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Why EDI Training Matters: Best Practices and Top Resources for Success

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of EDI training and how it helps your organization accelerate time-to-value, maximize ROI, and streamline the path to organization-wide EDI adoption.

May 08, 2023

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As organizations strive to improve efficiency and maintain a competitive edge, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has become an indispensable tool. It enables the streamlined exchange of business documents between trading partners using standardized electronic formats, driving automation, reducing costs, enhancing accuracy, providing visibility, and forging stronger business relationships.

By the end of the article, you’ll understand why EDI training matters and how to apply best practices to ensure your team is well-equipped to handle EDI processes effectively. Let's dive in.

The Importance of EDI Training

EDI training is the backbone of every successful EDI system implementation. Here’s why.

Boosting Data Accuracy, Streamlining Operations, and Reducing Costs

With practical EDI training, employees become more proficient in using EDI systems. They’re less likely to make errors when processing transactions, which results in substantial cost savings. Well-trained employees are more adept at streamlining operations and optimizing workflows, reducing the time spent on manual tasks and cutting operational costs.

Ensuring Frictionless Integration with Trading Partners

Prioritizing EDI training helps employees develop the knowledge and skills needed to exchange documents and other data seamlessly with trading partners. It helps prevent internal and external compatibility issues and fosters stronger business relationships.


Maintaining Compliance and Adapting to Industry Changes

Keeping pace with rapidly evolving industry standards, regulations, and security measures is a massive challenge, especially for companies operating internationally. EDI training equips employees with the flexibility to adapt as new requirements emerge, ensuring ongoing compliance and risk mitigation.


Increasing Employee Engagement, Productivity, and System Adoption

Thorough EDI training enhances employee engagement and adoption, which is essential for maximizing the return on your EDI investment. When employees receive comprehensive training and understand the benefits of using EDI, they’re more likely to embrace and utilize the system to its full potential.


Speeding Up Employee Onboarding and Eliminating Information Silos

Proper EDI training accelerates employee onboarding and reduces information silos within an organization. New employees can quickly become proficient in using the EDI system, resulting in a seamless integration into the workplace and promoting a more cohesive and collaborative working environment.

Best Practices for EDI Training

Follow these best practices to develop a comprehensive and effective EDI training program that meets the diverse needs of your employees.

Secure Buy-in from Senior Management and Identify Key Stakeholders

To ensure the success of EDI training, it's crucial to secure buy-in from senior management and other key stakeholders. If senior management doesn’t take training seriously, you can’t expect employees to prioritize it either.


Establish Clear Goals, Objectives, and a Continuous Improvement Plan

Clear, well-defined, measurable goals and objectives are the foundation for effective training. Effectively communicating these goals helps employees develop the required skills within the allocated time and budget constraints. Furthermore, these quantifiable benchmarks enable ongoing evaluation and adjustments, ensuring continuous improvement in the training program.


Prioritize Hands-on Practice and Real-world Scenarios

Practical, interactive training exercises help enhance understanding, knowledge retention, and refinement of the skills needed to use and maintain an EDI system effectively. Incorporating real-world scenarios into the training promotes confidence and competence in employees' ability to handle the system in their day-to-day operations. It also brings to the surface questions they might not ask with more generic examples.


Allowing Room for Failure

Encouraging failure in training enhances learning. It lets employees try new methods, spurring innovation and deeper software understanding. It fosters resilience, helping staff cope with setbacks and adapt to change. Moreover, embracing failure boosts problem-solving as employees analyze and resolve edge cases and unusual software challenges.

Adopting a Multi-pronged Approach to Training Formats and EDI Classes

When it comes to education, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach catering to every individual's learning style and preferences. That’s why businesses should adopt a multi-pronged approach to EDI training, incorporating diverse formats.

EDI training formats can include self-serve videos, interactive demos and simulations (EDI simulator training), online courses, webinars, in-person workshops, and classroom-based seminars. Gamification strategies and nominal incentives are great ways to boost engagement and motivation.

Soliciting Feedback and Keeping Training Updated with Evolving Needs

Never rest on your laurels when it comes to EDI training. Continuously adapt to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape and learning preferences. Regularly soliciting employee feedback and updating the training program based on their input is critical for ongoing success.


Where to Go For EDI Training and EDI Certification Courses

You can get EDI training from multiple sources, including industry associations and free EDI training online. But the best education you can receive will come from your chosen EDI vendor. Their hands-on experience and knowledge of your EDI system allow for a more comprehensive understanding of your platform's features, functionalities, and best practices.

Companies using 1 EDI Source can get all the training they need from 1 EDI University, a hands-on, three-part course developed and refined over 30 years of industry experience. The course, which can be taken in one session or split across three, takes students from absolute beginners to advanced power users.


1 EDI University: The Ultimate EDI Course

Here’s a quick rundown of the course at 1 EDI University. It’s broken down into three stages as follows:

Stage 1: Intro to EDI and EDI Data Mapping 101

Stage 1 of the EDI course caters to beginners, providing a comprehensive overview of EDI's essential aspects, including terminology, technology, protocols, standards, and various formats like X12, EDIFACT, and XML.

Stage 2: Intermediate Data Mapping 201

Stage 2 of the EDI course delves deeper into data mapping practices, exploring various file types and application data formats. Participants gain hands-on experience setting up logic, using variables and cross-references, implementing conditional expressions, and managing multiple output destinations.

Stage 3: Advanced Mapping 301

Stage 3 of the EDI course equips students with the expertise to manage intricate EDI operations effectively and independently. Learners explore looping structures, nesting, map reuse, and direct database injection using ODBC, tackling complex and intensive mapping through advanced integration approaches.


Conclusion: 3 Takeaways

  1. When it comes to EDI, effective training should be a top priority. It’s essential for maximizing efficiency, reducing costs, and maintaining the competitive edge every business needs.
  2. Practical EDI training ensures seamless integration with trading partners, boosts data accuracy, maintains compliance, and fosters employee engagement and productivity.
  3. Organizations can optimize their EDI systems and reap their numerous benefits by adopting a multi-pronged approach, tailoring training to various learning styles, and ensuring continuous improvement.
  4. Free EDI training online is a great way to kickstart your EDI journey, but the best education comes from your EDI vendor. They know your specific system inside and out. Take a look at 1 EDI University for details of upcoming web-based training.