Why Connect via API?
By now, it’s very likely that you’ve heard of APIs in relation to supply chain management solutions. The popularity of the solution is growing, especially among larger shippers who are relying on faster and more efficient ways of keeping up with their freight volume.But what is an API, and how does it differ from EDI? What advantages can shippers gain by integrating API solutions into their supply chain, and how can shippers of all sizes benefit?
To help answer some of these API questions, Coyote Logistics has compiled a quick reference for you.
What are the main differences between an API and an EDI?
Application Programming Interface Electronic Data Interchange
- API is a newer software medium that allows two applications to communicate with one another.
- APIs communicate in real-time.
- Example: Paying for a product on Amazon. Amazon will confirm payment with your bank by making a call to their API.
Electronic Data Interchange
- EDI is a communication technology that pre-dates the internet and is common for transmitting data between systems.
- EDIs run data transmissions over timers.
- Example: Sending an electronic load tender document.
What are the benefits of API Integrations?
- Real-time data transfers: APIs transmit data in milliseconds. This allows our logistics services to run on real-time data.
- Lower costs of integration: Integration through APIs is generally less complex than EDI integrations. Public APIs are built for reusability. Once a public API is available, anyone with credentials can build solutions to leverage that API, whereas EDI requires unique data mapping for each integration. EDI integrations may take several months, whereas, API integrations can take a matter of weeks, if not days. EDI files may have complex formats requiring the labour of specialists.
- Scalability of your business: APIs will expand a company’s ability to automate manual pieces of their business that cannot be offered through EDI connections. For example, requesting spot quotes through an API can eliminate hundreds of calls and emails that take place on a weekly basis.
- Confirmation of data exchanges: With APIs, the software application communicating with the API will receive a response on whether the requested action was successful or not.With EDI, information is stored and forwarded without confirmation of success or failure.
How can API Integrations Impact Your Business?
- Spot Quote Requests: Similar to using an online travel site to compare pricing, Coyote Logistics’ spot quote solution allows for shippers to receive pricing instantaneously, automates tasks to decrease time and resources, and simplifies workflows to reduce operational costs.
- Load Tracking Updates: By connecting the carrier-tracking available within our centralized network, Coyote Logistics can help automate load tracking to reduce update phone calls and provide greater transparency.
Due to its faster integration speed and real-time capabilities, API solutions can be a very practical way for shippers of all sizes to improve their supply chain operations and leverage data intelligence to make more informed planning decisions.
In addition to the current API solutions, Coyote Logistics has additional customer-centric solutions coming in 2019 that will allow for faster and more efficient supply chain management.To learn more about how Coyote Logistics’ current and expanding API capabilities can improve your supply chain, talk to a specialist.