyze their cash flow by analyzing historic data to make predictions for future periods. The cash flow forecast feature is made all the more dynamic as it can utilize the Azure Machine Learning to model various scenarios and provide groundbreaking insights into what to expect for the future. Azure Machine Learning allows the business to extend the time horizon for cash flow forecasts. It has the following models to calculate forecasts:

  • ARIMA (Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average)
  • ETS (Exponential Smoothing State Space)
  • STL (Seasonal Decomposition of Time Series by Loess)
  • TBATS (Exponential Smoothing State Space with Box-Cox transformation, ARMA errors, Trend and Seasonal components)

What it does differently is that it applies advanced statistical methods to the historical data to generate data in the future and include that data when calculating the forecast. When we predict receivables or payables, we use the due date as a date field and not the document date or posting date, so we don’t need to define and apply a payment term to the predicted results.

Azure ML is free in Business Central; you just need to turn it on. If you have two years of data, you can expect to forecast values accurately for up to four months. Business Central has introduced a ‘threshold’ factor that can be adjusted in the Cash Flow Forecast setup. The field is called “Variance %” and allow you to specify range of deviation, plus or minus, that you’ll accept in forecast.

The Tangentia Advantage

Tangentia EDI Engine

Tangentia has been at the forefront developing custom integration solutions that has previously connected the client’s Microsoft Navision ERP system to their Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), ecommerce and Warehouse Management Systems. (WMS)
The Tangentia Navision Engine (TNE) has supported MS NAV version 4.0 all the way to MS Dynamics NAV 2018. As of May 2019, Tangentia Navision Engine also seamlessly integrates and connects your EDI trading partners with the Business Central Cloud ERP. TNE has the following features:

  • Single user interface for all your EDI, WMS and ecommerce needs
  • Guaranteed EDI connectivity to 2000+ retailers worldwide
  • Supports ANSI X12, EDIFACT, RosettaNet, cXML, Tradacoms, ebXML etc.
  • Lifetime EDI Compliance – no additional cost for trading partner mapping changes or label modification
  • One-time flat EDI integration fee utilized across all trading partners
  • Highly customizable to meet business processes that might vary from company to company

Tangentia RPA and AI

RPA is making a real impact in enterprise space and empowering knowledge worker by helping them focus on the more meaningful and value-added side of their work and offloading more mundane and repetitive tasks to an RPA powered robot. There is an enterprise workforce revolution underway led by RPA and AI/Cognitive technologies.
There is a plethora of solutions providers in this space, each with its own specialty. However, there are three main vendors that come to mind. They are – Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism and UiPath in alphabetical order. Among these, UiPath is probably the fastest growing since it has recently received funding from big Silicon Valley Venture Capital firms in series C and D rounds.
Gartner predicts that by 2022 worldwide RPA spending will total $2.4B with an expected CAGR upwards of 30% in the next five years.
Here are some of the trends:

  • Digital Transformation: Traditional businesses are faced with competition from the likes of Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Google, Microsoft and Facebook to name a few and are forced to change their business models to adapt to the new digital reality.
  • The rise of the Omni channel: Consumers are increasingly preferring to do their shopping digitally and interact with merchants with minimum touchpoints in a seamless manner across all channels.
  • Availability of Actionable Data: Digital businesses are able to collect data and actionable insights about their customers in real time and adjust to the market demand accordingly. For example, Uber rates go up if there is a high demand in an area for its rides on account of some event. Similarly, Airbnb is able to hike its listing rates based on the demand in an area.
  • Scalability: It’s much easier to scale up if you are a digital business. It took much less time for Airbnb and Uber to overtake their traditional counterparts in terms of market size and market cap.
  • Flexibility: Digital business is more efficient, responsive to customer needs and able to cross-sell.

Tangentia provides end to end implementation services around the three main automation solutions – Automation Anywhere, UiPath and Blue Prism. Some of the benefits of choosing Tangentia are:

  • A strong commitment to client success over our own.
  • A rich history of past experience in implementing RPA solutions.
  • Knowledgeable resources with certifications in RPA solutions.
  • Strong domain expertise in specialized verticals e.g. BFSI, Healthcare, Telecom, Insurance etc.
  • A strong partner ecosystem that brings the best of breed solution offering.
  • A delivery model that is global and based on Agile Methodology and best practices.
  • A metrics-based approach to ROI.
  • Good past client references

Identifying and working with a right partner is the most important and crucial step to ensuring a successful RPA journey.

Tangentia Procure-to-Pay

  With Tangentia’s EDI, Automation, and Ecommerce services, we can provide a complete streamlined Procure-to-Pay process for the Global enterprise. The Procure-to-Pay (P2P) is an end-to-end process starting with requisitioning goods and services and ending with making payments for them.

The 7 Steps Procure-to-Pay process involves:

  • Raising the Purchase Order
  • Vendor confirmation of Purchase Order
  • Advanced Shipment Notice
  • Receipt of Goods
  • Submitting Documents to Finance
  • Vendor sending Invoice to Customer
  • Final Payment to Supplier

This apparently simple process can be complex due to legacy systems, and errors from manual entries, leading to unnecessary costs. Implementing an Procure-to-Pay cycle can provide an opportunity to bring efficiency to the process and save costs.

Tangentia Order-to-Cash

With Tangentia’s EDI, Automation, and Ecommerce services, we can provide a complete streamlined Order-to-Cash process for the Global enterprise. Order-to-Cash (OTC or O2C) is the top-level business process for receiving and processing customer orders.

The order to cash process is simple and can be illustrated with the following steps:

  • Customer sends a purchase order
  • Vendor creates a sales order
  • Vendor ships and delivers goods
  • Vendor sends invoice to customer
  • Customer pays the vendor

Order-to-Cash systems affect all areas of a business and are critical to operational success.

In a standard system, orders are received via different sales channels, such as phone, emails, fax, online channels or through sales persons. This input complexity added with other manual entries, makes the process error-prone and the system inefficient. Implementing an Order-to-Cash cycle can provide an opportunity to bring efficiency to the process and save costs.

With Tangentia’s EDI, Automation, and Ecommerce services, we can provide a complete streamlined Order-to-Cash process for the Global enterprise.

About the Author

The author, Akash Singh is the Head of Project Management Operations(PMO) at Tangentia. He oversees projects around EDI/ Ecommerce/ RPA and AI from a delivery standpoint ensuring client satisfaction and success.

Tangentia is an expert in implementing Digital Transformation solutions leveraging technologies like RPA, Artificial Intelligence, EDI and Ecommerce.

Tangentia implements solutions around Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and you can learn more here.

To learn more about Tangentia EDI solutions Click Here

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