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Top 7 EDI Solution Considerations

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All too often, organizations choose an EDI solution quickly and based solely on a mandate handed down from their customer.  They may choose whatever solution their customer recommends or find one by doing a quick Google search.  This is not always prudent and can lead to headaches down the road.  The best approach is to consider all of the factors and find something that fits your requirements now AND later, rather than find a fast fix.  We have composed a list of the top seven things to consider when choosing an EDI solution.  Feel free to comment below if you have anything to add to this list!

  1. Transaction Volume:  Approximately how many EDI transactions (Purchase Orders, Invoices, etc.) will you be sending and receiving each day, week, or month?  Do you expect your volume to increase substantially in the next year or so?  Is the EDI solution robust enough to meet your company’s needs, now and into the future, but not expensive “overkill?”
  2. Staff Requirements:  What personnel, and level of experience, will be required to manage the EDI solution?
  3. Integration:   Do you intend for EDI documents to be seamlessly integrated into and out of your current order processing and/or accounting software?  If so, does the EDI solution have this capability, and does the EDI provider have experience with your software system?
  4. Implementation Time and Cost:  Does the proposed solution include everything you need for a quick and painless implementation:  Software, installation, trading partner setup, training, maintenance and support?  How long should it take to be fully operational with EDI, and how much will it cost?
  5. Support:  How will ongoing support be handled?  Does it require on-site visits, or can it be handled remotely?  What days and hours is support available?  Are there any added costs?
  6. Routing:  How will your EDI documents be routed to and from your trading partners?   If a Value Added Network (VAN) is required, what are your options?  What are your other options?
  7. References:  Who are some other companies with requirements similar to yours that are using this EDI solution?
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