Traditional method of measuring your EDI project investment, is done through the cost savings a company will achieve once it is live. Endless glorified sales presentations, glossy marketing graphics, and white papers demonstrate in a myriad of colorful charts showing how a solution will impact the bottom line. While cost savings are important, the culture of EDI is changing to embrace how a particular system will impact the overall effectiveness on the organisation.
An increasing number of organizations are looking past simple ROI to determine the true impact a system will have on the company. Once the blinders of dollar signs have been removed, other advantages to new EDI systems emerge.
Here are five areas to look at when determining the effectiveness of an EDI System.
The largest reason for automating data transfer between organizations is to increase the quality of service a company provides its customers. A high level of customer satisfaction equates to a greater level of customer retention. This strengthens the overall brand identity of the organization and turns customers into advocates with shared growth potential.
When evaluating an EDI solutions it is necessary to not only look at the impact it will have on your internal operations but also the operations of your customers and partners. A system that is adequate for you but cumbersome for those you do business with will end up hurting your business in the long run as you may find that you have fewer customers to transact data with.
Accuracy and Accountability
Closely tied to customer satisfaction is the ability to maintain a high level of accuracy in your data management. Even small defects in data integrity can cause massive problems not only for your business but for everyone you do business with. Duplicates and inaccuracies in data often can go undetected even in thoroughly tested systems.
A modern EDI system should accurately validate all data prior to transaction to uncover problems before they impact your operations. Should a problem occur, your EDI system should provide clear tracking of EDI data at every stage of the transaction so it can be rectified as quickly as possible.
Does your IT staff spend most of their time fixing problems or creating new solutions? One of the problems with complex business systems is the staff dedicated to managing them frequently spends more time fixing defects and putting out fires than it does doing the type of work that appeals to them. This leads to dissatisfied employees, high turn-over rates, and wasted resources.
By deploying an EDI system with a high rate of accuracy and a straightforward method to manage inconsistencies your IT resources can be reallocated to new projects. This equates to a higher level of organizational efficiency as these resources are free to manage other needed upgrades, participate in research and development, and discover new ways to expand your business through the intelligent application of technology.
Flexibility and Scalability
The only constant is change. New customers are acquired. New partnerships form. Companies create new products and services. Organizations combine through mergers and acquisitions. New standards and compliance requirements are announced. Everything changes and each change affects your EDI system. If your EDI system follows the tradition integration method, this means every time something changes the code that runs your EDI systems must also change.
When selecting an EDI solution, be mindful of how flexible it is to manage simple business changes, like adding a new trading partner or adapting to a changed data format. Today’s EDI solutions must be flexible enough to account for change at their core and be robust enough to scale with you, your partners, and your customers.
The IT infrastructure of today’s enterprise is a complicated mix of critical IT systems often with different but interrelated business functions. Adding to the complexity is the fact that these systems are often a mix of online, on-premises, and strictly cloud-based solutions which may be owned solutions or managed services.
It is essential that your EDI system not only be able to transact data with your trading partners but also integrate seamlessly into your overall IT ecosystem. By choosing an interconnected EDI system you can remove duplicate data management and generate a tremendous amount of business intelligence over a stand-alone EDI system.
By insuring that your EDI system accurately transacts data with you trading partners, is flexible enough to handle change, and seamlessly integrates into your complex business ecosystem, you will be able to devote your precious resources to expanding your business in new and exciting directions and provide a higher level of service to your customers.
About BOTS EDI
Bots EDI Solutions is a powerful platform that not only revolutionises EDI capabilities, but leverages market-leading open source software deployed across thousands of forward-thinking customers in multiple verticals. Find out more at www.appleyardsolutions.com.