You want consistent standards across your entire business network and an alternative to the current way you process financial transactions. The problem is that choosing a system for all of your document needs can be a bit risky. what if the new standards and document format don’t work out? It’s a lot of money to spend to investigate whether there’s any long-term benefit to making the switch. What you really need is some way to cut the learning curve and get the right EDI solution for your company.
Talk To An IT Consultant
It’s always a good idea to talk to a professional IT consultant about your EDI needs. Why? Because EDI document formats are not like other formats you’re used to working with. A new document management system might have all of the bells and whistles you want, but if you don’t have the IT support to back you up if things go wrong, none of that matters.
All software needs maintenance from time to time – i.e. database cleaning and maintenance. Without dedicated support staff, you’re basically unprotected if your system goes down.
Work With A Partner
Don’t try to go it alone if this is your first foray into EDI systems. There are many benefits of an EDI system such as a lower labor commitment, faster business transactions, and fewer document errors since the computer system processes the documents instead of a human being. However, one drawback is that companies have to have enough resources in place to make the program work.
That adds expense – an expense that might be offset by the savings brought about by the program in the first place. The key is to keep costs low, thus minimizing overhead inefficiencies. However, in-house systems almost always fail from a cost perspective unless the company is established with strong cash-flows. Even then, the cost may be prohibitive without the IT skillset needed to manage the system.
That’s where working with an intelligent partner helps. Outsourcing solves this problem as long as the outside company has the experience and scale to provide efficient service.
Work With Someone Experienced
It’s pretty easy to get bogged down when you look through EDI solutions to find the right one for your business. Everyone you ask will say they are experts, but do they have experience working with other companies in your industry? Do they have experience applying EDI to your specific corporate needs?
This is information that should be readily apparent if you ask them. Your EDI provider should be able to provide names of other companies in your space as well as case studies to demonstrate how their solutions work in practice.
Have An Idea About Volume
Last, but definitely not least, you should have a ballpark figure of your monthly EDI transaction volume. Documents sent and received count as transaction volume. Some companies charge on a “per transaction” basis. This is fine if you have a low volume – under 500 transactions per month. However, higher transaction amounts require a different payment scheme to make the system work for most businesses.
Charles Talley is an IT solution salesman. He loves to share his ideas for finding the right software on IT and business blogs.