Questions to Ask When Hiring EDI Services Provider

A3Logics 22 Aug 2022


Finding an EDI service provider for your business can be quite challenging and daunting. Businesses struggle to find someone who can help them move their data carefully and efficiently so that the current business process is not at all hindered.

So, if you are also striving to discover the best EDI service provider in your town, but confused about how to do so, do not worry we have a perfect solution for you. Ask questions? Yes, you read it right. To find a  perfect EDI service provider for your business, the best thing is to prepare a set of questions to which you are seeking answers and ask the software development company, which you are planning to choose.

Today in this blog, we have simplified your task of preparing questions, prepared a few must-ask questions that you must ask the IT consulting company to get the best out of them and decide whether or not to choose them as your service partner. But before knowing them, let’s know a little more about EDI.


What is EDI?


Electronic data interchange (EDI) in simple language can be considered as the process wherein information is communicated electronically between two or more computers. it has proven to be a much more effective and efficient way of communication when compared to the traditional process in which business information such as purchase orders, invoices, etc was communicated on paper.


EDI came into existence in the early 70s, and there are a number of EDI standards namely X12, EDIFACT, ODETTE, etc.), EDI implies a sequence of messages between two parties where one party can be considered as sender while other behave as the receiver. EDI can be used for the first time in any particular organization or else it can also be used for expanding already available EDI infrastructure in certain organizations in order to support the number of business partners present all across the Globe.

EDI in the past was only used in selected sectors namely automotive and retail business. However, many organizations have shifted from traditional EDI service providers to providers offering enhanced and cloud-based solutions. For example: manufacturing, healthcare, utility, construction, and many more industries have moved to modern EDI platforms.


In the era where automation can be seen anywhere and everywhere with the presence of AI in all the leading industries you always want to be sure and take enough time to do your research before you choose any EDI service partner.


Now that you know what EDI is, now let us move to the list of a few questions, which you need to ask or a few things which you must look into, before finalizing your EDI service Partner.


Question 1: Which type of Transmission I should opt for, Direct EDI or VANs?


Direct EDI can be considered as Peer to Peer model wherein two devices communicate with each other when one acts as receiver other acts as sender and vice-versa, for e.g a pharmaceutical manufacturer might maintain a modem-pool wherein all of its supplier which might be more than hundred in numbers are required to dial into to perform EDI, however, if a supplier wants to business with more number of manufacturer it will require different software for each one them.

On the other hand, in order to overcome the limitation, we had in Direct EDI, Value-added networks (VANs) were designed. Here VAN acts as regional post office it identifies the messages with tag “to” and “from” and routes them to the final recipient it also provides a number of services such as Third-party audit information, retransmission of documents, handling telecommunication support and so on, it is generally used by large enterprises who deals with a number of suppliers and dealers.

So based on your business requirements, you can opt for any type of EDI services that fulfills your purpose.


Question 2: Can they make customer-centric solutions?


In today’s market where a customer is considered to be king, it is must opt for the EDI provider who is customer-centric, you need to see how quick and efficient they are when it comes to fixing any issue, how to determine they are towards your concerns, how dedicated they are to solve your queries they should not only depend on the knowledge of the technical team, but also on other teams who can coordinate to provide prompt response plus are capable of providing quick solution and make necessary changes so that your supply chain runs smoothly.


Question 3: Is your EDI provider all-rounder?


Whenever we buy any product or opt for any service we always make sure that it lasts for longer time horizon same is the case where you need to choose a company offering product engineering services whose products and services must be able to transform themselves as per your industry needs, you should ask your EDI software provider about a complete package that includes the solution you have asked for and is available most of the time, which can also be expanded as per requirement and should meet your business needs on time to time basis.


Question 4: What kind of services do they provide?


If your EDI services partner can offer you both managed and unmanaged services thing becomes much easy because with managed service you can unburden all your EDI processing to EDI vendor plus managed service will also offer the plan to manage specifications required by the trading partner along with monitoring of daily transactions and required technical support.

While in case of non-managed service you have access to all the tools required to manage EDI but you will require a team to manage specifications required by the trading partners and there would be manual monitoring of daily transactions.


Question 5: Ask for the portfolio to see the expertise in the industry you are in?


Asking for the portfolio is a must as this gives you an idea about the kind of work they have done in the past and also whether or not they have worked for the industry in which you are working or not. For e.g, if you are looking for retail and ecommerce solutions, you need to be sure that your EDI partner is well versed when it comes to consumer goods industries. It is necessary that your partner presents a demonstration showing that they have implement EDI successfully in quite a good number of related industries and are experts in implementing EDI in industries dealing with consumer goods.

Ensure any provider you are choosing for your company understands the complexity of your business and can run a supply chain, which consists of some of the vital factors such as supplier, managed inventory, order enquiries, order status, inventory status, and so on in a smooth manner.


Key Takeaway


The purpose behind asking a number of questions to the EDI provider is just to choose the best option available for yourself from the long list of options available which makes your business more efficient and effective than before with reducing cost and time. There are a number of EDI providers in the market, and based on your requirements and seeing the kind of services they offer, you must make the right choice.