EDI Web/Desktop Access as one of the established methods of EDI outsourcing
EDI Web/Desktop Access is another method of outsourcing electronic data interchange processes. Earlier in the blog we have already learned about EDI Service Bureau. Today we describe the benefits and features of another way to outsource EDI – EDI Web/Desktop Access.
- User-familiar software. The software that accesses the service provider’s system will be familiar to you, and will work with all your trading partners. With Web Access, you interact with the service provider’s system using a web browser such as Firefox, Netscape or Internet Explorer. This makes it possible to access the system from any computer that has Internet access. With Desktop Access, the service provider’s software is installed on your PC. The software performs day-to-day functions and interacts with the service provider’s system to send and receive files. The desktop software often looks like e-mail software, with an inbox, outbox and folders.
- Order Management and Document Management. If your company is involved in the supply chain, Web/Desktop Access will manage the order cycle for you. It will receive orders, send invoices, and generate shipping documents such as advance ship notices, carton/pallet labels, packing slips and more. If your company is using EDI but you’re not involved in the supply chain, Web/Desktop Access will manage those documents too. If your company is in the healthcare industry, for example, EDI Web/Desktop Access can manage healthcare claims and payments.
- Automated Functions. EDI Web/Desktop Access will automate many functions to minimize the workload. For example, after a purchase order is processed, it is easy to ‘turnaround’ the order into an invoice by pre-filling many of the fields on the invoice with data from the original order. Web/Desktop Access will also alert you when certain events occur. You can receive an e-mail alerting you that new orders have arrived, for example, or you can print a report that tells you which orders haven’t been shipped.
- Commerce Management. With all of your data passing through the service provider’s system, it affords you the opportunity to take your data and turn it into valuable information. For example, you can produce reports and graphs that show product ordering trends or unusual peaks in activity. This information can be shared with trading partners to better manage the business relationship.
- Integration. The responsibility for integrating Web/Desktop Access with your business application can remain with your company, or it can be passed on to the service provider. To facilitate integration, the Web/Desktop Access software allows data to be imported and exported. The service provider will offer add-on software and/or professional services to complete the integration.
- Handle all your trading partners. There is no need to use more than one system, as Web/Desktop Access will handle all of your trading partners.
- Align you with your trading partners. Web/Desktop Access software is programmed to follow the business rules of each of your trading partners. It aligns you with your partners’ procedures, and therefore avoids penalties and charge backs.
- Hide EDI ‘under the covers’. Web/Desktop Access hides the complexities of EDI behind a user-friendly interface, and shields you from the different ways your trading partners use EDI. It’s easy for the service provider to add new documents or new trading partners to the software, and present them to you in a uniform manner.
- Scale to your volume. Web/Desktop Access can be used with low, medium or high activity. As you approach higher volumes, some service providers offer a combination of Web/Desktop Access and Service Bureau – File Transfer to quickly and efficiently process transactions.
EDI Web/Desktop Access benefits
1. Pay only for what you use. Web/Desktop Access offers a subscription-based service where you pay based on transaction volume. Many service providers will offer discounts as your activity increases, and others will offer special pricing plans for seasonal customers.
2. No additional staff required. When using Web/Desktop Access, there is no need to hire any additional staff to manage trading relationships. The result is significant savings compared to operating an in-house EDI system.
3. EDI becomes a positive experience. With a service provider acting on your behalf, EDI becomes less complex and frustrating. This creates a more positive environment and gives you more control over your EDI initiatives.
EDI Academy offers independent courses that cover basic EDI knowledge as well as advanced course trainings.