What you need to know once you’ve implemented EDI

You’ve reached the point where you can confidently say that you’ve automated your B2B document exchange and provided your company with the long-awaited boost. A common misconception is that once you implement EDI, you can sit back and watch everything magically renew and improve, and your company will skyrocket to new heights of success. This is, in fact, only partially true – you will also need to be properly equipped to manage and resolve customer issues.

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If implemented correctly, a B2B integration solution can help you efficiently manage any changes in practices, extract and leverage relevant performance information, and avoid potential disasters.

Just think about how much back-and-forth could be eliminated if the right person had access to the right information exactly when they need it.

1. The Importance of Providing Full Access to Key Data

Over the years, you will encounter various situations, one of the most common being the need for certain data. These data may pertain to delivery expectations, specific textual information, and even pricing. A significant portion of the information contained in EDI documents may not always make it into the ERP system. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that full access is possible.

Take pricing, for example. Information related to pricing can be requested whenever a violation of this kind has occurred, and those prices need review.

2. The ability to efficiently handle unforeseen situations

What does your company do when it receives a purchase order more than once? You’ve probably already faced situations where you received duplicate purchase orders, but the current situation is different. But what about when someone requests a change to a purchase order – that is, a Purchase Order Change Request? Has this request reached the right person, or is it sitting in a corner unaddressed? Does your ERP system support such a request?

By ensuring that you have access to this type of information, you also guarantee that you won’t do the same work twice and that you will deliver what you promised to your customers.

3. Transparency at the level of related documents

Other such requests pertain to the need to receive a complete set of related documents so that the person reviewing them gains a clear picture of the issue at hand. This way, they have a broader visibility into all transactions and can identify the path taken by a particular order.

The problem is that these requests are usually directed to the IT department or, in any case, to the wrong teams, which would prefer to use their time for more relevant tasks. Imagine how it would be if the right teams were working with maximum transparency, thus having the power to make an immediate and informed decision.”

4. The EDI data must be comprehensible for all departments

Take care of your most important business relationships, such as the one with the accounting department, by providing access to data that is truly comprehensible. It is true that EDI was created to be read by computers, not by real people. This means you won’t have to train personnel specifically to read EDI data.

Transparency and full access to data are key to making progress and maintaining happy relationships with both business partners and customers.

5. The importance of access to all documents incompatible with the ERP system

As mentioned above, your ERP system is not always compatible with all types of documents. This can be a significant issue. How do you receive these documents, and who is assigned to handle them?

Clearly, it would be a disaster if the accounting department did not receive vital financial information about certain payments. Think about all the time and resources lost trying to track down what happened and correct a situation with a skewed trajectory.

If you would like to have more B2B visibility and would like to learn more about how to achieve it, give us a call, and we will find the best solution for your business.