EDI (electronic data interchange) has become an essential element in the management of commercial exchanges between companies. Implementing an effective EDI solution often requires the expertise of an EDI provider. However, there are two types of service providers: editors and integrators of EDI solutions.
An editor develops software. An integrator implements the solution developed by the editor at a third party. It is common for an editor to be the double-hat and be also an integrator. How do you choose between these two options to find the best partner for your business?
In this article, we'll look at the pros and cons of working with one or the other. We will also review the criteria to consider when choosing a supplier and the questions to ask to assess the skills and reliability of an editor or integrator. The objective of this article is to help you make an informed decision to choose the best partner for deploying an effective EDI solution.
Integrator of EDI solutions
An integrator is an intermediary between an editor and a client. His role is to understand the needs of his client, his processes and business constraints in order to offer him the most suitable solution.
As part of an EDI project, the integrator undertakes to meet the specifications established by his client or by his major contractor. He also commits to a budget and an implementation schedule.
An EDI software integrator offers functionality customization, consulting and support services based on the specific needs of each company. Their know-how facilitates the integration of an EDI system with most ERP and CRM companies. This makes the transition to an EDI solution easy.
On the other hand, due to its position as an intermediary, choosing an integrator can lengthen the deadlines. This is why it is necessary to ensure that everyone's roles are well defined. In addition, the cost may be higher because maintenance contracts are cumulative. Even if you opt for an integrator, your maintenance contract will also include that of the editor because it is essential to benefit from software updates.
EDI solution editor
As mentioned above, an editor designs EDI software. Generally, he is also an integrator. This allows you to have a single point of contact for the entire project. You thus have a sales team, an R&D team, a project team and a support team at your editor-integrator.
The main advantage is the perfect mastery of the software offered and of the project’ life. The editor guides you at every step. Working directly with the company that develops the solution has many advantages: customization is easier, the response time is shorter and you have direct access to the latest developments. This gives you a more responsive and often more reliable service.
The EDI solutions offered by editors are ready to use, which allows faster implementation.
Now that you know more about these two types of EDI providers, let's see how to choose the best partner for your business.
How to choose between an editor and an integrator of effective EDI solutions?
Your decision depends on several key factors, such as your specific customization needs, cost, etc. Here are some considerations to keep in mind to help you choose:
Analyze your needs
It is important to analyze your company's EDI software needs. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the volume of documents and type of data that you currently exchange with your trading partners?
- Do you have specific needs in terms of customization and functionalities?
- Should integration with your ERP or other management software be planned?
- Do you have the specifications of your partners or do you want to be supported for the drafting of your specifications in order to embark all your suppliers in EDI?
- Is there an implementation deadline imposed on you?
- Do you need extensive technical support for your EDI solution?
By answering these questions, you will be able to better understand your expectations and thus pass them on to your future service provider. He will have all the tools in hand to offer you the right software.
Check industry expertise
It is always better to choose a partner who has experience in your industry. You make sure that he knows and masters your business constraints.
Watch testimonials and clients reviews
Researching clients’ testimonials can help you understand the pros and cons of working with an EDI editor or integrator. Check the websites of various suppliers and don't hesitate to ask them for references to get a good idea of the customer experience and their EDI skills.
Trust the numbers
Whether it is an editor or an integrator, certain key figures can guide you in your decision. You can, for example, look at the date of creation of the company. Seniority can be a guarantee of seriousness and quality. Also check the financial health of your potential future partners.
Costs are an important factor to consider when choosing EDI solutions. In addition to analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each offer, it is obvious that you must compare the quotes.
By considering these factors, you will be able to make an informed decision tailored to the needs of your users.
Editor-integrator: the best of both worlds!
What if the best choice was not to choose? In the EDI industry, it is common for editors to also be integrators. This is particularly the case with TX2 CONCEPT!
By using an editor-integrator, you are accompanied throughout your project by a single partner whose expertise ensures an effective implementation. In the end, the criteria for selecting your provider are identical.
At TX2 CONCEPT, the heart of our solutions was created by our engineers. You benefit from personalized support for your projects.
Do not hesitate to contact us or make an appointment with one of our experts. We would be delighted to advise you and support you in the deployment of an EDI solution adapted to your needs.