How to prepare for your EDI implementation

Investing in new technologies usually requires tremendous costs and considerable efforts, so it is only natural to think ahead and to need to make sure that it will be worth it. To this end, implementing your new EDI system is definitely no exception to the case.

Source: http://www.expertfortran.com/two-types-edi-implementation

So the question is: what can be done on your end of the deal to make sure the investment will have a more than positive outcome? Outlining a strategic review is your safest bet. Brainstorming on this matter will help you realise how the EDI application will impact your business. However, when doing this mental exercise it is essential that you take into consideration the following three key-elements of a successful strategic review:

Why exactly are you choosing to implement EDI?

As unbelievable as it may seem, there are many companies which are only attracted to the newness of whatever up-and-coming technology has been recently developed. This way, instead of actually thinking about how it will help their company grow, they simply consider that having a cutting-edge technological upper hand will help them conquer the market.

If you want a little bit more out of the process, then you should ask yourself these questions before proceeding:

What are your EDI Implementation objectives?

From the get-go, try to mentally map out the objectives you have for the EDI implementation. What are you looking to obtain from it? Is it a reduction of time spent by your employees manually keying in all data? Is it an improvement of your business partners relationships? Or perhaps more than anything you want to cut back on unnecessary steps in the business cycle, to ensure that the operations run smoother than ever. A clearer outline of your expectations shows you know where you stand and will have what to measure once you have everything up and running.

Picture the Implementation Process. How does it look?

Let us elaborate on the topics you will need to address before implementing. Try to identify:

  1. The information being exchanged in the process.
  2. The supply chain partners that receive and send this certain information.
  3. The business processes that will be impacted by the new EDI system.

By answering these questions and pinpointing whatever needs to and can be transformed for the better will guide the implementation process. This way you will also know what type of information needs to undergo conversion into a typical EDI format, as well as what formats to use in the future.

Are you properly equipped to implement an EDI System?

While checking off of your list the points mentioned above, also ask yourself if your organization is adequately equipped to successfully deploy EDI. For this you need a team of technical experts who can handle every aspect of the implementation. Can they, in turn, train others and show them how to use the system in order to avoid any unpleasant scenarios and unnecessary delays?

If you can’t answer with a straight up ‘yes’, it does not mean you are not ready for EDI or that you should step aside and abandon your plans. It only indicates that you can benefit from external guidance when implementing the new EDI system.

Thankfully, there are plenty of EDI solutions providers to choose from. They are dedicated to helping you from the very start of the process, through all the steps until the system is in place and well after that, as well.

If you are interested in boosting your company’s productivity and efficiency, contact us and we will provide you with a detailed strategic review.



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