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No in-house EDI Team? This is what you should and shouldn’t do!

Most businesses whether small, medium or large approach us when they are being mandated by their trading partners to do EDI and they have no idea how to plan and implement EDI or they have chosen an EDI software for the organization and they don’t have an in-house expertise in EDI or they don’t like their current EDI software in place and want to migrate to a different EDI software and are looking for external experts.

Let’s talk in detail about what happens when businesses do not have an in-house EDI team to guide the direction they should take:

  1. General tech or IT team is given the responsibility to research on different EDI software vendors within a budget.
  1. If there are external ERP consultants or teams in-house, they would be tasked to shop around for EDI software vendors or give referrals if they know some people in their tech community.

Where is the problem?

IT teams and ERP consultants may not have done their homework regarding which type of EDI solution will work best based on their internal infrastructure and where are the resource gaps. They may not be experienced in implementing different EDI softwares in the market and not be aware of the pros and cons of each one available. Two or three referrals from their customers alone may not provide a complete picture of what the business is signing up for. Eventually, the businesses end up with an EDI provider that is not the perfect fit. The EDI provider might have offered the cheapest rate per document and over promised on the customer support they are going to provide but the businesses realize they don’t get what they paid for.
Here are the top 5 questions you should be asking while shopping for EDI providers:

What is the solution?

As your business grows, the need to setup more trading partners and run the processes smoothly will become a necessity and a challenge. Is your managed EDI service ready to scale with you in terms of document volume? Can they accommodate your document integration needs in the future? Do you want to be left stranded when you need support and there is no one helping out from the managed EDI service that you are paying?
This is where someone trustworthy in the EDI space comes in who can help navigate through these questions and be your advocate in front of your trading partners, your managed EDI partner and your ERP team.
We suggest businesses with no EDI or in general tech teams to start researching through their peers and online for EDI subject matter experts that they can talk to before they start looking for software. The EDI SMEs can help provide the right direction based on which businesses can plan well and start doing EDI with their trading partners. The independent EDI consultants can work with your ERP team to integrate EDI with your ERP to automate your entire order to cash cycle so that all documents flow smoothly from your trading partners to EDI and to ERP and vice versa.

Do not make a rushed decision on which EDI software to choose. When you contact someone with a lot of EDI experience, they can work with you to provide you a project plan. This plan will include which EDI software to use based on their evaluation of your infrastructure, resources and budget. Also, you’ll get a clear direction on which other tools, type of EDI communication, setup, implementation and how to run your business processes smoothly.

Read next

Learn about the top 5 things you should know before signing an EDI provider contract. When you know what to ask your EDI provider, you are more empowered to take the right decision for your business.
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