EDI Implementation: Organizational Structure And Strategic Planning
EDI Implementation is a complex process that covers both the internal operations of the company and partner relationship. To have successful end-result of any EDI Implementation one should develop a special strategy for reaching the highest effectiveness. Today we give the first portion of the needed steps to successful and effective EDI Implementation.
Organize corresponding structure
First of all, you must be sure that EDI Implementation process is under control, so there must be a person responsible and a group of specialists. The EDI team will manage the program and processes of EDI integration.
The role of responsible person (EDI coordinator) should be given to a person with profound EDI integration experience. He can be either a company team member or a hired specialist. Then there must be a group of managers (heads of departments and legal representatives) united in a steering committee headed by an EDI coordinator. And specialists actually responsible for practical EDI integration work in EDI team.
The communication between all the specialists involved in the implementation process, as well as all company departments, must be on-going and controlled by an EDI coordinator.
Company can benefit from EDI in different areas and in some of them it can benefit earlier and with higher effectiveness. A review must be conducted in order to track where your business has more potency with EDI. This sets priorities for EDI deployment.
Also you must analyze your business operations – how many trading partners you have, which of them are already using EDI, which and how many transactions can be converted to EDI format, where your customers can benefit from EDI. All the company systems and functional areas should be studied in order to understand how EDI implementation can improve them.
Sometimes EDI is compared to automation and it is wrong. The influence of EDI on processing goes far beyond. That is why analyzing where you can benefit from EDI most, you should not think about automation but consider which area can be improved, e.g. eliminating data entry, reducing manual efforts and inventory, improving customer service, speeding-up goods delivery, facilitating trading relationship.
As soon as you highlight the priorities in a business cycle, you can move further to the next steps.