5 Effective Tips to Get the Best Value from EDI
EDI or Electronic Data Interchange is not restricted to just being an effective model for information exchange. It is an electronic and advanced mode of multi-point networking that delivers sublime data exchange. EDI has been in existence since the 1970s, but it has witnessed some significant evolutions in recent years, evolving as an essential part of successful supply chain management. It enables organizations to handle complicated business transactions with trading partners, vendors, and customers using a standardized electronic format which makes the entire process easier. Thanks to EDI, enterprises can manage, exchange, and monitor a huge amount of B2B data that is generated in structured and unstructured file formats.
Empowered by robust EDI capabilities, businesses can securely exchange critical information and offer required support to business-to-business operations. With seamless EDI solutions and integration, one can reap the benefits, such as streamlines business processes and communication, real-time visibility and data sharing, improved B2B monitoring, cost-effectiveness, reduced human intervention and errors, information accuracy, and more that contribute to the overall growth of the enterprise. Moreover, EDI enhances transaction speed and optimizes the order-to-cash cycle, thereby delivering an excellent customer experience.
We all agree that EDI offers major and considerable benefits to businesses, but we all also have heard terrible stories of failed EDI implementation. The deployment and implementation of the EDI pose several challenges due to which organizations may yield higher ROI initially but can not be consistent and profitable in the long run. Avoiding these obstacles may disrupt the ability of the organization and its processes. Therefore, enterprises need the expertise of experienced EDI service providers who examine the process and take the right measures.
We have listed 5 tried and tested practices to ensure that you get the best value from EDI implementation. Take a look:
Research About Different EDI Frameworks
EDI offers different forms and frameworks which many companies and businesses mistake as one. When you connect with EDI vendors or providers, they will recommend several solutions based on different use cases. There are EDI solutions that connect one or two business partners and deliver a few B2B capabilities. At the same time, some comprehensive approaches support real-time data exchange between a large number of trading partners and vendors. Thus, make sure that you have knowledge and understanding of different types of EDI services and frameworks. Study the differences in detail to know what is best for you and what might not work for your company. Talking about popularity and commonly used EDI, the web-based interface is the best. It duplicates electronic documents with business logic while defining how the information will be exchanged.
Ensure Scalability to Meet Varied Requirements
Although EDI uses the standard protocol, trading partners have their preferred EDI transaction sets. The standard EDI purchase varies from industry to industry and partner to partner. Therefore, it is important that while selecting the EDI, you must ensure that it is scalable. It must allow you to add more customers and accommodate your different business requirements without any hassle. You must integrate EDI transactions into the ERP system. Yes, you can handle a few partners via “swivel chair integration,” when you are entering data manually into the system. However, to scale beyond that, direct ERP integration is necessary. The software must also be suitable according to trading partner business rules and document types. Furthermore, opt for outsourcing the EDI program from a reliable product engineering service company. The professionals will manage communication and testing, and it will be less expensive than in-house EDI.
Master the Art of Transparency
One of the most difficult factors to achieve is supply chain visibility. When a system touches an order, it needs to be exposed to the trading partners. No doubt that initially, EDI was introduced as a method to streamline the manual business processes which it accomplished successfully and efficiently. However, as the supply chain got complicated and challenging, EDI had to shift its focus on providing transparency. It is even more critical and significant now as industries are shifting from bulk fulfilment to direct to consumer and one to one approaches. For enhanced visibility in EDI implementation, choose transactions that support inventory availability (EDI 846), carrier manifest (EDI 215), motor carrier tender and response (EDI 204/990), package status (EDI 240), shipment status message (EDI 214), and package status (EDI 240).
Seek Self-Service Partner Enablement
Traditional and outdated EDI solutions are not compatible enough to support self-service enablement. These systems include heavy coding at every end for B2B integration flows. As a result, businesses lose significant revenue during the process. Until the flows are built, business operations are hampered and side-tracked, which is certainly not a good sign for smooth processes. To accelerate this B2B process, partners must be enabled to build onboarding flows themselves rather than relying on coding and wasting time. This will also establish connections that can be used by partners to receive critical information. Now, there is no need to wait for months to get data from partner networks and getting involved in complicated coding.
EDI Solutions Is Important Than Tools
Instead of looking for EDI tools that can’t handle heavy workloads, you must avail of value-driven and enterprise-class solutions. Despite guaranteeing easy-to-use EDI tools, many vendors fail to provide customized software and often compromise on ERP updates. These tools are of no use in a hybrid computing environment. However, a modern and updated EDI solution takes care of all these issues, offering end-to-end integration services, supporting multi-server and multi-instance environments.
Summing It Up!
EDI implementation is an expensive and time-consuming affair. We are sure that you don’t want your efforts and money to go in vain. So, it is better to be cautious from the beginning and ensure the right practices while planning business data exchange strategy. Do not hesitate to discuss your doubts with your service provider and clarify them before getting them on board for the EDI service. Trust us, even the best companies with robust competency face these challenges, and you certainly don’t want to be one of them. Right?