8 considerations to take into account when choosing an EDI provider
Previously an EDI integration might have required months of work to map data fields to each other, however today there are software and processes that make this situation seamless and straightforward. The resulting EDI systems provide vital supply chain data for many of the biggest companies with EDI now being an integral part of the supply chain for producers and retailers of goods and services. In fact it is quite difficult to find a large commercial concern that does not use EDI technology in some way - especially in the shipping, manufacturing and FMCG sectors. EDI systems are designed to work with existing business and ERP systems and also to integrate seamlessly with many business applications that are used including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP, etc.
EDI providers can deliver cutting-edge EDI integration that puts the customer in control, allowing data to be delivered to and from all trading partners across the extended business ecosystem.
Once EDI is integrated with a business or ERP system, two trading partners can view the same data. Each ERP system can show an employee in either company, identical information such as that contained within an order: destination address, billing address, item quantities and the list of product numbers. Automation of such types of trading partner communications leads to faster turnaround times, fewer errors and overall better reporting.
What are the 8 EDI considerations when choosing an EDI provider?
1. IT requirements - Does the solution require investment in hardware, back up and disaster recovery and IT staff or can it be provided as a fully managed, outsourced service?
2. Reliability - In order to minimise disruption to your business, choose a solution that is reliable and provides a stable platform and safe hands.
3. Support - How available is the customer care team? Are they centralised locally or globally?
4. Scalability - How scalable is the solution in terms of usage, volume and functionality. What are the costs involved?
5. Security - How secure is the solution? What measures will protect your data from external attacks?
6. Added value - Besides basic EDI functionality, what other value is provided by the managed service?
7. Reference customers - Can the solution facilitate your trading partner’s requests irrespective of their connection protocols, data formats and back office systems?
8. Updates - Is the solution regularly updated in accordance with the latest standard?