Digitalization is actively entering all spheres of life, including transport and logistics and dispatching course. Electronic document management (EDM) is gradually replacing paper. What is its convenience and when to expect a complete transition to electronic documents?
What is electronic document management
EDF allows you to execute transactions, perform legal operations, send documents over the network. With the help of third-party certified operators, digital documents are exchanged between business partners.
What opportunities does electronic document flow provide?
EDF greatly facilitates and speeds up the process of exchanging documents, and also opens up new opportunities for all parties:
The exchange of electronic documents is instant. There is no need to wait for the letter to reach the addressee by mail or courier.
The security of electronic documents is higher than that of paper documents. The sent file will definitely reach the addressee unchanged.
Any document can be agreed and edited as soon as possible.
One document is available simultaneously to several employees on either side of the transaction.
Documents are stored on the network for an unlimited time. At any time, you can refer to the document of interest, without wasting time searching in the archive.
The transmission of electronic documents is protected by an electronic digital signature. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the security of files: it is almost impossible to hack an EDS. Such actions are criminally punishable.
Advantages of EDI in comparison with paper document flow
The transition to electronic document management in logistics has proven beneficial for all parties. The transfer of paper documents loses in many respects:
Time spent: handling electronic documents is several times faster. Thanks to this, it takes less time to coordinate solutions at all levels – logistics processes have accelerated.
Reducing costs: with the introduction of EDM, there was no need to pay for postal and courier shipments, to have archival premises; office equipment costs are also significantly reduced.
Security: Reduces the risk of lost or incorrect transmission of documents.
Why is EDI needed in logistics?
Logistics is one of the areas where the introduction of electronic document management has significantly reduced the costs of both customers and contractors. The parties promptly transfer to each other: FRT, invoices, acts of fulfillment, invoices and powers of attorney.
EDF allowed to optimize the work of logisticians in several directions at once:
The savings in paper, printing and service costs have been substantial for some companies. Especially for freight forwarders with a large number of partners and a large document flow.
In logistics, where all participants can be in different settlements, the efficiency of approvals and exchange of documents has become especially important. Clearance of delivery and its completion with closing documents has significantly accelerated.
With electronic documents, it is easier to control the actual performers: the own staff of the logistics company or employees (operators, drivers, loaders, etc.). The entire package of documents is available to all participants, errors and untimely execution are minimized due to the possibility of a quick check.
How is EDF implemented in logistics?
They began to think about introducing EDM into transport systems even before 2010. There was a calculation for cost savings and maximum automation of all processes. Of course, there were some difficulties here. There were several reasons for this:
1 Conservatism and too large a scale of change. The system with paper documents worked quite successfully, and it would be difficult to change it in all organizations at once.
2 Difficulties from the technical side. The exchange of documents over the network involves the issuance of an electronic signature and the introduction of appropriate software. And this requires high-quality technical equipment for company offices.
3 Regulatory Issues. Not all actions related to the transfer of electronic documents are regulated by the relevant laws yet. Therefore, it is often necessary to combine electronic and paper documents.
In 2020, the transition process went faster due to the pandemic, which made it difficult to physically exchange paper documents. Now there are several large operators that offer their services for the introduction of electronic document management in logistics and transport companies. More and more parties are introducing such systems into their businesses.