When we talked to Erik Kiser, CEO at Orderful, it was easy to see how he’s built his career on identifying integrated system problems, their typical ‘fixes’ and how to avoid patchwork solutions. His concept of building “pre-built pipes” is interesting as it enables reusability, network, and a ‘lightswitch’ solution to EDI enablement.
With over 10 years in the supply chain data trading space, Erik continues to observe the ins and outs of EDI data trending and the opportunities to build a platform that could solve their problems forever. After years of building his own consulting firm, Erik took the leap in 2016 to start Orderful. Since then, the company has raised over 12MM from leading VC firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Initialized Capital and continually experience 3X annual growth.
M.R. Rangaswami: In your opinion, how are companies currently losing time and money in their supply chain efforts?
Erik Kiser: Enterprises all have their own systems of record (SOR) and that leads to custom integrations. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller in the supply chain, you’re running your business in a way that’s unique to your genetic makeup. Because every company has a unique SOR, it must build custom integrations to its trading partners. A trading partner is another enterprise that a company trades supply chain transactions with like a purchase order or an invoice for example. This means that for a supplier selling to buyers, they must build custom integrations to all their buyers and vice-versa for buyers.
What we’re paying attention to is how to have more efficient supply chains so the world can see a dramatic reduction in waste. We’re excited at Orderful to make a positive impact on our planet. Fewer errors in terms of garbage data (GIGO), missed data transmissions, or unexpected errors will result in less waste. More efficient supply chains will run with fewer trucks, fewer planes, and reduce our world’s C02 consumption. We will be tracking our performance in these areas and will help our customers make a meaningful impact on the world.
M.R.: What do you see as the future of EDI data trading?
Erik: As technology continues to be an enabler for speed, the integration market for data trading is going to be automated. Because consumers demand immediate results, enterprises must figure out how to tighten the bolts on their supply chains, reduce costs and move faster. The days of building point-to-point integrations are over and enterprises are adopting modern technology that will enable them to move quickly. API’s will run integrations for the foreseeable future. Some great examples of this in the bleeding-edge world of martech are companies like AppNexus, Zapier, and Segment. AppNexus provided an API creating a marketing network while Zapier and Segment are API tools enabling business analysts to perform what used to be engineering tasks. Martech is a great leader for the trend towards API driven architecture because the fastest click generates the highest return. Speed wins.
M.R.: What about Orderful makes it the fastest growing EDI network in the world?
Erik: Orderful is an API hub for EDI. We enable companies to integrate onto our API platform and immediately enable with any trading partner that is already on our platform. Our customers connect once to a restful API interface and our product automatically transforms API calls into EDI data based on the trading partner’s requirements. Since releasing our product in 2017, Orderful has on-boarded over 1,000 of the major North American retailers, 5,000 carriers and hundreds of 3PLs. Our network is built on providing a central hub that grows as we add new customers. Traditionally, EDI providers build custom point-to-point integrations for each customer and trading partner relationship. At Orderful, we’ve built software that enables our customers to reuse all EDI guidelines, communication channels and EDI requirements– we’re very excited to see it’s lasting impacts as we head into 2020.
M.R Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of Sand Hill Group.