EDI Implementation

EDI Implementation Concerns

EDI Implementation is not a simple task, EDI is not technically complex. There are a number of ways to learn about EDI, including: periodicals, commercially available training programs, EDI conferences and trade shows, software and network suppliers, and the experience of companies already participating in EDI.

Costs and benefits

Hardware costs often are mentioned as a major barrier to implementation of EDI, followed closely by software development. Almost all organizations already have the necessary hardware to perform EDI. While software costs can be substantial in a full-blown implementation of EDI, off-the-shelf software packages can be purchased for many EDI applications, with only minimal in-house development required.

Concerning who benefits most from EDI, human nature being what it is, potential EDI users often believe that the benefits of EDI are unevenly split between trading partners, with their own organization on the short end of the agreement. The truth is, without benefits for both partners, EDI would have long since faded from the business landscape.

Getting along without paper

Paper has been around for hundreds of years. But while a fully deployed program of EDI can eliminate paper, it doesn’t eliminate the information that was on the paper. And the information is what we really need. For those times when paper is absolutely necessary, a paper copy of any EDI transaction can be produced.

Partner relationships

Buyers have expressed concern that EDI will reduce the number of contacts between buyer and seller and will thus make the relationship more impersonal. Salespeople also have expressed a fear that EDI will weaken buyer-seller ties. EDI does change relationships between trading partners. However, because of the cooperation required to implement and maintain EDI, the changes tend to reflect a movement away from an adversarial relationship to one based on cooperation, thereby strengthening ties rather than destroying them.

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