EDI in China: Developing a Strategy for B2B Integration Success
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Overview: As Chinese manufacturing boomed during the last decade, Chinese exporters had so many orders from Western multinational corporations that many of them didn't see the need to invest heavily in IT systems like electronic data interchange (EDI). As a result, inefficient, paper-based manual processes were the norm. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the orders from MNCs dropped off significantly, at the same time that manufacturing costs were rising due to refined labor regulations and the appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar. Chinese manufacturers now had to do something about their rising costs in order to stem the tide of decreasing export volumes and increasing competition from other developing countries. Chinese manufacturers are now more willing to work with MNCs to help establish better supply chains. They have come to look at EDI as one of the best and easiest ways of driving costs savings, and ensuring the continued competitiveness of the Chinese manufacturing sector. MNCs that are looking to help their Chinese trading partners implement EDI need a solution provider that knows the Chinese market, and is capable of bridging the gap between Western and Chinese trading partners. IBM solutions for EDI have helped companies across the globe securely connect and build partner communities. In China, IBM partners with IT Associates Corporation, a reliable Chinese government-approved vendor, to help meet the needs of MNCs and their Chinese trading partners. As a result, MNCs can work with a single vendor, while knowing that their Chinese trading partners will receive full EDI implementation.