Why Attend EDI Training?
EDI education is not as widely available as it should be. Most companies that implement
EDI use staff who are self-taught, or who attend their software vendor's training sessions.
This may seem sufficient for day-to-day EDI operations but in truth it's probably not adequate.
Personnel that are not effectively trained with EDI may not realize just how much power
EDI offers their workplace. In the end, the EDI user who has not taken an EDI class is not
going to be able to reap all the benefits that EDI has to offer.
To emphasize this point, let's consider a hypothetical but likely EDI implementation scenario.
Let's say a company has decided to implement EDI for the first time, and they decide to try
EDI invoicing first. The company will contract out for an EDI solution product or service
(a hosted online solution, perhaps, or an in-house translator). Then, they'll ask their IT
staff to install the solution on the Accounts Payable clerk's computer. The Accounts Payable
clerk and the IT staff will contact the software vendor for instructions on sending EDI invoices,
and become compliant with the customer's request.
The fundamental problem with this is that in the end, the Accounts Payable clerk, who now
fills the "EDI Coordinator" role in the company, isn't likely to appreciate or recognize
EDI's true potential for the company. Had the Accounts Payable person taken an EDI course
or an EDI seminar, he would realize the vast potential that is otherwise overlooked.
If a company is lucky, then the Accounts Payable clerk rises to the occasion and his
understanding of EDI grows. Eventually the AP clerk may become a better EDI professional
by implementing new EDI transactions writing implementation guidelines that will be used
by the company's trading partners.
But this is unlikely. Generally it takes years of experience and many different EDI
roles for a staff member to learn all there is to know about EDI and its best practices
implementation methods. Enrolling in an effective EDI seminar at the start would have been
the best idea. The goal of the EDI Academy is to expedite this process by providing training
in EDI fundamentals and best practices.
The EDI Academy currently offers a two-day course entitled "EDI Fundamentals and Best Practices"
and this involves four general sessions: Introduction to EDI; EDI Communication Methods;
Business Analysis and Mapping; and Strategies for Successful EDI Implementation. Attending
this EDI seminar vastly increases the potential for EDI implementation in your company.
The following is an excerpt from the "Strategies for Successful EDI Implementation" session:
EDI Implementation should not be an "IT" driven project. The objectives of EDI are to
satisfy business needs, for example, improve procurement processes, increase supply chain
efficiency, and reduce float time in financial or medical claims transactions. How many of
the examples mentioned sound like technical processes? The problem with EDI being an IT project
is that it gives the perception to other business units that EDI is a technical subject and we
will leave it to the technical folks to figure out. Even though the bulk of the work of actually
delivering the EDI solution will mainly involve IT people, the business stakeholders and the
project sponsors should be heavily involved in all steps of the implementation. It is the
business process requirements that go into the EDI implementation guidelines and not the other
way around. Whether you have the role of implementing a full blown EDI solution for your company
or if you are just adding a new transaction, try to make sure that your project sponsor is a
business process owner and not your technical team lead or IT Director.
In addition to the "EDI Fundamentals and Best Practices" course that is offered nationwide,
the EDI Academy offers private EDI training sessions tailored for individuals or small groups.