Thursday, December 20, 2012
This article also is available on info.algorithminc.com where 1 EDI Source appeared as a guest blogger.
With a variety of EDI software solutions available in today’s market, many companies don’t know where to begin evaluating the best EDI software solution. It’s important to find a vendor that not only meets your current business needs, but one that also has the expertise and innovation to offer scalable solutions that can address your company’s future requirements.
We’ve highlighted four factors to consider when choosing an EDI solution.
1. EDI Transaction Volume
It’s helpful to have a ballpark idea of your monthly EDI transaction (any EDI document sent or received) volume between you and your trading partners (companies with which you exchange EDI documentation).
Some EDI solutions, such as many web-based solutions, are “pay per transaction.” If your company has a low transaction volume, typically under 500 transactions monthly, and is looking for an entry-level EDI solution, a web-based solution may be the right fit.
2. Integration Needs
Many companies are interested in EDI data integration with their enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management system (WMS) or accounting package. If integration is a goal for your company, let your EDI provider guide you to the best solution offering.
Ask your prospective EDI solutions partner about its experience integrating with the back-end system your company uses. This simple question can help you increase your company’s efficiency and save a significant amount of money by incorporating automation and eliminating manual processes. Also, the vendor should be able to provide you with references of clients integrating into a variety of back-end systems.
3. Business Resources
Does your company have an experienced EDI team? Are you new to EDI with limited business resources? Is training important to your company?
These are common questions that help vendors understand your business and effectively tailor solution demonstrations to the skill level of your team.
4. Service and Support
Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure you inquire about service and support. The EDI software solution can provide all of the bells and whistles you want, but if experienced EDI consultants are not available to answer your questions, then you won’t have the knowledge to take full advantage of the EDI software features.
Knowing your transaction volume, integration requirements and business resource needs will help you find the right EDI software solution. It’ll also help prospective vendors showcase solution features most important to your company. While solution features are important, the support and service offered by the EDI solutions provider are critical to your ability to capitalize on the benefits of implementing EDI software.