Implementing EDI is an expensive, frustrating, and time-consuming process for almost everyone. Because of this, what may happen if the requirements of your retailers change? You must make coordinating changes to the EDI implementation. This requires you to get back in there, rewrite some code, send test transactions, receive the results, alter the code, re-test, and then repeat the process until a successful transmission is achieved. 

Instead of complaining about this process’s daunting nature, it is a good idea to focus on finding and eliminating the most common bottlenecks related to establishing EDI connections. 

Gather Requirements 

If you are the manufacturer, then your retail partners know you require access to their storefront to sell the products you make. Because of this, they expect you to meet the data requirements they have in place to do business. 

For situations where you don’t understand these retailers’ data requirements, you will be on your own. While your retail partners may want you to have a positive onboarding experience, they don’t have the inclination or usually the manpower to spend hours explaining everything to you. 

This means it is up to you to meet sometimes cryptic requirements. These may involve AS2 protocol, FTP, or value-added networks. 

Studying and Learning the ERP System

Even if you use ERP each day, it doesn’t mean you know the best ways to get data from it. If you have a modern ERP in use, you should have some decent documentation available. If you are using an older, legacy ERP, the person who created it may no longer be part of the company. At this point, it will likely be necessary to rely on other’s knowledge to get the system to do what you need it to. This is not an efficient way to run a business or get things done. 

Setting Triggers 

The process of data extraction is just a single factor you must keep in mind. When developing EDI implementation, you must also think about what will start the transmission of documents. For example, do you have trading partners who want to receive documents throughout the day in real-time? Or would it be easier for you to send these in batches when you aren’t as busy?

Extracting Data

When you first implement an ERP, extracting data manually may make sense. However, what about in the future? Chances are, you don’t want to have to do this indefinitely. As your business grows, data extraction can be a distraction. You may not have a plan to scale up, which can leave you struggling to keep up. Now is the time to begin looking into automatic data extraction methods to simplify this process. 

If you want to avoid the time wasters that are associated with EDI implementation, it may be best to work with the professionals. They can evaluate your business’s needs and help you make decisions that best suit your business’s needs now and in the foreseeable future.