Microsoft Dynamics vendors provide comparisons and opinions to professionals in the ERP/Accounting software selection process

 
 

Data Masons Software

3 Things to Consider When Choosing EDI Software for Your Business


Email | Print

Selecting the best Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software or your organization can be a challenge. There are so many choices on the market. You want to choose technology that can automate your EDI activities, accelerate your business operations, and protect you from unnecessary IT expenses.

Electronic Data Interchange is necessary when you need to oversee the exchange of a broad array of enterprise information with your trading partners.  EDI should be made simple and be compatible with your business software, so you can focus on other trading aspects that boost your organization's growth.

Here are three factors to consider when selecting an EDI solution that will best align with your company's objectives.

 

  1. EDI implementation 

You have options when implementing an EDI application.  Evaluate whether your business should use an in-house EDI program or use the services of an externally managed EDI platform or a service provider.

When you select a fully outsourced solution, your provider will be responsible for all the vital components such as translation software, mapping, customer support, licenses, operating systems,  maintenance agreements, etc. The system would be wholly owned and facilitated by the vendor.

On the other hand, if you opt for an in-house solution, your organization will be responsible for all those components. A third choice is a Hybrid EDI system.

Integrated EDI unlocks the digital transformation potential of our company. So you'll need to determine whether you have the time and IT assets to make on-premise EDI viable, or if you should leave many of the components of operations to outside professionals.

You'll want to prioritize the strategic benefits of EDI, including reducing total operational costs, streamlining company operations, and boosting productivity.

 

  1. Connections and integrations 

Electronic data interchange will help your team connect with various members of your supply chain. EDI can accelerate business cycles in today's rapid-paced economy, reduce order to cash cycle periods, and enhance data quality.

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

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 (Enterprise Resource Planning such as Microsoft Dynamics 365) integration 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.

One advantage of an EDI system is bolstering advanced supply chain management. Import management from factory to shipment forwarder to third party logistics to consumer endpoints will all be enhanced with EDI. Your platform should also automatically handle outbound shipment, invoicing orders, and seamless communication with your remote warehouses. And it should have the capacity to drive efficient and precise supply chain distribution activities.

If you need to connect with transportation partners, your EDI software should also handle that aspect of your supply chain. Some trading partners incorporate routing requests, making the EDI transaction process increasingly complex. However, a reliable EDI application will handle these complicated requests quickly and efficiently.

Your software should be able to deliver a routing request and acquire authorization for the cargo. For outbound shipments, it should keep up with whatever routing instructions are given.

Make sure your platform allows you to comply with requirements from your trading partners. And your EDI system should generate reports that help you quickly identify which orders the retailer has permitted to ship.

When choosing an EDI application,  explore every feature that will affect your supply chain. Determine which platform is powerful enough to handle your EDI processes.

 

  1. A reliable support system 

Powerful tools are not the only consideration when choosing an EDI business application. You'll need support. So also consider your provider's customer support reputation.

Exceptional EDI support is vital to seamlessly maintaining business operations and meeting the needs of your trading partners. Look for a friendly and helpful support team and the most advanced technologies.

Your EDI system should include free support for trained EDI software users.  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. Be sure you can contact your software provider and get timely support through phone and email as well.

Some EDI providers offer standard or extended support packages. Choose which is likely to be best for your business. You can also opt for managed services where your vendor's technology professionals oversee your most challenging EDI integration issues.

 

The right EDI system will help you reach your goals.

One of the strategic benefits of EDI is speed and accuracy. The computer-to-computer communication of information between companies has revolutionized the entire trading experience. Given the way trading is conducted today, it's impossible to envision a world without EDI.

Choosing the right EDI technology from the right partner can make your enterprise more competitive and foster new business growth and opportunities. To jumpstart your search, contact our experts at Data Masons EDI, and let us help you choose the EDI technology that will drive you toward your goals.

By Data Masons, www.datamasons.com

Ask This Expert a Question / Leave a Comment