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June 5, 2012

Questions to Consider When Using EDI

In the first article of this series, EDI – First Step, from our previous newsletter, consideration was given to the start-up company looking for a low cost, low maintenance way to become EDI-enabled. For companies seeking this type of solution, the EDI HQ method is the path of least resistance to EDI-based trading.

But, what if your company has grown and requires a more robust, scalable solution? In this event you may either bring your EDI processing in-house by obtaining translator and document management software or outsource the processing and management of your electronic business documents to a third-party who will manage them for you.

The benefits of in-house management are control of all aspects of the EDI process: setup of trading partners, communication methods, such as AS2, SFTP or FTP, error notification, and transaction reports.

These will require at least one person familiar with configuring trading relationships, setting up connections for file transfer, and building maps for document translation. In addition, there are other responsibilities such as, addressing EDI errors as well as, report creation and distribution. One can see personnel resources can be a large part of this decision. Another thing to consider is the need for computer resources to run the EDI application.

Outsourcing will free you from dedicating in-house resources and expertise to manage business document transactions. The day-to-day tasks of EDI management are handled by experienced personnel who partner with you to maintain your EDI document environment.

Since it is your company’s business and data, you will want to keep an eye on it. Alert notifications will let you know when there was a problem. Scheduled reports will keep you up-to-date on overall document activity.

Of course, your company’s management philosophy will play a part in the final decision. Do you prefer to maintain in-house control of company functions or are you comfortable with outsourcing tasks to focus company resources on core competencies?

To make an informed decision one requires knowledge. Discuss which option is best for your company with a 1 EDI Source, Inc. representative. We have experience guiding others through this decision. Let us help you.