Top 5 EDI Problems and Solutions

If you’re new to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or on the fence about using it, you likely have some questions. Any system has its pros and cons. We’ve created a list of the most common problems — and their solutions — so you can make an informed decision.

The most common challenges when implementing an EDI system 

  1. Sending or receiving EDI data in a customer’s preferred format
  2. EDI complexity and cost of implementation 
  3.  Having an extensive trading partner network (or a very small network)
  4. Customers requiring your business to become EDI compliant
  5. Not having enough resources available to begin EDI operations 

Problem: Sending or receiving EDI data in a customer’s preferred format

EDI standards began to emerge in the 1970s, and there are now various EDI formats used by different industries, like ANSI ASC X12.

Although they must conform to standards, individual implementations vary by industry and trading partner. For example, Walmart and Target are in the same industry, but their EDI implementations differ. 

What’s the solution?

There are a few solutions to this challenge. Managing your own in-house EDI translator, using an outsourced EDI translator like Edict Systems’ Cloud-based Data Mapping, or meeting the customer’s EDI implementation guidelines can help you ensure your EDI data is in the correct format. 

Problem: EDI complexity and cost of implementation  

Although EDI eliminates the costs and issues associated with paper-based transactions, in-house implementation and maintenance has its own costs and potential issues. In-house EDI operations still require software, programmers and other staff, maintenance/upgrades, and equipment.

What’s the solution?

Outsourced EDI services can offset some costs. There are a few options here: 

  • Work with an EDI provider who has the expertise needed to implement EDI successfully.
  • Use a subscription-based solution like Edict Systems’ WebEDI service, a web-based solution where you only pay for the number of documents used.
  • Work with an EDI provider that offers integration with an existing business system for easier setup. Edict Systems’ Integrated EDI solutions can serve any business system, regardless of data type. 

Problem: Having an extensive trading partner network (or a very small network)

A large network of customers may mean having to maintain and map to a number of your customers’ specific EDI implementation guides. On the other hand, introducing EDI operations as a partner with a limited number of annual transactions may seem costly and difficult to justify.

What’s the solution?

Work with an EDI provider that offers solutions for businesses of all sizes, large and small. For large businesses, a solution like cloud-based data mapping handles translation for multiple customer EDI implementations, ensuring data meets the needed specifications. For small businesses, a solution with prices based on the number of documents used is ideal because it is more cost-effective.

Problem: Customers requiring your business to become EDI compliant

Whether a customer has introduced an EDI initiative or has requested you begin exchanging business documents with EDI, you may need to become EDI compliant quickly. 

What’s the solution?

Getting started with EDI doesn’t have to be difficult. An EDI provider will have options for those just getting started with EDI to make sure they reach EDI compliancy. Edict Systems’ WebEDI service is a subscription-based EDI solution to help businesses become EDI compliant quickly without having to manage in-house EDI operations. 

You can easily function as an EDI trading partner while speeding the transfer of business documents, eliminating lost paperwork, reducing administrative phone calls with customers, and minimizing chargebacks, all without knowing EDI. 

Problem: Not having enough resources available to begin EDI operations 

Some companies are still using other methods of data exchange and manual data entry — for any of the reasons already mentioned above. 

What’s the solution?

Outsourced EDI solutions make getting started with EDI possible, without using a significant number of in-house resources. Many EDI solutions allow businesses to focus their resources on core business needs rather than using valuable resources on EDI, saving them time and lowering costs. 

Whether your needs are partial to full outsourced EDI solutions, consider an EDI provider that offers a variety of solutions that can meet the needs of your business. At Edict Systems, we offer a subscription-based solution for businesses with a small number of yearly transactions, and options for those looking for EDI that integrates into an existing business system. 

Learn more about EDI 

Visit our guide to EDI to learn more about: 

  • EDI’s history 
  • What data can be shared
  • How an EDI implementation would work

Read EDI Guide

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