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How to Handle a Lack of Post-Implementation Support From Your EDI Provider?

Highlights

  • Post-implementation EDI support is absolutely essential for smooth business operations and avoiding chargebacks from your trading partners
    • There are ways to fix the lack of post-implementation support such as escalating the matter with your assigned account manager or using external help from third party consultants like EDI Support LLC.
      • By the end of this article, you will be fully versed with the post-implementation

      Introduction:

      Facing a lack of post-implementation support from your Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) provider can be frustrating and potentially disruptive to your business operations. It is important to note that most customer support and technical teams on the EDI provider’s end are overwhelmed with multiple projects and therefore, there are chances of things falling through the cracks. The reason we like to educate you about this topic is that this is a very common practice in the EDI world where most EDI providers would set up their EDI system for you and forget it. Sometimes, even after performing end-to-end EDI testing, there is a possibility of document failures and errors when you go live which may result in fines and chargebacks from your trading partner(s). Therefore, it is important to continuously monitor for unacknowledged documents, document failures and correct and re-send them back within a timeframe provided by your trading partner(s). Your trading partners will hold you accountable for any mistakes or errors that happen during the EDI document flow. You’ll be surprised to know that most of the times, your tech or operations staff may not be aware of what kind of EDI system is being put in place or where to go in the system and address them if they are not trained in EDI and the system properly (and usually most small-medium sized companies do not have internal EDI trained staff). Typically, your EDI provider may/will provide a support email to reach out to post-implementation just in case there is an issue or error. The problem with the email is your issue may or may not be addressed instantly within a matter of minutes or hours as needed. In our experience, it takes days for a support team to respond to your query which may result in a delay and therefore, you will end up missing your SLA/timeline to respond to your trading partner.

      Types of EDI Errors

      There are some common types EDI errors that you should know about but most of all let’s talk about the kind of errors daily monitoring of EDI documents solves:

      1. Unacknowledged EDI documents.

      Your EDI project team (usually involves your internal tech team and EDI provider’s support team) should proactively be looking for rejected EDI documents like EDI 824, EDI 864, EDI 997 and others from your trading partners and helping correct and re-sending them for review.

      1. EDI Document Failures and Errors
      Your project team should monitor the document flow even before the failures occur and if they have occurred already, then research the reasons and correct them.
      1. EDI Chargeback Research
      Usually, if you have a proactive team working with you, there wouldn’t be any chargebacks at the first place. But, if at all there are any chargebacks, then, your project team should be able to research the reasons and help fix those issues to save money in the future.
      Now, let’s see step by step what to do in case you are stuck with no support from your EDI provider.

      Steps to handle a lack of post-implementation EDI support

      To address this issue, watch this video and consider the following steps below:
      1. Review Your Service Agreement

      Start by reviewing the service agreement or contract you have with your EDI provider. Check for any clauses or commitments related to post-implementation support, response times, and service level agreements (SLAs). Understanding the terms and conditions can help you assess whether the provider is meeting their contractual obligations.

      1. Contact Your EDI Provider

      Communicate your concerns with your EDI provider. Contact their customer support or your account manager who is assigned to you and clearly express the issues you are facing with their post-implementation support. Sometimes, the provider might not be aware of the problems you’re experiencing, and a simple conversation can lead to resolution.
      1. Document Issues

      Keep a record of all the issues you encounter and your interactions with the provider. This documentation can be valuable if you need to escalate the matter or seek legal recourse.
      1. Escalate the Issue

      If your initial contact with the provider does not yield satisfactory results, escalate the issue within the organization. Ask to speak with a supervisor or manager who can address your concerns more effectively.
      1. Seek External Help and Explore Alternative Support

      If communication with the provider is unproductive, consider involving a third party to help facilitate a resolution. This can be especially useful if you want to maintain a long-term relationship with the provider. Investigate whether there are alternative support options available. This might include hiring a third-party EDI consultant or a consulting company with a lot of experience in handling multiple EDI softwares to bridge the gap in post-implementation support. In fact, a true third party consulting company can provide you other EDI software options based on your requirements if you are not happy with your current choice.

      1. Plan for Future Engagements

      When selecting a new EDI provider in the future, thoroughly vet their post-implementation support services, including their track record and customer references. This can help you avoid similar issues down the line.

      EDI Support’s Advice

      This article is to apprise you of the common possibilities like lack of customer support in the EDI space. You don’t have to go through this situation in the first place. In order to save yourself from the above, you should vet several EDI providers, understand their role in exchanging business transactions and ask specific questions in order to determine whether they are the best partner for your business or not.

      In case you end up in a similar situation as we talked about, there are ways to ensure that your EDI operations are back on track. Prioritize clear communication, documentation, and adherence to contractual terms when addressing this issue with your EDI provider.

      Read next

      No in-house EDI Team? You should know this! Learn how you can successfully implement EDI in your organization and choose the right EDI provider even if you don’t have an in-house EDI team.