EDI or electronic data interchange is the communication of business documents between different companies. Simply put, EDI is an electronic communication format that replaces paper documents like invoices or purchase orders. The process of automating paper-based transactions allows companies to save time and reduce the likelihood of costly errors that are often the result of manual processing. EDI transactions involve information moving directly from a computer application in one organization to a computer application in another. This allows for the rapid sharing of data over hours, days or weeks compared to using paper documents and other methods. Here’s what to consider when choosing EDI software.
Data Transaction Volume
Since EDI is all about moving files and other data objects quickly between different computer applications, the amount of data volume that you want to move needs to be taken into account. Working out your data transaction volume is important as you will need to make sure that the platform or software that you choose is strong enough to manage the volume.
There are a number of different ways that EDI software integration can be done. You might wish to do an ad hoc integration with limited synthesis between the EDI software and your operations, or alternatively, you could integrate your EDI software into the workflow itself. One main advantage of this is that it can provide several opportunities for you to streamline your processes and enhance the data exchange from the beginning to the end of the workflow.
Managed or In-House?
One of the biggest things that you will have to consider is whether you are going to be managing your EDI platform yourself or outsourcing it to a service provider. It may not always be logical for your company to manage its own EDI no matter how small the business is. You will need to think about factors such as hiring and training somebody who has the necessary IT skills.
It’s also important to look at the team behind the EDI software itself to ensure that it’s going to continue to meet your needs over time. One of the most important aspects of this is making sure that the EDI software you choose is able to support all the formats and standards that you need. Bear in mind that you may gain new clients who use different systems to your current clients, so it’s important to choose an EDI provider that is flexible and able to help your business grow over time.
Scalability is a very important factor to consider, especially if you plan to integrate your EDI software directly into your workflow. The software will need to match both current data transfer demands and your projected demands. When integrating software into your actual processes and the software reaches its limit, it’ll put a stop to any business expansion. It’s important to choose an EDI provider who can expand with your business rather than being the cause of any disruption.
Today, EDI is becoming more and more important for businesses of all sizes. Choosing the right EDI provider can make all the difference to business success.