You’ll be surprised to know that traditionally, EDI is not expensive as everyone makes it sound. Some managed EDI providers will over charge you for trading partner connections that are mostly setup and done. It is because they have a leverage to do it by making you believe that EDI is a specialized technology. We at EDI Support, do not deny the fact that EDI needs special expertise but that does not mean that there is a need to rip off businesses by charging them hefty amounts based on number of transactions, monthly fees and tie a company like yours into long-term contracts.
Speaking of being fair to our customers, we offer $0.05 per kilo-character with no additional charges on EDI Mailbox service.
Now, here is when it actually gets pricey. When you are looking for end-to-end EDI services along with integration into your back-end systems like ERP/TMS/WMS or accounting software platforms, you need to think about the work involved in making sure the documents are flowing seamlessly from one end to the other. When you are shopping around for such services, you want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. There are multiple moving parts to such a project which will include initial setup, testing with all different trading partners, project management, communication and continuous EDI monitoring. The other factor that comes into play is knowledge on staff or your internal resources. Can your staff handle any of these moving pieces or do you have to outsource the entire ERP and EDI implementation to a third-party? This will help you determine where you can reduce your costs.
One thing we do here at EDI Support is our EDI consultants work on the basis of your project needs. You could be looking for end-to-end EDI services and you need our help by coming in as your technical extension and the sole EDI resource partner, we can do that. On the other hand, if you would like all the control and want to maintain communication with trading partners, we can help you with EDI implementation and continuous monitoring and support.
Also, there is a need for you to understand that some EDI software companies only offer their EDI software and installation and setup but do not offer EDI support and professional services that includes mapping, testing, trading partner communication, project management and continued EDI monitoring. It is in your best interest to ask the right questions to understand what each EDI service provider can bring to the table.
To summarize, it completely depends on what your needs are and what is the external capability you are looking to bring into to say whether EDI is expensive or not. You should also start comparing capabilities and pricing of different EDI service providers to know if the service you will be receiving is worth it.
Understand the EDI pricing models in marketplace and cost of different EDI solutions making a decision on which solution to choose or go with.