Top 3 EDI Implementation Challenges and Ways to Solve Them
If you’re considering an EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) rollout in 2021, then you’re not alone. The current disruptive times require companies to improve their supply chain management. EDI is an essential tool that propels stability, visibility, and optimization. But only if done right.
An effective EDI implementation calls for planning. Companies must:
- Pick the right EDI integration solution.
- Make sure compatibility with their supply chain ecosystems.
- Integrate complex, bidirectional data in minutes instead of months.
- Ensure security and reduce costs.
- Establish strong partner relationships to improve ease of doing business and drive revenue.
When companies attempt to implement EDI to drive EDI transmissions with their trading partners, they exhibit many challenges or difficulties. That’s because a lot of hoops have to be jumped through to implement EDI. At a trading partner level, lots of steps including testing, vetting, and accessing must be completed. That’s time-consuming and resource-intensive. The way companies handle the EDI implementation challenges determine success in business.
For better understanding, we’ve compiled a list of the most common difficulties we’ve seen in action – and provided ways to solve them. We can overcome difficulties that come along with EDI implementations but companies must make sure that they get started on the right foot to improve ROI and ensure greater value from day one. Let’s get started.
1. Underestimating Complexity of Supply Chains
EDI integration helps businesses overcome complexity and drive supply chain management tasks. But miscalculating the supply chains’ intricacies can derail a project from the start. Remember, EDI encompasses multiple sets of standards and transmission protocols. The solution that companies pick must align with the amount of data being onboarded and requirements of a business, and all of the businesses within their supply chains.
Globalization has lead to larger, and more complex, supply chains. A rigid EDI integration solution won’t be able to connect all these stakeholders and could leave organizations with lots of manual coding and ad-hoc procedures that will undermine the whole point of investment.
Useful Strategies: Modern data integration solutions with supercharged EDI capabilities can manage the complexity of supply chains. They enable business users with minimal technical expertise to onboard partner data in minutes instead of months. Later, users can integrate the data into a data lake or data warehouse, where it can be analyzed or used for future purposes. The insights can be leveraged to make business decisions and deliver delightful customer experiences (CXs).
Not only can these solutions support standards like EDIFACT and ASC X12 but also accommodate a number of different transmission protocols such as FTP, SFTP, and HTTP, and EDI-specific protocols like OFTP, X.400 and AS2.
2. No Foundation for Scalability
As supply chains turn complex, companies need to onboard new trading partners quickly by accommodating all the standards and EDI transmission protocols mentioned above. The onboarding part seems tricky as there is an enormous amount of complex data that needs to be handled. That requires a lot of time and also needs developer teams or IT support at each step.
Useful Strategies: Self-service-powered data integration solutions enable non-technical users to onboard complex partner data such as employee benefits plans faster by up to 80%. In other words, what took months before can take only minutes now. Additionally, since non-techies can execute onboarding, IT gets freed. So, by leveraging modern data integration solutions, companies can onboard data faster and allow their IT teams to focus on innovation and transformation.
3. Poor Data Security
Data security, these days, is a highly sought-after area. EDI implementations facilitate sharing and exchange of data that are routinely valuable and often confidential. Hence, the approach to handling security issues with EDI must also address data and information security — for companies, their partners and customers’ sake. Appropriately handling, encrypting, and storing all complex partner and customer data is extremely critical.
Useful Strategies: With modern data integration solutions, users have access to an end-to-end encrypted environment that allows only authenticated users. That is to say, only authenticated users can access partner data, which diminishes the risks of breaches and thefts greatly.
Don’t Forget the Bigger Picture
Apart from the top three challenges, companies looking to implement EDI must have a clear set of goals and a rock-solid understanding of their supply chains.
Fundamentally, they must look to deploy a solution that simplifies usage, management of systems, and helps companies drive their business outcomes and generate faster ROI.
By deploying a modern data integration solution, companies can reimagine their EDI capabilities to build faster data connections, speed up insights delivery, and upgrade their strategic and tactical decision-making and ultimately revenue.