The Current EDI Environment
The goal of modern enterprise is end-to-end business integration. Because of the increasing importance of electronic commerce and EDI as core competencies in businesses today, integration of EDI information across an enterprise is extremely important. Integration of EDI data means that manual processes can be automated; turn rates increased and resources used most effectively.
Successfully integrating EDI data however can be difficult. Generally EDI is processed in batches using a broad range of formats, standards and modes of transportation requiring dedicated applications for processing. If not done properly, these specialized applications can actually become barriers instead of enablers.
The key to maximizing the value of the data processed through EDI is to be able to transform it into the formats needed by the various enterprise applications.
EDI in the Enterprise
For more than 25 years EDI has powered e-business and more than 80% of the B2B transmission of information uses EDI. It is used across virtually all industries, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, education and government agencies. Often referred to as a paperless technology. Using EDI, which is the electronic exchange of standardized business documents, can save more than $1,000,000 per year. EDI Integration can be a simple communications network that links the computer systems of various trading partners. Ideally this is accomplished with a minimum of human involvement, minimizing the associated error and cost. EDI is considered an investment in future savings and transaction process standardization.
The EDI Business Environment
EDI was developed to address inherent problems with paper-based methods of exchanging information.
Some of the obvious problems:
- Labor Intensive
- Not easily tracked
- No visibility into the process
- Data entry (often redundant)
- High error rate
EDI, properly implemented, addresses these problems. EDI technology can standardize the various document formats, allowing businesses to share content with the various back end business applications that support the enterprise. Enterprises of all sizes see efficiencies not only in reduced time in manually handling and entering the information, but also in improved accuracy and reduced re-work of exceptions. In addition, EDI technology is purposefully designed to insulate the user from the huge number of EDI formats and standards that exist. EDI technology standardizes the internal formats from the external EDI standard formats used for document exchange.
New Business Drivers:
- Virtual Enterprise
The Internet has radically altered traditional business models. The Internet provides a model that integrates trading partners into a single value chain. While this model depends heavily on the Internet, it enables the coordination of trading partners into a virtual enterprise, where the combined enterprises operate as a coordinated entity.
- Virtual Market Place
Virtual marketplaces are formed electronically, utilizing WEB technology. Buyers and sellers come together in a paperless environment. There are no paper based contracts, price sheets or schedules. This virtual marketplace increases an enterprise’s need for information beyond what traditional enterprise business systems can easily provide.
- Internet versus VANs
The Internet is driving major changes in how enterprises approach B2B (business to business). It is seen as a less expensive, more robust solution than traditional VANs. Couple that with its speed and flexibility and it is easy to see that the Internet will soon replace traditional VANs (Value Added Network) as the primary EDI transport vehicle.
The technology facilitating EDI has often been viewed as a separate part of an enterprise’s IT organization and hasn’t really been integrated into the overall architecture. In the past the integration often required complicated and costly custom coding.
EDI users cannot fully realize benefits of the Internet in eCommerce applications until business processes supporting EDI are optimized. This means automating and optimizing end-to-end process flows of EDI throughout the enterprise.
SYSPRO EDI translation software has been deployed at thousands of customers and is managing millions of EDI transactions dollars every day.
ERP and EDI are part of a larger system of enterprise technologies, process management, lean initiatives and profit center management. For businesses of every type, ERP is key to successful sustainability. With an ever increasing playing field, software and operations technologies are comingling forming the integrated enterprise. Purchase, lease, renting, pay-as-you-go, hosted or on premise are a few of the options offered to help your business benefit from the unrestrained management tools within ERP. Getting started, from the beginning, with the best ERP software is our wish for every business in every industry.
Did you know that SYSPRO continues to receive awards for its ERP software?