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How Using the Right EDI Tool Frees Up Time for Strategic Work

By Ioana Ploesteanu
July 04, 2024
Read time:3 MINUTES

An Interview with Katrien from Yonderland

“The impact of Babelway on our business cannot be overstated”, shares Katrien Delvaux, Business Analyst & EDI Specialist. “We have spearheaded the move towards more efficient document processing with our EDI project, cleared up time and headspace in multiple departments in the company to focus on intelligent tasks rather than inputting the same data in multiple systems.”

Briefly describe your company (industry, size, markets you serve) and what you do.

Yonderland is Europe’s largest premium outdoor retailer, offering the very best brands, expert services, and over 40 years’ experience to enable everyone to spend more moments outside. The outdoors is exciting, relaxing, and inspiring. We want to share all this with our customers: inspiring, informing, and helping them make memories. Yonderland runs over 190 shops in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and The Netherlands, and eCommerce sites for 8 brands.

What were the biggest challenges you were facing before using Babelway? How were these impacting your business?

Yonderland was looking for an IT solution to support the order-to-cash process by implementing EDI. Between product data, orders, delivery notes, and invoices, our business users needed to type over the same data multiple times, which made us vulnerable to errors and administrative overhead. Over the years, we opened up the Babelway tool to a broader scope and started using it to automate document processing of other processes in the company. We also started using Babelway for e-invoicing in the PEPPOL network – as a Belgian-based company, we have had to support this type of invoicing with our governmental customers since 2017.

What solutions did you try before Babelway? Why weren’t they ideal?

Before finding Babelway, we had tried to set up an EDI solution with a third party. This ended up being very laborious and costly because each supplier has their own document format and exception in processes. We also worked with a third party to generate e-invoices in the PEPPOL network. This setup was a “black box” and error messages were unclear. Babelway has given us the opportunity to take EDI and PEPPOL into our own hands, offering a surprisingly user-friendly interface and flexibility we hadn’t found anywhere else.

Were you considering any other solutions before choosing Babelway? Why did you choose ours over the competition?

When looking for a transformation tool, we considered a couple of integration solutions, such as Boomi, Comarch, and Seeburger. Babelway came out on top because of its ease of use in transformations, and we are quite happy to continue working with it. The tool is continuously updated, and the Support team is always very helpful when encountering more complex issues.

How was your experience getting started with Babelway?

We started with the Babelway Academy courses to familiarize ourselves with the basics of Babelway. Very quickly, we expanded our understanding of the tool with the Help Center documentation and function search tool in the Transformation step. It was a steep learning curve initially, but the Babelway Support team was always quick to answer our questions with well-explained and thought-out solutions.

How long have you been using Babelway? How many people at your company use it?

We have been using Babelway at Yonderland for four years. There is 1 person dedicated to the EDI solution, with back-ups in the IT Support teams. All in all, 6 people are using the tool.

How has Babelway helped you overcome your challenges and achieve your goals? Can you share any specific metrics or anecdotes?

Babelway’s flexibility has allowed us to onboard many suppliers to process documents such as orders, delivery notes, and invoices via EDI. In 2023, we processed 25% of all our documents through Babelway in the order-to-cash process.

What do you enjoy most about using Babelway?

We enjoy the challenge of setting up a new channel in Babelway to support our businesses. The Transformation step of a channel can be as simple or complex as needed. When the puzzle pieces finally fall into place, it is extremely satisfying. Each new channel setup represents a potential efficiency gain. The analysis of the requirements for Babelway also highlights potential efficiency gains outside of IT for the business, which is just the cherry on top of the cake.

Has there been a specific instance where Babelway made a big difference?

When we learned that Babelway was an official Access Point Provider for the PEPPOL network, we immediately started investigating what it would take to shift to Babelway because of the lack of transparency offered by our previous PEPPOL provider. Errors were unclear and common, and the support to resolve these issues was lacking. Babelway provides clear error messages while testing PEPPOL documents, and their Support team compliments any missing information. We are thrilled that we could move the PEPPOL e-invoicing process in-house, where we understand the requirements better and can intervene faster and more efficiently in case of errors.

How would you say Babelway has impacted the success of your team/business?

The impact of Babelway on our business cannot be overstated: We have spearheaded the move towards more efficient document processing with our EDI project, clearing up time and headspace in multiple departments to focus on intelligent tasks rather than inputting the same data in multiple systems. When working together on a new channel, the increased trust and understanding built between IT and the business has also impacted our company immensely.

How would you describe your overall experience with Babelway and our company?

We are very happy with the service provided by Babelway. We keep finding new ways to use the tool to make our business processes more efficient. The Support team is excellent and reacts quickly to any questions or concerns we send them. Babelway has also reached out to us for conference calls when we had more conceptual questions – such as the possibility of using Babelway as an integration layer – to discuss the use cases and limitations of the tool honestly and constructively. Overall Babelway has been an excellent partner to drive business improvements at Yonderland.

How do you plan to use Babelway in the future?

We look forward to onboarding more suppliers to work via EDI with us – and by extension Babelway. We have also internally identified new business cases to optimize our processes outside the order-to-cash flow.

Would you recommend Babelway to others? Why or why not?

For document transformation, EDI and PEPPOL, we would definitely recommend Babelway as an in-house solution that gives you all the keys to success. The platform allows a business to take control of IT solutions in-house, which is very desirable for any company. By working on EDI and PEPPOL in-house we have gained a better understanding of our business processes and made ourselves experts in IT solutions that would otherwise have been outsourced to a third party.

What advice would you give to someone considering using Babelway?

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the basic transformations that Babelway can do. Babelway is a very user-friendly tool that hides a surprisingly large array of capabilities that can be overwhelming if you tackle a complex document transformation. But most importantly: reach out to the Support team if you are stuck! They will help and explain what can and cannot be done. By letting them know what you need, you may drive their road map of future improvements to the tool.

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