New Whitepaper: Building a Responsive Supply Chain to Ensure Inventory Visibility
Download Now

EDI Implementation

Understanding the Basics of EDI

Understanding the Basics of EDI

New call-to-action

What is EDI implementation?

The term EDI implementation is generally used in one of two ways.  In a broader sense, an EDI implementation signifies the process of deploying EDI software or services, typically in-house, with the goal of making the business EDI enabled.  EDI implementation however also has a more specific definition related to the process of becoming EDI enabled with a specific partner.  In this latter context, the term EDI implementation, is often also associated with EDI implementation guidelines.

Choosing Who Will Perform Your EDI Implementation

As a small or mid-sized business, the first concern you are likely to encounter is choosing the right partner to help with your EDI implementation.  The reason for this is that as a new business to EDI, you are not likely to have a lot of EDI implementation expertise.  Regardless of whether you need help with a software EDI implementation, or with an EDI implementation for a specific partner, you have a number of choices available in order to make your EDI implementation a smooth and successful process.

Hire a Third-Party Consultant For Your EDI Implementation

One of the first options for your EDI implementation is to work with a contractor or consultant.  This is often best for the first type of EDI implementation where the majority of the work will focus on selecting a software solution and deploying it.  If you have already chosen a software product and wish to use a consultant for the EDI implementation, your software vendor is a great source of information to help you find resellers or consultants they have worked with who are comfortable with an EDI implementation of their products.  If your EDI implementation is focused only on bringing a specific trading partner on-line, the cost associated with a third-party EDI implementation consultant may not be worth the benefits.  In these types of EDI implementation scenarios your best option is to work with your EDI software vendor.

Work With Your Software Vendor for an EDI Implementation Solution

A second option available from a lot of software vendors is to hire their professional services team to assist with the EDI implementation.  The biggest benefit of this approach is that the software vendor will have a great deal of expertise in an EDI implementation associated with their software and will be able to complete the EDI implementation in the fastest possible time.  The one drawback of this EDI implementation is that if you need or require staff to be on-site, this form of EDI implementation may become more expensive when compared with a third-party led EDI implementation.  In the second form of EDI implementation, using your software vendor as a resource to help you work through the EDI implementation guidelines of your trading partner will be an ideal way of ensuring the smoothest, least problematic EDI implementation possible.

EDI Implementation vs. EDI Integration

In discussing an EDI implementation, it's important to distinguish them from an EDI integration project.  While an EDI implementation may be part of an EDI integration project, the latter is significantly more comprehensive, difficult and costly since it involves bringing your EDI data into and out of your ERP/Accounting system.  The long-term benefits of EDI integration may be well worth the up-front costs, but be certain that when you are discussing your EDI implementation, be it with a consultant or with a vendor, that you are both speaking of an EDI implementation vs. an EDI integration project.

Ready to get started with EDI?