What you need to know once you’ve implemented EDI

So you’ve reached a point where you can safely say that you’ve automated your B2B exchange and gave your company this well-deserved boost. A common misconception is that once you implement EDI, you can rest assured that everything will pick up magically and your company will reach soaring new heights. Well, this is actually partially true, but you also need to be properly equipped to handle and solve customer problems.

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Properly implemented, a B2B integration solution can help you efficiently cope whenever changes occur in business practices, extract and harness valuable performance information and avoid potential catastrophic consequences.

Just think of much unnecessary back and forth, as well as dissastisfaction would be eliminated if the right person had access to the right information, precisely when they needed it.

1. The importance of offering full accessibility to key-data

Throughout the years, you will be confronted with all sorts of situations, among which a common one is that in which certain data is required, for various reasons. This data can be linked to shipment expectations, textual information and even pricing-related data. A lot of the information contained in the EDI documents may not end up in the ERP package, as well. This is why it is essential to ensure that full access is possible.

Let’s take pricing, for example. You can be asked for price-related information whenever there has been some sort of pricing violation and prices need to be reviewed.

2. The ability to deal with unforeseen situations

What does your company do when it has received a PO more than once? You’ve probably already dealt with receiving duplicate Pos, but this is different. How about when someone requests a PO to be changed – that is to say a PO Change Request? Has this request reached the right person or is sitting idly somewhere, unable to be addressed? Does your ERP system support such a request?

By ensuring you have access to this type of information, you also make sure you don’t perform the same work twice and that you deliver what you promised to your customers.

3. Transparence into related documents

Other requests ask for related documents, so the reviewer gets a clearer picture regarding the issue at hand. This way they can see into all business transactions and identify the routes taken by an order.

But these requests are typically addressed to IT teams who would prefer to spend that time on more relevant tasks. Imagine how it would be if the right teams operated with full transparency and thus had the power to take an immediate and appropriate course of action, according to the information at their disposal.

4. Everyone needs to be able to read EDI data

Nurture your most important business relationships, such as with your accountants, by offering them data that is actually comprehensible. It is true that EDI was meant from the very beginning to be read by computers, not by actual human beings. This way, you won’t need to train new personnel in order to read EDI data.

Transparency and full access to data is key to progress and happy relationships.

5. The importance of offering accessibility to non-ERP documents

As we mentioned above, your ERP system cannot always accommodate all types of documents. But that can be a problem. How do you receive these documents and who should be the end-person to receive them?

Needless to say, it could be a disaster if your accounting team does not receive critical financial information regarding certain payments. Think of all the time and resources wasted trying to connect the puzzle pieces together and to correct what went haywire.

If you would also like to have greater B2B visibility and would like to know how you can obtain it, give us a call and we’ll figure out the best solution for your business.

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