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10 Things You Should See in EDI Service Providers In 2023

Many businesses struggle to take their data management and exchange processes to the next level. They may be using an outdated Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) solution, or they may not be using EDI at all. 

If your business needs better data management, you may want to consider finding an EDI service provider. Here is an introduction to EDI and 10 considerations when looking for EDI service providers in 2023.

Overview of EDI implementation

In an increasingly digitized world, businesses must also change how they operate. Many companies are now turning to EDI to manage their workflows better.

According to statistics, the global EDI software market size is estimated to reach a whopping $4.04 billion by 2029, compared to $1.88 billion in 2022.

What is EDI? 

EDI is the electronic interchange of business information following a standard format. It’s generally used to streamline transactions between companies. This process was once done using paper documents that had to be mailed back and forth, however, EDI now enables businesses to exchange data electronically and quickly.

What is the difference between EDI and non-EDI?

While EDI refers to the process of electronically exchanging business data in a pre-defined format between systems, non-EDI is the traditional way of exchanging information without any pre-defined format. This would include using paper documents or even emailing attachments back and forth. Non-EDI can be very timeconsuming and expensive due to mailing costs. Non-EDI formats can include: Fixed length flat files, Variable length flat files, Binary files, to name a few.

Benefits of EDI software to a business’s supply chain 

EDI can be powerful to the business supply chain, automating and speeding up processes that would traditionally be done manually or through ineffective processes. Various organizations, including retailers, manufacturers, and distributors, can use EDI software to automate processes and improve data accuracy. It can maximize efficiency, improve overall experience, minimize errors throughout the supply chain, and provide the following key benefits:

  • Order management: If your business wants the most efficient way to fulfill orders, EDI is the solution. EDI can automate the process of orders being placed with suppliers and keep up with customer demands. This way, businesses have a way to quickly and easily place orders with suppliers.
  • Inventory management: EDI can also help businesses keep track of inventory levels. By integrating with your company’s accounting software, you can get real-time updates on what needs to be restocked. This helps avoid stock-outs and keeps the supply chain running smoothly.
  • Shipping and logistics: One of the major benefits of EDI is its ability to streamline shipping and logistics. In tandem with a company’s shipping software, businesses can automatically generate labels and track shipments. 

Top 10 Considerations for Selecting Your EDI Service Provider

To ensure your business is ready for the new year, you’ll want an efficient and reliable EDI service provider. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when selecting one:

1. What kind of integration is there? Do they support all formats?

A good place to start is to make sure the provider can integrate with all the software you’re using. Finding an EDI service provider that uses an Application Programming Interface (API) for integration is recommended to make it easier to connect with your existing systems. 

Integrated solutions are important because they can automate processes and make it easier to manage data. 

2. Are they industry-agnostic?

Your EDI provider should not be specific to any one industry. This is because your business might branch out into new markets and you don’t want to change providers. An agnostic provider will also be able to give you a more objective perspective on how best to use EDI in your business and cater to your unique needs. 

3. What deployment models do they use?

There are three main deployment models for EDI: on-premise, cloud-based, and hybrid. On-premise means the EDI software is installed and managed on your company’s servers. Cloud-based solutions are hosted by the provider and accessed through the internet. 

Hybrid deployments use a combination of both on-premise and cloud-based resources. The best option for you will depend on your company’s size and needs, budget, and IT infrastructure.

4. How long do they take to implement EDI?

Time to implementation is important, as you don’t want your business to be disrupted for too long. A good provider can give you a timeline for implementation and stick to it. As EDI can be difficult to set up, it’s important to ensure your provider has a good track record with other clients. 

5. Do they have an industry understanding in which you operate? 

You should ensure that the provider you choose has a good understanding of your industry and your company’s specific needs. This way, they can help you select the best EDI software for your business and ensure a smooth transition to using it. 

For example, your provider should be familiar with HIPAA compliance if you’re in the healthcare industry. Or, if you’re in the retail industry, your provider should know about EDI for e-commerce. 

6. Do they have a technological understanding?

You’ll also want to make sure that your provider has a good understanding of the technology you’re using. They should be able to support you and help you troubleshoot any issues you may have. 

Additionally, they should be up-to-date on the latest EDI software and standards so that you can be confident your business is using the best possible solution. 

7. Is it a secure platform? 

EDI data is often sensitive, so it’s important to ensure that your provider has a secure platform. Also, 80% of all cyber breaches happen in the supply chain, and 72% of companies don’t have full visibility into their supply chains. The platform should comply with industry security standards like HIPAA and PCI DSS.

8. Is the solution user-friendly? 

One of the most important things to consider when choosing an EDI service provider is whether or not their solution is user-friendly. After all, you don’t want your employees to waste time figuring out how to use the software. 

A good EDI service provider will offer a solution that is easy to use and comes with training and support so your employees can be up and running quickly.

9. Is the solution scalable?

As your business grows, you’ll want an EDI solution that can scale with you. A good EDI provider will offer a scalable solution so that you can add on features and functionality as needed. This way, you won’t have to switch providers down the road when your business expands.

10. What is the reputation of the partner and support? 

Finally, select an EDI service provider with a good reputation. You can check online reviews and talk to other businesses in your industry to see what they recommend. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure the provider offers good customer support if you have any problems using their software. 

Why choose PartnerLinQ?

As you browse EDI service providers that can offer all of these things, you’ll want to keep PartnerLinQ in mind. We’re a leading provider of EDI solutions and have over 25 years of experience helping businesses with their data exchange needs. With PartnerLinQ, our digital platform for communication with EDI and non-EDI partners, you can take full control of your supply chain.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, request a demo tooday and learn more about PartnerLinQ and how it can help you transform your supply chain ecosystem.

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