One of the most challenging aspects of deploying Electronic Data Interchange software can be the installation process. Many solutions require dedicated, expensive hardware to process Electronic Data Interchange at maximum efficiency. However, it’s important to note that EDI solutions are scalable – when your business grows, your EDI can be easily configured to meet the demands of increased sales and production.
Finding the right Electronic Data Exchange solutions is tremendously important for small businesses – it’s critical that you take the following into consideration.
- Your potential transaction volume. Ideally, you’ll integrate a solution that will be capable of adapting to your potential communications demands, so it’s important that you try to anticipate your future needs. How many partners are you currently working with, and how many are you actively pursuing? How heavy is your typical document exchange? If you are actively working towards becoming an EDI super-user, you’ll want an EDI option that is capable of growing with you.
- Types of document processing. Typically, EDI is used for three general categories of transactions: purchasing, logistics, and accounting. Your EDI solution will depend upon your system integration needs.
- IT management resources. While EDI solutions can help you streamline your staffing solutions, EDI management must still be a consideration if you want to ensure seamless operations. If you don’t have an in-house IT staff, you’ll have to outsource your EDI programming and support.
- Service requirements. Will your business require more or less constant accessibility, or will you only actively deliver and receive orders during certain hours of operation? If your partners require continuous information transfer capabilities, your EDI solution will have to support the demand.
- Partner requirements. It is essential to use EDI protocols that are compatible with those of your trading partners. However, it’s important to carefully consider not only your existing relationship with your trading partners, but also the potential for growth. Are the partners large or mid-sized organizations? Are you happy with your current relationship, or do you anticipate a decline in transactions?
Taking these factors into account early will help you adopt the EDI solution that not only delivers the most flexibility and the best ROI, but allows you to transition without significant downtime.
Growing with Electronic Data Interchange
A second key aspect of Electronic Data Interchange software is expandability. How quickly and easily your Electronic Data Interchange lets you add new trading partners is a key requirement you should consider before your purchase.
You should first take the time to investigate your needs and specific requirements. Start by finding out which trading partners support Electronic Data Interchange, and read up on the subject. Getting some basic knowledge will let you maximize your return on Electronic Data Interchange.