<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=202594434012359&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

When are Webforms the Wrong Approach to EDI?

Great news! You just landed that major account!  The bad news? You must now be EDI compliant.

EDI is all about saving money through increased labor efficiency and elimination of data entry related errors in the business process between business partners. Done the right way, EDI can be extremely beneficial for all parties. Studies have shown a successfully automated EDI program can reduce costs by $75 to $125 per Purchase Order processed. Your partner knows this, and that’s why they won’t do business otherwise.  download

Not all EDI options are created equal, and it doesn’t always increase efficiency for all parties. Your partner says they have a vendor portal you can use, or you can contact a 3rd party company to setup a webform option. Very simple and seemingly inexpensive. In very low transaction volume relationships, this method can be a good fit. 

Vendor Portals: Is Free Really Free?

Vendor portal options are usually the “free” option. It’s a website provided by your partner where your company can print reports and enter data manually. The typical process is that someone logs in, prints the order details, and then keys the PO details into your ERP system. You are then expected to enter a detailed confirmation into the web portal. When the product ships, the details of the shipment have to be entered into the portal so the partner knows what is coming, and how it is packed by carton and by pallet. Special labels then need to be printed for each carton and pallet related to the shipment. Because the labels are very specific, your warehouse team must apply the labels to the correct boxes and pallets. 

Next, the invoice details have to be registered. Finally, payment information will need to be printed and applied in your system. For something that is “low cost,” the labor costs can actually be astronomical. If a data entry mistake is made, there are typically fines that can cut your profit margins! These costs are rarely measured by most firms, but can definitely add up.

EDI webform portal options solve the problem of multiple websites (portals) for various partners by enabling one single data entry portal for all partners. An EDI webform portal requires less training than multiple vendor portals, but there is a cost for the portal and each transaction entered into it. However, the costs of data entry labor and data entry errors still remain.    

Don't let integrated EDI scare you. Learn how simple it can be with our white paper, 3 Keys to Integration Without Customizations.

Integrated EDI Can Alleviate Your Concerns

Another option for handling EDI is an integrated approach advocated by Data Masons that truly drives down the cost of doing business and frees resources to help grow your business instead. The objective of the platform is to eliminate data entry processes using a “lights out” automated model. Business users are alerted when issues arise with plain language messages that enable a “management by exception” experience. The ROI of an investment in the platform can be huge as documents can be integrated and processed for pennies, and in some cases less than a penny. Most importantly, your business operates more quickly and accurately with an automated and integrated approach. A strong provider can connect your ERP to many external touchpoints and internal systems such as a WMS or shopping cart solution.   

Take care when evaluating your options for an EDI process - both today and in the future. Consider factors such as your anticipated growth in transaction volumes over the next 2-3 years, the amount of time your team spends entering data, what all of this effort is truly costing your firm in terms of missed opportunities and overhead, what your transaction count per month might be, and the cost of manual data entry and mistakes. For example, drop ship programs can create efficiencies for you and your customers but also create new burdens. EDI automation removes those burdens – increased business without increased headaches.

EDI integration is easier than you might think. Our white paper explains how. 

Download the "Integration Without Customization:  3 Keys to Automated Integration" Brief    


Brian Lynch

Posted By: Brian Lynch

My background is in ERP and Integrated EDI/XML solutions in a variety of industries including consumer packaged goods, process manufacturing, automotive, industrial equipment, pharmaceutical, and food distribution.

Working with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP suites, my experience has been in pre-sales support, direct sales, sales management, channel marketing, service, and customer support helping more than 1,000 organizations over my career of 17+ years.

EDI Made Simple

EDI Made Simple: A New Approach to EDI

If you're about to bring EDI into your processes, this brief will help you avoid the potential pitfalls often encountered. If you’ve attempted to implement EDI already, you’ll likely recognize at least some of the problems we describe, and gain from our explanations on how to avoid them.This paper will present a clear, simple path to successful implementation of a highly productive and profitable EDI initiative in your company.

Download the Paper

Choosing an EDI Solution

Choosing an EDI Solution: Build or Buy?

Choosing an EDI software solution for your company is a serious undertaking. The right choice results in a smooth and painless process with strong positive ROI. The wrong choice can have detrimental effects for years with poor ROI and ongoing operational and support issues. One key question we often hear is “Should we build it or buy it?”.

Download the Executive Brief

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting an EDI eCommerce Solution

Don’t be caught unprepared with your upcoming EDI project. From the provider and solution, to your business needs post-implementation, a company can prevent costly headaches by being as thorough as possible in their pre-implementation research.

Download the White Paper

Integration Without Customization

Integration Without Customization: 3 Keys to Automated Integration for ERP and EDI

This paper will present the key components of a successful automated integration solution for ERP and EDI without customizations. After reading this paper you'll learn: - how to gain a competitive advantage with this approach to EDI and ERP integration - and how purchasing tools which force customizations to your ERP system can leave you responsible for costly and time consuming modifications to the systems. Following this best practice approach to integration can help you on your way to experience integration success.

Download the Executive Brief