It stands to reason that moving just about any business process to the cloud could make it faster, cheaper, and more flexible. But don’t assume that just because a service bills itself as a cloud EDI solution, it can meet the demanding needs of both you and your trading partners.
In our last article, we focused on some of the biggest headaches of EDI implementation. Now, we’ll walk you through the ways in which the right cloud EDI solution can help you eliminate these headaches.
There are at least eight steps—and thus, eight major headaches—in the process of building an EDI integration with a trading partner. Here’s how the right cloud EDI solution can help you streamline or automate each of these steps.
Make sure the solution you choose is already connected to hundreds of trading partners, thus eliminating the need for you to do all the coding work necessary in meeting their requirements. With a partner like that, all you’ll have to do is connect to the platform and start trading.
Your EDI vendor should also provide standard ERP integration pipes to the leading ERP and accounting solutions. Using one of these pipes eliminates the need for you to know the intimate details of how your ERP system structures and exports data.
This is one step in the process that’s going to require your input no matter what. You need to tell your EDI solution what kinds of business events should trigger the transmission of a document. Just make sure your EDI platform makes this as easy as possible (look for point-and-click simplicity, rather than writing code).
If you’ve chosen a cloud EDI solution with a standard integration pipe, your solution will simply extract the data when the time comes. You and your staff can rest assured that you’re giving your trading partner the data they need.
Here’s another area where the right cloud EDI solution can make your job much easier. Make sure you choose a platform that can consume XML or JSON output and automatically map it to the required EDI format. This will eliminate another “To Do” item from your staff’s list.
You know how you have to drop your trading partners a line to tell them that you’re going to be sending test EDI transmissions and they should be on the lookout? With the right cloud solution, you can use an API service to validate your data before you even send it to your trading partner.
Your testing process should happen on your own time. The right cloud EDI platform will let you self-service test against your trading partner’s requirements and get instant feedback on whether the test transmission was successful. Your team can then iterate and re-test.
Once you’ve built a functional EDI integration and successfully tested it, you shouldn’t have to call your trading partner and schedule a go-live date—you should just start trading. This is easy to do when your platform lives in the cloud.
The cloud EDI solution we’ve described isn’t just a theoretical concept that could be developed within the next five to 10 years. It’s already here.
Orderful helps bring EDI and B2B data trading into the modern age. It handles millions of EDI and B2B transactions each month for customers ranging from Fortune 500 to startups.
Find out more about how it works in our new white paper,
“Why EDI Is Such a Headache for Suppliers—and What You Can Do About It.”
© Orderful 2019.