With so many different EDI solutions and providers on the market, how do you go about choosing the right EDI solution for your needs?

The good news is that EDI, or electronic data interchange, is widely seen as offering huge benefits to companies keen to streamline and automate their data processing and transfer. EDI can bring long-term cost savings, reduce the administrative burden on in-house teams and support competitive advantage through the prospect of greater efficiency.

At the outset, it’s essential to analyse your requirements and agree what you want your EDI solution to achieve for you.

At the soft drinks manufacturer, AG Barr, for example, a key issue was the level of human errors creeping into order information from across the company’s complex distribution network. Every time a credit note had to be issued to rectify the error, it added to cost.

EDI solved the problem by removing the task of manual keying-in of orders. The result was a saving measured in hundreds of thousands of pounds over just a few months.

EDI solutions: from analysis to implementation

As well as accuracy, moving to an EDI solution can help free up your administrative and IT teams to focus on more revenue-earning activities. It can also help your relationship with trading partners, especially if they are already using EDI themselves.

What to remember when looking for your EDI solution

In analysing your requirements, firstly you will want to establish the level of in-house EDI experience you already have:

  • Most successful implementations involve good working relationships between the in-house resource and the external provider.
  • It’s a complex process to set up and implement an EDI solution that works and generally you can’t do it all yourself.
  • The bigger your trading network, the more there is to do to oversee connections and stay up to date.

Secondly, you will want to find an EDI provider who ‘gets’ what your business does and understands what you want to achieve, whilst also understanding the ‘tech bit’ of EDI. An EDI solution that can flex to accommodate variable rates of business messaging, while still optimising performance, is best.

You will also need to consider the budget – while it may be tempting to go for the lowest up-front price, this can be a false saving.

You will want to avoid what is traditionally known as a VAN, or value-added network. Under this model, you pay per transaction and data load, something that can lead to unexpected costs over time.

Ensure your provider offers ongoing maintenance and support, and is experienced in onboarding partners

Transalis eDI solutions

At Transalis, we make EDI simple.

Our Transalis eDI™ product solutions provide companies around the world with substantial cost savings and ‘no surprise’ pricing. Unlike many other EDI providers, at Transalis, everything, including unlimited message volumes, is included in an annual subscription.

There are four product solutions, depending on your needs…

eDI Essential is our ‘entry-level’ EDI solution, which can be instantly purchased online and is quick to set-up.

This EDI solution has been designed for companies requiring just one or two trading partners. This EDI solution is useful for organisations that have a partner that is a big retail brand that mandates its suppliers to use EDI, hence there is an instant need to demonstrate compliance to win and service contracts.

For organisations who are overseeing a complex supply chain and a large trading network we have our eDI Connect+ solution.

These organisations will typically connect with multiple trading partners, require unlimited message creation, and seek seamless integration with their existing ERP system. They will also want their EDI solution to provide them with advanced analytics for performance management.

Benefits of Transalis eDIsolutions

Frictionless business with our EDI solutions

Discussing the benefits of working with Transalis, AG Barr’s Integrated Systems Manager, John Thompson, says:

“There’s no doubt that Transalis has had a significant impact on reducing both the number and the value of our credit notes as part of electronic order processing. They have been really easy to work with, very helpful. They are great at keeping in contact. They put their finger on what we knew had been a pain and pinchpoint for a number of years. Our contact with them came at exactly the right time as we looked to improve our processes, do some business process engineering and upgrade our EDI. The benefits have gone beyond our original case about the cost of credit notes.

Being able to put orders automatically into the system is a big timesaver for all aspects of operational correspondence. The platform has made life easier for our customer service team. It really has made a positive difference. We are seeing ROI by having people focused on more value-added activity. Customer ratings and feedback also show we have improved customer satisfaction levels.”

For more information on EDI solutions and Transalis eDI™, check out our EDI product bundles at www.transalis.com/edi-product-bundles/. You can also get in contact with our expert team on 0845 123 3746 or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), and reach out via email sales@transalis.com