Interview EDITEL CEO
We see ourselves as builders of digital bridges
EDITEL recently saw a generational change. As the managing director of this new generation, what are your personal goals and expectations?
EDITEL can look back at a successful corporate history spanning more than 30 years. To me, it is important to highlight the achievements of the previous generation and to build on them. This means that we want to continue offering our clients the quality they are used to while meeting and exceeding the expectations businesses have from a professional service provider in the EDI industry. These are expertise, reliability and maximum trustworthiness. Also, it goes without saying that I strongly believe in introducing innovations on a regular basis and on taking our business to the next level.
You have been with EDITEL for 15 years and have a lot of experience. What is the most important thing you learned during those years?
Actually, there are two things: one is the widespread myth that EDI is purely a technical matter. EDI projects are implemented across departments and companies. Which goes to show that such a perspective doesn’t reflect reality and this oftentimes makes all the difference between successful and failed projects. The other thing is, if you will, something that follows from the aforementioned fact: that at the end of the day, there are always people behind any technology, people who need to get along and work together. In these situations, we oftentimes take on the facilitator role.
In which areas of your company do you see room for innovations?
EDI relies on a well-established technology and that is ultimately a major asset. Which is why I would like to call our goal “innovative continuity.” We strive to develop this technology further, to expand it to industries that have less penetration and last, but not least, to create new services based on our EDI technology. Our most recent example is e-discounting which we offer in collaboration with Erste Bank.
Data security and data protection are on everybody’s mind in 2018. How do you as an EDI service provider approach this issue?
Data protection and the legal stipulations that come with it are a number one priority at EDITEL. This is true for the entire company from top to bottom. We take technological and organizational action to protect our customer data. At EDITEL, periodic certifications by external auditors are a matter of course. After all, it’s our clients’ data that is at stake and it is our obligation to fully comply with all legal requirements.
There is an increasing trend towards creating networks. What can EDI do to support this?
Networking is our core business and ultimately our USP. As an operator of a cross-industry and cross-country network, we basically see ourselves as pioneers of this development. Overall, I believe that we are moving towards 360-degree networks. Whether it’s with clients, suppliers or other service providers, we always see ourselves as “builders of digital bridges” among businesses while offering maximum quality and convenience. And that is true no matter the size of a company, its industry or focus.
Other than the FMCG industry, which already relies on EDI quite heavily, where do you still see potential for EDI?
There have always been industries that were just right for the use of EDI given their needs for short delivery time, standardized processes or a high transaction volume. Which is why all areas of retail and the automotive industry were the first movers. In the early days, it was mostly the big players that worked with EDI, but it has now been in use at SMEs for some time. Therefore, we could say that this EDI “archetype” now has many faces and has now found its way into many different industries. A few examples are restaurant chains, the healthcare industry and the financial industry.
How does the internationalization undergone by many companies affect your strategic focus?
Our clients’ international focus was clearly visible very early on. Value chains have long ago stopped being purely national. This is why the internationalization of EDITEL was the next logical step. For clients with international operations, it is a huge plus to work with a single provider that covers 20 countries. However, since we do not want to neglect our roots, so we also embrace the tendency towards regionalization.
Is EDI ready for the future?
The answer is definitely yes! EDITEL has evolved constantly during the past 30 years. Our community is growing at a steady pace and information logistics are as important as ever. Efficiency, transparency and digitalization in cross-company processes are also high on everybody’s agenda. We strongly believe in always meeting any newly emerged needs of our markets and clients.