How to Choose between the Different EDI Companies

If you are looking for an EDI (electronic data information) provider, you may feel quite overwhelmed. That is because there are many EDI companies out there and they all claim to be the best one. Choosing between them is a decision not to be taken lightly because EDI is critical to business operations. However, if you know what to look for, you should be able to find the right company for your needs.

Choosing between Various EDI Companies

The most important things to look for in an EDI provider include:

  1. That existing customers of the solution are happy to speak to prospective customers and discuss their experience. A good company will provide reviews and case studies.

  2. That the solution can fully integrate with the various trading partners you already work with, irrespective of what types of technical capabilities they have, their data formats, their connection protocols, and the systems they use in their back office.

  3. That the solution is scalable to your needs, focusing particularly on functionality, volume, and usage.

  4. That the company will implement and onboard the system on your behalf. They should provide you with a full project plan for this and give you a clear timescale as well.

  5. That there is full transparency in terms of what is and isn’t included in the service. Additionally, they should thoroughly test the system and look after mapping.

  6. That they provide excellent customer support as and when you need it, preferably 24/7, and that the cost for this is reasonable.

  7. That the solution is stable and reliable and that they guarantee an SLA (Service Level Agreement).

  8. That the solution is fully secure and meets all the relevant standards.

  9. How the price is worked out, which could be variable or fixed. Full transparency about what is included in the cost should also be provided and you should know whether there are any upfront costs or even hidden costs.

  10. Whether the solution is solely a basic EDI or whether other functionalities can also be included. For instance, you may also require supplier performance management and business activity monitoring (BAM).

With these 10 pointers, you should be able to at the very least gain a complete understanding of what the different EDI companies are offering you. It is then up to you to determine which one is most suitable to your needs. That means that your starting point should be a full understanding of your business and its internal and external partners.

It is recommended that you investigate at least five different companies according to the 10 pointers above. This will allow you to see the difference in prices and levels of service and determine what is fair and what is not. Don’t be afraid to ask multiple questions before coming to a decision. Do also avoid simply choosing the cheapest one. Instead, what you should look for is good value for money, which means you get the best service at the most affordable price. As a rule of thumb, you can dismiss both the cheapest and the most expensive quotation you have received.

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