Partner Setups and an Internal Contact with Your Provider

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

As you go about the implementation of an EDI-as-a-Service solution, knowing partner setups and determining an internal contact with your provider at the start of the implementation can save you a lot of time effort and frustration in the long-run.

Understanding partner setups, changes and how long they take

When onboarding new partners and implementing new transactions, a common complaint is that the process takes too long. Sometimes changes that should take minutes, take days or weeks. How can the expectation be set that a change sometimes isn’t instantaneous, but may take longer? Continue reading

Choosing EDI-as-a-Service and TCO

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

As past entries in this series pointed out, determining if EDI-as-a-Service is right for your business, and which provider solution makes the most sense, requires some careful consideration. Two very important caveats are to be sure to choose a solution based on requirements instead of provider capabilities, and approach your selection with a broadened view of total cost of ownership (TCO).

Pick EDI-as-a-Service for Requirements, Not Provider Capabilities

When EDI-as-a-Service offerings initially became available, “on-network translation” were the provided capabilities which hosted on Value Added Networks (VANs). Data format flexibility was minimal due to limited EDI translation options, where direct integration with enterprise applications and data resources could be offered, but came with a large price tag for the customization. Continue reading

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