Find Out If EDI Data Management Services Are Right For Your Business
If you’re new to EDI, you’ve got options. You can manage your software yourself. Or you can let your vendor manage it for you. If you decide to manage in-house, you maintain control. You can tailor your solution to your unique requirements and store your solution on your own server. On the other hand, if you leverage EDI data management services, you can outsource the maintenance burden. You can let your IT team focus on other tasks and potentially save money in the process.
This article will help you decide if EDI data management services are right for you.
What is EDI?
EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is a technology that enables two companies doing business together–”Trading Partners”–to quickly and efficiently exchange business documents.
Rather than printing out documents–like invoices and purchase orders–and mailing them across, companies can use EDI to send documents instantly, securely, and, where necessary, automatically. Recipients don’t have to waste time keying crucial information into their systems. EDI automates the upload, supercharging efficiency and removing errors.
As businesses undergo digital transformation, EDI has become the de facto means for exchanging documents electronically (computer to computer), setting the standard (common language) for how documents are formatted and shared. It keeps entire industries in sync, which is why many large enterprises insist on EDI compliance.
Why Do Leading Companies Insist on EDI?
Walmart, Target, Costco, and Amazon are just a few of the leading companies that won’t do business with you if you’re not using EDI. Here’s why they’re such sticklers…
Paper, printing, xeroxing, storage, filing, postage, and document retrieval all add up when you’re exchanging documents via traditional methods. With EDI, all of this goes away, saving money and improving sustainability.
With EDI, you can free your staff from the burden of time-sapping manual processes, letting them focus their efforts on higher-value tasks. In other words: you can achieve considerably more each day–with less frustration.
EDI lets you exchange documents in minutes instead of days (or weeks if a letter gets lost in the mail.) Of course, email is way faster, but even then, you have to wait for recipients to surface your message in their overflowing inboxes. And if they’re away on vacation, then communication can totally break down.
As we all know, creating documents manually in Excel is a recipe for human error. One slip of a finger and you have a time-consuming, not to mention highly embarrassing, problem on your hands. EDI improves data accuracy, eliminating keying and re-keying errors.
Data in documents exchanged via EDI can be extracted and analyzed. Data-driven insights can be used to increase efficiency, fix supply chain issues, and make faster, bolder strategic decisions. The more high-integrity data you can access, the more valuable your business is.
Are EDI Data Management Services Right For Your Business?
If your IT team is limited in size or lacks EDI experience, EDI data management services could be the ideal solution for your business. A managed solution provides all the efficiency gains of EDI but without the technical and time burden.
The 3 Key Benefits of EDI Data Management Services
Global trade has never been more complicated, with supply chain disruption and wildly fluctuating prices making demand highly unpredictable.
Companies that maintain EDI in-house often find their IT team is swamped one week and underutilized the next, which is a highly inefficient way to operate.
With a managed EDI solution, you can access highly skilled EDI experts on demand. You’re never overwhelmed.
Hiring in-house EDI specialists is costly and only sometimes necessary. Many companies find that outsourcing EDI management to a vendor is more cost-effective. Either way, having a fixed monthly cost enables you to manage your finances and plan more effectively.
Pareto’s Principle very much applies when working with trading partners. 20% of your partners will take up 80% of your time (and provide 80% of the stress and frustration!).
Imagine if you could rid yourself of these pedantic partners without losing the revenue. Well, with EDI data management services, you can. Don’t get bogged down in the minutiae. Outsource the stress and get on with your day.
How Do Managed Services Work with 1 EDI Source?
We’re different at 1 EDI Source. We offer an on-prem EDI model and a cloud-based solution. We also provide a fully managed or unmanaged service. In other words: we give customers total freedom over how they leverage EDI within their business.
At 1 EDI Source, we don’t believe in tie-in or switching costs, which is another way we differ from the competition. If one of our customers decides to switch vendors or move EDI in-house, they can take all their maps with them.
Here’s what to expect if you go down the managed services route with us:
- We will implement, migrate, and manage your EDI solution.
- We will integrate EDI with your ERP and other critical applications.
- We will keep your software updated, making sure you’re running the most up-to-date version of our technology.
- We will provide training and 24/7 support for critical issues.
EDI data management services shouldn’t be a black box–you need total transparency. That’s why we provide our managed customers with a web-based document visibility portal in which they can monitor document flow and receive alerts for things like late ASNs or trading partner errors (no chargeback fines.) The best thing: the portal is built for general business users, not IT specialists.
Conclusion: Are EDI Management Services Right for Your Business?
EDI management services let you focus on your core business without the distraction of EDI and the evolving demands of trading partners. You benefit from the continuity of having a fully scalable service and the peace of mind you get from 24/7 expert support.
Ultimately, for many businesses, the managed vs. unmanaged debate will come down to cost. Smaller and/or newer businesses often prefer the fixed-price model they get from a managed solution. It helps them forecast their costs more effectively. Larger companies and those with unique requirements often prefer to be self-sufficient in EDI.
If you want to discuss your EDI requirements with an expert, get in touch with us at 1 EDI Source.
SaaS EDI: Everything You Need to Know
SaaS EDI brings all the benefits of EDI delivered via the cloud. For some businesses, it provides a more flexible, less demanding, and less expensive way to use EDI than more traditional on-prem alternatives.
Integrating SaaS EDI with ERP and your other mission-critical applications is easy, enabling you to move data and documents seamlessly across your business and broader supply chain. This connectedness makes you more agile and easier to do business with than your competitors.
Read this article for everything you need to know about SaaS EDI. And to find out if it’s the right option for you.
What Is EDI?
EDI–Electonic Data Interchange–is a set of standards defining how two companies working together (“trading partners”) should share information.
Back in the day, this “information”–an invoice, purchase order, shipping notification, or healthcare claim–was printed onto paper and sent by mail. When the document arrived (assuming it didn’t go missing along the way!), the recipient manually keyed the information into their internal systems. But this was expensive, inefficient, and unreliable–hence EDI was born.
EDI eliminates the need for such unpredictable, manual processes, saving trading partners vast amounts of time. It defines how data should be formatted, keeping entire industries on the same page. And it automates data flow electronically, guaranteeing safe dispatch and receipt.
The Benefits of EDI
- Lower costs: You can save money on printing and paper, but the most significant savings are time-based. Employees are liberated from the most time-consuming, laborious tasks to focus on higher-value work.
- Fewer Errors: Data sent via EDI is never touched by a human hand, which means no fat-fingering and costly downstream consequences.
- Increased Efficiency: Trading partners can collaborate at breakneck speed when the documents they need to forge ahead are created, sent, and received in seconds instead of hours.
- Greater Security: Sending documents by mail–or even by email–is insecure. They can be intercepted or fall into the wrong hands. EDI can encrypt data before it’s exchanged, which is why HIPAA, the U.S. Federal health insurance law of 1996, encourages the widespread use of EDI in the healthcare system.
- Greater Supply Chain Visibility: Information transmitted via EDI can be tracked all the way along the supply chain, enhancing visibility and accountability. Management can spot potential inefficiencies and collaborate more effectively with their trading partners.
- Better Data Management: EDI data is digital, which means it can be searched, mined, scraped, and analyzed for continuous improvement.
What Is SaaS EDI?
What Is SaaS?
SaaS–software as a service–is a new(ish) way for businesses to access and pay for software. Rather than “owning” the software themselves, companies subscribe to software and applications developed by third-party vendors and access them in the cloud.
The alternative to SaaS is “on-premise” or “on-prem,” which is software that you pay for and own. On-prem software doesn’t live in the cloud. It lives–or rather is stored–on a server, which companies usually keep in their office.
As outlined in the benefits below, SaaS is, in many ways, a better way to use software. It’s less onerous, more flexible, and (all things considered) less expensive. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the global SaaS market is growing massively. It’s expected to jump from $130.69 billion in 2021 to $716.52 billion in 2028 (at a CAGR of 27.5%.)
The Benefits of SaaS EDI
SaaS EDI is generally faster to implement than on-prem, so you can quickly benefit from the time and cost savings.
Integrating SaaS EDI with your back-end systems, such as your ERP system, still takes time (don’t trust any vendor that says otherwise!) But most companies experience rapid ROI and are up and running faster than they expect.
Subscription Vs. Upfront Costs
Unlike on-prem software, which companies usually pay for upfront, SaaS solutions are available on a subscription basis. You pay to use the software monthly, which suits many small and medium companies better.
One thing you don’t have to worry about with 1 EDI Source is being “tied in.” Whether you’re an on-prem or SaaS customer, you own your maps. If you decide to switch vendors, you can take your maps with you, which isn’t always the case with our competitors.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership
With SaaS EDI, you don’t “own” the software–you effectively “rent” it, paying monthly for use. The vendor accepts full responsibility for the smooth running of the solution, which includes time-consuming bug fixes, updates, and upgrades.
Shifting the maintenance burden to the vendor reduces pressure on your IT team and means you don’t have to pay for expensive third-party support. You get all the new features that come down the pike automatically, keeping you one step ahead of the competition.
With SaaS EDI, you can scale freely, accessing additional resources at the touch of a button. Performance isn’t affected by high-pressure events like traffic spikes, and you don’t have to worry about outgrowing your solution. On the other hand, If things suddenly go south and your business contracts, you can drop down to a less expensive package, reducing your costs.
SaaS EDI is delivered via the cloud. It’s accessible not from your desktop but in your browser. The untethered nature of cloud-based software means your employees can access your system anytime, from any location, and often from any device, giving you the flexibility required to adapt to remote and hybrid work models.
Cloud-based systems integrate via APIs (application programming interfaces), which enable two applications, like EDI and ERP, to “talk to each other” seamlessly. With APIs, it’s easier to design stable integrated systems for end-to-end automation. You can add and remove additional SaaS solutions easily without threatening the stability of your IT ecosystem.
EDI + Cloud = SaaS EDI
With SaaS EDI, companies can leverage all the benefits of EDI and the cloud in one piece of software. The cloud delivery element compounds the speed, efficiency, and visibility improvements any type of EDI solution provides. Throw lower costs, maintenance, and time-to-benefit into the mix, and SaaS EDI becomes an attractive choice for many businesses.
If you’ve any questions about this article or want to discuss SaaS EDI further, reach out to one of our experts at 1 EDI Source.