5 signs it’s time to switch your EDI provider | Transalis Blog

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Not all EDI providers are created equal. Sticking with a service that no longer meets your needs will hinder your company's efficiency and growth. If this sounds familiar, it's time to switch your EDI provider.

Despite the development of other technologies, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems still play a crucial role in maintaining efficient business operations across all industry verticals. Therefore, you must have a provider you can entrust with your company’s supply chain data and that can also support you as your business needs change.

Are you thinking about switching EDI?

If you're having challenges with your current EDI, talk to one of our specialist team about how we can help

1. Unreliable customer support: Don't accept second-best

When it comes to the world of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), having a provider you can rely on is crucial. EDI is all about the smooth, automated exchange of vital business documents between various systems and trading partners.

It’s technical, complex, and, let’s be honest, not something you want to manage without a strong support system in place. The need for accessible, knowledgeable, and quick-to-respond customer support can’t be overstated.

Imagine this: your supply chain is ticking along nicely until an unexpected event throws a spanner in the works. It could be anything from regional conflicts, a pandemic, extreme weather, or even a cargo ship taking an unplanned pause in the Suez Canal. These situations are tough to predict, but they demand quick action to switch trading partners or adjust operations to keep your business running smoothly.

If your EDI provider treats “urgent” as the new “whenever “, that’s a problem. Slow responses and a lack of proactivity in adapting to changes can leave your business vulnerable. You can read more on this subject here: The real cost of poor EDI support.

 

Over the past three years, we’ve maintained resolution and response SLAs in more than 99.5% of cases. But we don't rest on our laurels. These metrics are constantly under scrutiny, part of our core reporting, and always up for optimisation. It’s all about staying proactive and keeping those lines of communication as efficient as possible.”
Huw Davies, Customer Service Director

2. Unexpected Price Hikes: Avoid hidden EDI costs

Navigating the costs of EDI can sometimes feel like trying to solve a mystery.

If your current EDI setup involves paying Value-Added Network (VAN) charges, you might be paying more than necessary. Many EDI providers lean on VANs to ferry messages and documents to trading partners, a method that’s not only traditional but often comes with a hefty price tag.

Here’s the kicker with VANs: you’re charged for every single transaction, and the cost hinges on the number of characters in each document. This can lead to some eye-watering invoices, especially as these charges make it notoriously difficult to predict how much you’re going to spend on your EDI solution. It’s a bit like being on a mobile phone plan where you pay by the character in your texts – it’s outdated and can get expensive quickly.

As your business grows and your VAN traffic surges, these costs can escalate, effectively penalising you for success. Then, there are the surprises lurking in the small print—minimum record lengths, envelope costs, and other hidden charges that can sneak up on you.

When it comes to EDI, transparency in pricing is critical. You need a clear view of what you’re paying for without worrying about unforeseen charges that can throw your budget off course.

At Transalis, we believe in crystal-clear transparency. With us, what you see is what you get. No hidden fees, no sudden price hikes—just straightforward, honest pricing. The quote we give you is the price you’ll pay, end of story. We want you to feel confident and in control of your EDI costs without any nasty surprises.

3. The high cost of downtime: Ensure EDI reliability

Downtime in your EDI system is more than just an inconvenience; it’s a potential roadblock to crucial business operations.

Whether it’s about receiving a sales order or sending out a shipping notice, every minute counts. A delayed response might not just frustrate your customers; it could directly translate into lost business opportunities. It’s essential, then, to have an EDI agreement specifying response times and safeguarding your business against fallout from downtime. This clarity helps you avoid any unnecessary SLA fines or penalties that arise due to delayed operations.

Consider your own tolerance for downtime and weigh it against the safeguards your EDI provider has in place. It’s not just about having a contingency plan; it’s about understanding the specifics of these backup processes. What role, if any, will your teams need to play during these times? Being caught off guard is not an option.

For businesses operating across the globe, the demand for round-the-clock support becomes even more critical. With different time zones in play, ensuring business continuity means having a support system that’s always on and ready to address and resolve issues no matter when they arise.

At Transalis, we pride ourselves on offering an operational EDI solution 99.9% of the time. Our track record speaks to our commitment to reliability and our understanding of just how critical uptime is to your business operations. If your current provider can’t promise you this level of service, it’s a clear sign to reconsider your options,

4. Poor data security: Protect your business from financial and reputation damage

In today’s digital landscape, data security isn’t just a priority—it’s a necessity.

As cyber threats grow more sophisticated, ensuring that your EDI provider’s platform is fortified against attacks becomes crucial. Remember, you’re not just exchanging documents; you’re entrusting your provider with the lifeblood of your business operations. From invoices and purchase orders to shipment notices and financial details, the integrity of your data is paramount.

The consequences of inadequate data security in EDI systems are far-reaching and can impact your business on multiple fronts:

  • Data Breaches and Loss: Without stringent security measures, sensitive business information is at risk of exposure. This includes everything from financial data to proprietary insights and customer information.

  • Data Theft: Cybercriminals targeting your data can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and even competitive espionage, putting your business and its stakeholders at risk.

  • Non-compliance Penalties: Failure to comply with data protection regulations—be it GDPR in Europe, HIPAA in the US healthcare sector, or other global standards—can lead to severe legal consequences, inclu

  • Direct Financial Loss: The repercussions of a breach aren’t just theoretical; they translate into direct financial losses, from the theft itself to the costs associated with addressing the breach.

  • Operational Downtime: After a breach, systems may need to go offline for investigation and repairs, stalling operations and reducing productivity.

  • Reputational Damage: Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. A breach can irreparably damage the trust customers, partners, and stakeholders place in your business, affecting your bottom line and future partnerships.

  • Supplier and Partner Trust: If you can’t protect your data, suppliers and partners may think twice about their association with your company, as they are concerned about their own data security and compliance risks.

5. One size fits all: Choose the setup that's right for you

Choosing the right EDI setup is a critical decision that hinges on several factors: the number and diversity of your trading partners, your company’s size, your team’s EDI expertise, and your resource availability.

It’s essential to opt for an EDI provider that doesn’t box you into a one-size-fits-all solution but instead offers the flexibility to choose the setup that aligns with your specific needs. We take a look at the different options open to you:

  • On-premise EDI: Often viewed as a traditional approach, on-premise EDI solutions are housed entirely within your organisation. This setup requires your team to manage everything from installation and daily operations to updates for security and compliance. While it offers control, it demands significant technical expertise and relies on your internal servers and infrastructure. The high overheads and resource demands can make it an impractical choice for smaller businesses, highlighting its limitations in today’s fast-paced, budget-conscious environment.

  • Managed EDI services: For those looking to sidestep the complexities of an in-house system, partnering with a dedicated Software as a Service (SaaS) provider is an appealing alternative. SaaS EDI services are fully managed, lifting the burden of technical management off your shoulders. This model simplifies the EDI process, with the provider handling the setup, onboarding, and ongoing management. The cloud-based nature of SaaS EDI means you’re no longer tied to internal servers, allowing for remote access through a web browser or API, enhancing flexibility and accessibility.

  • Integrated EDI: Integrated EDI involves setting up a direct, automated exchange of documents between the EDI system and the business’s internal systems (such as ERP, WMS, or accounting software). This approach requires integrating EDI software directly with internal business systems, allowing for the automatic real-time processing of orders, invoices, and other documents without manual intervention.

  • EDI Web portal: For companies with limited EDI needs, such as those with a single trading partner or simple message types, a web-based platform may be more appropriate. Web portal EDI uses a web-based interface to enter or upload business documents manually. This can be done by converting documents into the required EDI format through the portal. Users can access the EDI system through any web browser, making it device and location-agnostic. It does not require direct integration with internal business systems, making it simpler to set up and use for businesses without the need for automated data exchange.

It’s essential to opt for an EDI provider that doesn’t box you into a one-size-fits-all solution but instead offers the flexibility to choose the setup that aligns with your specific needs.

Making the switch

Feeling stuck with your current EDI provider is more common than you might think, especially when your operations feel deeply intertwined with their service. The prospect of changing providers can seem daunting, possibly even disruptive. But what if we told you that switching to a more reliable, responsive, cost-effective EDI solution could be seamless and straightforward?

At Transalis, we’ve crafted our onboarding process with your peace of mind as our top priority. Recognising the importance of a smooth transition, we provide you with a dedicated implementation and onboarding team. Their mission? To take the weight off your shoulders by directly liaising with all your trading partners and managing the entire onboarding process from start to finish. This means you don’t have to worry about switching your EDI provider; we’ve got it covered.

We meticulously run a parallel setup alongside your existing provider to ensure a seamless transition. This approach allows us to onboard all trading partners and thoroughly test connections without disrupting your ongoing operations. Only when we’re confident that everything is running perfectly will we make the switch, transitioning you to Transalis’s EDI platform.

Get in touch

Take the first step towards a better EDI solution today. Book a meeting with our EDI onboarding specialists and discover how Transalis can transform your EDI experience by offering the support, service, and savings your business deserves.


eDI Software

Want to discuss the challenges your facing with your current EDI? Talk to our dedicated team: book a meeting, call directly on 0845 123 3746 (UK callers) or +44 1978 369 343 (international callers) or even email an enquiry via sales@transalis.com.


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