Kyle Jepson, senior vice president of product at Emerge, and Erik Kiser, chief executive officer of Orderful, relate a case study about how Emerge implemented a modern electronic data interchange (EDI) platform.

Emerge is an industry-leading procurement platform for the logistics industry, with a particular focus on enterprise-level customers. It matches shippers and carriers through an optimized procurement process. Jepson says the company had a need for streamlining data entry and transmission through electronic data interchange (EDI), which continues to be the industry standard for messaging and document exchange.

Emerge chose Orderful to provide a modernized EDI tool that would allow developers to work in the languages with which they were familiar. “They took on responsibility for configurations, and let us do what we’re good at,” Jepson says. Orderful’s platform, he adds, “was much better and further along than those of other providers.”

Kiser says what Emerge needed was “right down the middle” of what Orderful was already providing to other customers. The vendor specializes in data integration for logistics and the supply chain, which requires streamlined exchange with multiple partners. Orderful’s approach is to combine traditional EDI with modern application programming interfaces (APIs). 

Emerge adopted the tool as a “greenfield” solution for transacting with its initial customers. With it, the company can connect with carriers as well as pull metadata from APIs to validate the success of those transactions. Jepson says full implementation took about 45 days from startup to sending the first messages. There was no need to map a custom integration for each of 150 separate connections.

In the past, a similar effort might have taken up a year to provide EDI to carriers. The accelerated schedule “allowed us get to market and open up new opportunities with many shippers immediately,” he says.