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  • October 12, 2020

3 Considerations When Choosing EDI Software

Three things to consider when choosing an EDI system for your business: implementation, maintaining connections & a reliable support system.

The market is swamped with electronic data interchange (EDI) software providers, and it can be a challenging task to select which one would be the best for your enterprise. You need a platform that can automate and simplify your EDI activities, accelerate your organization’s operations while helping you dodge unnecessary IT expenses. 

Plenty of ventures across various industries are now realizing the advantages of EDI system and adopting EDI technology in their business processes. Market Study Report predicts that the worldwide EDI software market will hit $1.4 billion over the succeeding five years with a 10.6% compound annual growth in terms of revenue. 

Electronic data interchange is necessary when you want to oversee the exchange of a broad array of enterprise information with your trading partners. In fact, as a growing number of systems transition towards digital automation, EDI has become more vital for companies who would like to conduct business with a considerable share of customers, suppliers, and other key trading partners, since it empowers companies to completely merge complex company mechanisms and make swifter speed-to-market.  

We can give you an electronic data interchange example from the growing list of EDI software providers in the market, but it would be best to help you select the perfect system for your establishment. EDI should be made simple with your software, so you can focus on other trading aspects that boost your business growth. 

Whether you’re a first-timer with EDI or you’re planning to switch to a new EDI solution in business, here are some factors you should consider when selecting an EDI solution that best aligns with your company’s objectives. 

 

1. EDI implementation 

You have three options when implementing an EDI application in business. The first thing you should evaluate is whether it’s most suitable for your establishment to select an in-house EDI program or acquire the services of an externally managed EDI platform or a service provider. 

If you select a fully outsourced solution, your provider will be responsible for all the vital components required to establish EDI services such as translation software, mapping, customer support, licenses, operating systems, and maintenance agreements, among others. The system would be wholly owned and facilitated by the vendor. 

Meanwhile, if you opt for in-house, your business will be responsible for all the components we have discussed above. Hybrid EDI systems are also gaining popularity, especially with large companies where relevant electronic data interchange is necessary in their operations.

Integrated EDI unlocks the digital transformation potential of any company. That’s why it’s vital to determine whether your enterprise has the time and IT assets to make EDI a valuable part of your regular operations than leaving them to professionals. When doing so, you should prioritize the strategic benefits of EDI:

  • Reducing total operational costs
  • Streamlining company operations
  • Boosting productivity

 

2. Forging and maintaining connections 

Electronic data interchange is necessary in connecting with various members of your supply chain in today’s rapid-paced economy, and it’s no surprise given that EDI accelerates business cycles by 61%, reduces order to cash cycle periods by 20%, and enhances data quality through 30 to 40% reduction in transaction errors, according to EDI Basicsblog_3ediconsiderations_body2

Your EDI software should be able to simplify EDI by supplying tight integration and compliance management services. This covers your customers, suppliers, warehouse partners, transportation partners, financial partners, and other involved stakeholders. 

For instance, you’re harnessing the strategic benefits of EDI by connecting with financial institutions to keep your supply chain and finance activities running. Your platform should have exceptional tools to work with a wide array of financial partners, including banks and resource-based lenders. It should offer ERP integrations and other capabilities that result in faster order to cash cycles, reduced overhead, a tighter grip on financial transactions, and compliance with financial service providers. 

Let’s give another electronic data interchange example. Let’s say you’re working with a remote warehouse to distribute items, distribute warehouse services and contract manufacturing. Your establishment benefits from using an electronic business file exchange process that results in saved time, enhanced efficiency and eradication of usual errors. 

One of the advantages of EDI system is the ability to bolster these advanced supply chain ideas such as import management from factory to shipment forwarder to third party logistics to consumers and other final endpoints. Your platform should automatically handle outbound shipment and invoicing orders and supply you with seamless and perfect communication with your remote warehouses. It should also have the capability to foster efficient and precise supply chain distribution activities within your business. 

If your primary priority is to connect with your transportation partners, your EDI software provider should also supply solutions for this aspect of your supply chain. Some trading partners incorporate routing requests, which make the EDI transaction process increasingly complex. However, if you have a reliable EDI application in business, it can make these complicated requests easy and efficient. 

Your software should be able to deliver a routing request and acquire authorization for the cargo. For outbound shipments, it should be able to keep them up to speed along with advanced ship notices. These updates should be according to the routing instructions they have received. 

Keeping your trading partners in mind, you should make sure your platform allows you to  comply with their requirements. Another item on the list of advantages of EDI system includes generating a report that enables you to easily spot which orders the retailer has permitted to ship. 

When choosing an EDI application in business, it’s best to explore every possible feature it can supply your supply chain members. Uncover each aspect they promise to connect you with and nitpick each functionality to determine which platform is powerful enough to handle your EDI processes. 

A robust software covers all trading partners and stakeholders in your supply chain and manifests the strategic benefits of EDI with every solution they offer. 

 

3. Reliable support system 

Although they contribute greatly, powerful tools are not the only things you should consider when picking an EDI application in business. When determining what to consider in an ecommerce software, you should also look at your provider’s customer support and determine its dependability.

Exceptional EDI support is vital to keep business operations seamless and to keep your trading partners satisfied. Your provider must provide this through a friendly and helpful support team and the most avant-garde technologies. 

One of the advantages of EDI system includes free support for trained EDI software users. When selecting a platform of your own, be sure to consider the operating hours and days of your software because this can vary from one part of the world to another. It’s also recommended to select a platform with a customer portal so that you can register support calls, submit software requests, and sift through forums and your provider’s resources. 

Besides having an available customer portal, you must contact your software provider through other methods such as phone and email. Response must be timely since any issue you encounter could cause a delay in your trading operations. 

Some EDI providers offer different packages for their customer support, so it’s best to evaluate which one fits your business the most. If your business has bigger demands and more complex EDI processes, it’s best to purchase extended or premium support from your providers. These packages usually offer a quicker response compared to standard support that comes with your software. 

You can also opt for managed services where your vendor’s technological professionals oversee your most challenging EDI integration issues. Your provider’s team can also construct a special managed program bespoke to your organization’s demands. 

 

The advantages of EDI system will take you far in your trading journey

One of the strategic benefits of EDI is speed and accuracy. The computer-to-computer communication of organization documents between 2 companies has revolutionized the entire trading experience. From the way trading is conducted now, it’s impossible to see a world without EDI.  

If your business incorporated EDI because your clients requested you to or because you wanted to improve the way you handle business with your suppliers and logistics providers, then it’s highly likely that your company’s demands and opportunities will stack up on each other. 

For plenty of companies in the modern-day economy, purchasing the appropriate EDI application in business with the perfect partner can make your enterprise more competitive and foster new business growth opportunities. To jumpstart your search, you can check out Data Masons EDI. We hope that this short guide has helped you in choosing the best EDI software for your business.

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