Things To Consider When Choosing an EDI Solution

 

Getting Started

Great news! A major retailer (trading partner) has agreed to establish a business relationship with your company. A vendor number has been assigned and you have been given access to their vendor portal. You downloaded their routing guide and EDI specs, you’ve read through the requirements and see terms like “850”, “856”, “810”, “VAN”, “AS2”, “GS1 labels”, etc. Online searches give you a better perspective. However, you are still unsure on how this all fits into your current company’s business processes. While this article will not attempt to explain all aspects of the requirements, it will attempt to guide you in making a decision on which EDI approach to take. Web EDI or integrated EDI (software or hosted).

Asking The Right Questions

In making a decision, consider the following:
1)      Does your company currently have an ERP?
2)      Is your company planning on purchasing an EDI package and are willing to pay someone to administer and support it?
3)      Is your company planning on purchasing a VAN mailbox account and, possibly, an AS2 package?
4)      Is your company planning on purchasing hosted EDI services from a 3rd party EDI provider, instead of using a “desktop” EDI package?
5)      Will current and/or future transaction volumes be high enough to justify the cost of implementing and administering an EDI package?

Your Options

If you’ve have answered “yes” to several of the points above, you are faced with two possible options: a desktop EDI package or hosted EDI services, through a 3rd party EDI provider. Using a 3rd party to handle all EDI processing can be more cost effective compared to a software. A 3rd party EDI provider can offer various services, including EDI integration services, VAN and/or AS2 services, technical support, etc. Hosted EDI integration uses per-defined maps (built using the partner and supplier requirements) and a translator to convert between EDI and various file formats.

If you have answered “no” to any of the points above, web EDI is a viable option. Web EDI is a web-based interface, accessible using a browser, which allows users to receive documents (eg. purchase orders) in a readable format. You can also create return documents (invoices and advanced shipment notices) without being exposed to the EDI. Web EDI offers less flexibility than using a desktop EDI program or hosted EDI translation. However, it is the most cost-effective EDI solution, offers a quick turnaround and is suitable for smaller companies. Web EDI can be accessed from anywhere, using internet access and a browser, making it very convenient.

Using a 3rd part EDI provider, for hosted EDI or Web EDI, eliminates the need to purchase expensive EDI and communication packages. EDI Werx’s team will work with partners to plan and implement your EDI partnership. Our team will build the appropriate EDI/Web EDI adapter, establish a connection with your partner and perform all full-cycle testing. Let our team handle the EDI processes, you can focus on your core business. Get in Touch!