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Four Questions to Ask Before Modernizing Your EDI Tools

The next generation of business growth will be driven by successful ecosystem integration powered by modern EDI approaches.

There are some great pleasures we get in deploying new technology. Whether it be a new iPhone, the latest battery-extending laptop, or that Ultra HD 4K TV, upgraded technology often means better performance, faster processing, and an enhanced user experience. It's likely a similar feeling when we modernize our business IT systems and specifically, our EDI tools.

From lowering costs, streamlining efficiency, and onboarding trading partners faster, a digital transformation strategy can help better serve your customers and actually improve how you do business. Those businesses that have yet to embark on an IT modernization plan, however, will struggle to reap such benefits at a time when the competition is likely already realizing them.

One of the most impactful ways an organization can ensure current and future success is by modernizing how it manages its electronic data interchange (EDI) workflows. EDI has been around for a long time and continues to be a core component of B2B processes today. But EDI has evolved so much since its inception that businesses must continue to evolve along with it. 

EDI remains the technical foundation for most supply chain activities, so embarking on a plan to modernize your EDI integration technology will provide numerous benefits to your important B2B and ecosystem interactions.

What EDI Modernization Really Means

When we think about EDI, we tend to think about an enterprise moving standardized data between its trading partners and customers, both into and out of an ERP system. However, in 2019, EDI goes further than simply moving data from one place to another. EDI has grown to enable end-to-end data processing through your business ecosystem.

EDI modernization is the process that extends B2B integration and automation capabilities more than just traditional EDI. The legacy EDI solutions most organizations have been working with for years simply cannot deliver the entire B2B process that your organization now requires. That’s why modern EDI software integrates all your EDI processes into your other workflows for true end-to-end processing and visibility into the trading partner relationships driving revenue.

As you’re considering whether to modernize your IT systems and transform your digital business, ask yourself a few questions to better understand how modern EDI integration tools would help enable your important business outcomes.

1. Can My Existing IT Environment Stand Up to Higher Volumes?

Of course, you want your business to grow to heights previously unrealized. But with new business comes new responsibility. As your company and its ecosystem grow, it becomes more complex to manage the higher transactional volumes that come with serving more customers. Your business needs the ability to scale quickly and efficiently, and taking on new customers should not be viewed as a headache. The process must be simplified, but if you are trying to scale a homegrown solution or a traditional EDI managed service provider, who’ll likely charge for every change to partner configuration or map, the costs are going to grow out of control. A modern EDI integration platform should help you scale smarter.

2. Are We Constantly Penalized for Missing Documents or Failed Transactions?

It’s no secret that missing a customer’s service level agreement (SLA) or a deadline on a new trading partner requirement can prove costly. Your reputation is everything, and the last thing you want is for potential customers or trading partners to think that you are unreliable. Well, that’s precisely what will happen if you are constantly falling short on your obligations to the members of your business ecosystem. If that becomes the norm, and not a rare occurrence, your customers are going to quickly seek out your competitors.

3. What is the Price to Modernize vs. the Cost of a Data Breach?

Much of the tried-and-true legacy EDI software companies have relied on for so long is no longer being updated by their vendors. Once that happens, your company is at risk of falling out of compliance when a trading partner has a new requirement or a new mandate like GDPR comes out. There’s also the reality that when something goes wrong with these legacy solutions, you no longer have someone to call to fix it. A lack of ongoing support means it’s a matter of time before you’re hampered with incompatible software, poor performance, and increased SLAs and security risks. Do you really want to put your business at risk because you didn’t want to upgrade your EDI?

4. How Easy Is It to Sleuth EDI File Transfer Errors?

Custom-coded EDI solutions can lead to a brittle and complex infrastructure that becomes increasingly difficult to manage. Those same systems also do not offer centralized monitoring, reporting, and visibility into your EDI and non-EDI transactions. The result: Your IT teams may never even know a file didn’t go through or an error happened until they hear about it from the customer, and then they waste valuable time and resources trying to figure out the root cause. Your business relies on its ability to interact with its B2B trading partners, and the information you need to monitor and act on your EDI processes should be comprehensive, accessible, and understandable.

It’s Time to Start Doing Strategic EDI

Compelling events like business growth often force companies to re-evaluate their needs. But being unable to efficiently support EDI transactions, as well as the non-EDI ones, are going to limit how fast you’re able to grow. But what if you had such a good relationship with your trading partners that you were known as the easiest company in your industry to do business with? Potential customers and trading partners would be lined up out your door.

Cleo Integration Cloud bridges the gap from traditional EDI models to make sure you have full connectivity, visibility, and support for non-standard document syntaxes. This modernized EDI platform provides the flexibility, scalability, and comprehensive end-to-end processing power that’s critical to business today.

The next generation of business growth will be driven by successful ecosystem integration powered by modern EDI approaches. Download “10 Reasons Why You Must Modernize Your EDI” to take advantage of all the value-generating capabilities that a modern EDI platform has to offer.

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