The EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) consists of connecting various information systems (ERP / CAPM) using a common computer language. EDI allows the automation of the sending and recording of all electronic transactions with your partners, by interfacing with your ERP or CAPM. But how to switch to EDI and especially how to complete successfully your EDI project?
The EDI project: an integral part of strategy
Switching to EDI is a strategic choice that improves the performance of your company. Indeed, there are a large number of advantages associated with setting up an EDI project, such as:
- Time saving
- Reduction of paper documents and therefore of costs
- Reduction of processing and invoicing times
- Reduction of human errors
- Trade traceability.
The implementation of an EDI project
To complete an EDI project successfully, it is important to define all of the essential steps of the implementation.
First, it is important to define the objectives to be achieved through the implementation of the EDI project. This step will make it possible to organize the project in a relevant way according to the needs of your company and to establish a list of prerequisites (technical characteristics, needs, availability of equipment, material and human resources, etc.).
It is also essential to determine the interlocutors, both internally (dedicated technical teams) and externally (customers, suppliers, EDI providers, etc.). The project team must be made up of people with skills that will ensure smooth and efficient coordination between the different departments (IT, logistics, commercial, etc.).
If you choose to run an EDI project with an external provider, as with any project, it is essential to place great importance on the choice of the provider.
The choice of the EDI provider
There are 5 key indicators to take into account when choosing an EDI partner:
- Choose a customer-oriented and responsive EDI partner: it is necessary to choose a partner who has a reliable, responsive and available team.
- Select an EDI provider with several strings to its bow: opt for a provider who is also an editor of its own EDI software, which ensures you to evolve jointly and to have a great flexibility in the support of your company with various solutions, the most suitable.
- Choosing an EDI partner with relevant references on your market will ensure you to get the best advice.
- Paying attention to simplicity, flexibility and reliability, the right EDI partner must be able to meet your needs with adapted and intuitive solutions.
- Ask for references, do not hesitate to contact the customers of the various providers chosen to judge their satisfaction, because this is the best proof of quality that exists.
The implementation of the EDI project
The next step is to deploy the EDI solution: the technical phase then begins.
The service provider you have chosen will take care of setting up with you the most suitable EDI system to best meet your needs. Several solutions can be considered depending on the size of your company, the volume of flows managed by the system, the autonomy of your teams, etc. EDI solutions in hosting or under license can be installed.
Once the solution is installed, the stage of developing mappings will begin. This involves translating the output file from your ERP so that it can be “integrated” by your partner’s ERP. The output file from your ERP will therefore be translated in most cases to a so-called standardized file (EDIFACT, ANSCII12, etc.).
Following the mapping phase, it will be important to carry out a test phase in “real conditions” with the project team present at the various stages of the EDI project, before its effective production. After validation of the tests guaranteeing the proper functioning of the EDI project, we move on to production.
It is not finished, to guarantee maximum success, your project must benefit from a follow-up to ensure the good progress of the solution (project evolution, technical support …) resulting from a good communication as well as good relations with your EDI provider.
In addition, you should know that your project can be constantly enriched, with the addition of new partners, new messages …
For any other questions about the implementation of an EDI project or if you would like to learn more about the solutions offered by TX2 CONCEPT, contact us.