Posted at 01 October 2018

There's No Business Like E-Business

Paul Skade
By Russell Williams
E-Commerce Manager

I am Russell Williams the E-Commerce Manager for ERIKS UK & Ireland. I have been working at ERIKS for 18 years and held various positions within a number of d...

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Moving your purchasing processes to paperless E-Business will reduce your costs, improve the control and reliability of your product ordering and supply, and increase your efficiency.



According to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the average cost to an organisation of purchasing and supply is £50 per item. According to the Global Data Standard Organisation for the Supply Chain, trading electronically can bring that cost down to as little as £7. 

For the many customers of ERIKS who have high order volumes, the savings can be significant. For example, if you order over 10,000 lines a month the cost-saving from moving to E-Business can be as much as £80,000 per annum. 

Savings are realised through the elimination of duplicate manual inputs, simplification of administration processes, reduced administration costs, and virtual elimination of invoice queries resulting from human error: potentially one of the biggest cost-saving areas. Our experience shows that for customers placing around 700 orders per month, invoice queries reduce to an average of less than one a month. 

The benefits of E-Business are not limited to one solution alone. ERIKS E-Business offers three options to reduce costs and increase efficiency. 

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) 

An ordering and invoicing process communicating from computer to computer, EDI cuts the cost of order processing from £60 for manual processing to £10 for electronic (actual customer comparison). 

Instead of scanning, manually entering and physically matching invoices to Purchase Orders, EDI invoices are automatically processed and paid with no human intervention. They can be matched to orders based on the total cost, or even at line item level if required. Ordering is also made simpler, with orders pushed directly from your purchasing system and subsequently acknowledged via EDI, which reduces post-invoice reconciliation issues. 

Since only approved orders (within automatic approval limits you set) are processed, EDI puts you in control of your ordering, and ensures only approved suppliers are used. This helps reduce off-contract spend, and ensures contract compliance. 

EDI is most commonly integrated with customers’ own SAP systems, but ERIKS in-house expertise accommodates all other common systems too. 

Punch Out 

Offering a fast and error-free ordering method, Punch Out allows you to create orders without manual keying. 

To raise an order on your own ERP system, you simply search and select items from ERIKS Webshop, which contains all technical, pricing and delivery information you need online. Once chosen, add the items to your shopping cart, and when you place your order the items will be added into the order on your ERP system, and a requisition automatically generated and sent to ERIKS via EDI in your normal way. 

By using Punch Out and EDI together, you can totally automate ordering and invoicing. You can also create order lists, Bills of Materials and Kits of Products for specific machines. 

If an unusual or one-off product isn’t available in the ERIKS Webshop, you can send a Request for Quotation online. This will be handled within the Webshop system, then fed back into your own system for easier management.

You can also add the option of Vendor Managed Inventory integrated with Punch Out, to enable management of your consumables stock using a barcode scanner. This will upload orders directly via ERIKS’ Easy Order System. The system can also flag-up minimum and maximum stock levels and provide alerts when an order needs to be placed. 


For customers who can’t or don’t want to engage in EDI, ePDF offers a useful halfway-house. 

Purchase Orders are emailed as PDFs to ERIKS, for automatic conversion into EDI format for loading onto the ERIKS system. This reduces transaction queries and keying errors, and so accelerates the ordering process. 

E for efficiency

ERIKS have over 30 years’ experience of providing E-Business solutions to customers, with a dedicated team who have integrated these systems for some of the largest manufacturers in the UK. 

ERIKS E-Business options allow you to chose the method which best suits you and your business. However, they all offer the same underlying benefits of greater efficiency, cost reductions, control and accountability – ensuring you know who ordered what, from where, and when, and enabling tight control of procurement and maintenance budgets.

You can also be assured of tight cyber-security. ERIKS has recently been certified by Cyber Essentials Plus: a government-backed scheme verifying a business’s security status. 

So if you decide to adopt E-Business practices, makes sure the “E” stands for ERIKS as well as “Electronic”.

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