Author Archives: Jill Barlow

Work to Predict Future Needs and Lifecycle Framework

This blog post is the second part of a series highlighting the best practices for EDI-as-a-Service in planning and evaluation.

As we discussed in the first post of this series, there are more deployment options to consider to most effectively and efficiently manage your EDI. It’s important to fully understand these alternatives before making a decision.

Take Inventory of Current and Future Needs
If you’ve decided that EDI-as-a-Service is best for your business needs, it’s important to think about what your current needs are and future needs will be in order to most accurately assess what services you require.
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EDI-as-a-Service and If It’s Right for Your Business

This blog post is the first part of a series highlighting the best practices for EDI-as-a-Service in planning and evaluation.

EDI-as-a-ServiceWith more and more options than before for EDI, it’s important to know options come with positives and negatives in order to evaluate before making a decision.

One offering on the market is called EDI-as-a-Service, also known as EDI outsourcing or EDI managed services. What this service does is enable delegation of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to an outside service provider for provisioning, implementation and management activities. By utilizing a third party, businesses are able to focus on other activities while the provider can produce results rapidly while avoiding common errors. Continue reading

Take Control of Your Supply Chain Foundation

Last year, I attended a thought-provoking supply chain conference hosted by an industry analyst organization. The agenda was packed with interesting supply chain topics – cost-to-serve strategies, supply network optimization, S&OP integration, demand shaping tactics, etc. However, the event gave almost no attention to the foundation upon which advanced supply chain planning and execution strategies rest: supply chain integration.

Puzzling. Automated processing of supply chain transactions based on electronic data interchange standards and technologies makes it possible for even small and mid-sized businesses to process thousands of orders each day, accurately, at low cost, and with complete auditability. Without such automation, many companies, especially those with close-to-cost business models, would be unable to operate profitably. Yet supply chain integration is something we take for granted.

Understanding the Value of Automation

Supply Chain InsightsAccording to a 2014 Supply Chain Insights benchmark study of businesses with annual revenues of $250m or more, the majority of order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes are not fully automated. Only “34% of [sales] orders are moving through the systems hands-free” (p. 7), and “36% of purchase orders are handled through EDI [electronic data interchange] without manual intervention” (p. 8). Another 39% of sales orders and 34% of purchase orders were found to be partially automated, still requiring some manual processing steps. Continue reading

Automate Reuse to Maximize Migration and Onboarding Cost Savings

This blog post is the final part of a series highlighting the three keys to rapid EDI modernization for JD Edwards users.

Because standard EDI integrations provide predictable patterns, reuse is especially effective in reducing EDI migration costs. While true that some reuse actions require manual development due to individual trading partner requirements, for example, automation still plays a big role in cost savings. In fact, automation can account for the highest project cost and time savings.

Custom mapping to meet the needs of each trading partner typically requires manual intervention and takes time. But configuring acknowledgements, creating new projects from templates, configuring routing, etc. are not only well-suited for automation from a cost-savings perspective but also eliminate many forms of manual errors that can lengthen testing time and contribute to runtime exceptions as well. Continue reading

Apply Large-grained Reuse for Common Transaction Sets

This blog post is the second part of a series highlighting the three keys to rapid EDI modernization for JD Edwards users.

Despite some lingering reservations around migration costs, EDI modernization, either driven by internal platform migration or external trading partner requirements, has become a strong consideration for JD Edwards users. The secret to success is all about selecting the right strategy.

While certainly true that reuse is one of the most significant cost saving strategies in migrating to a new EDI solution, not all reuse strategies yield similar results. The numbers show that deploying a large-grained approach to reuse can save significantly more than looking at smaller units.

Figure 1

Figure 1

As exhibited in Figure 1, the degree of time and cost reduction that is attainable varies. If you are working on a customer-wide integration, it is easier to accomplish with a large-scale integration because inbound and outbound processes only have slight differences for maps, adapters, business processes and other integrations. By reusing the integration level, more time is saved and cost associated with the EDI modernization is minimized. Continue reading