Edi Training Tips

EDI veteran R.T. Crowley writes in his book "EDI Charting A Course To The Future" the following about EDI Training.

Training is, the single issue that is most often forgotten planning an EDI system. We tend to be so eager to get into the "gadgetry" of the system that we may overlook the fact that we need to have people trained to use it. We can make our EDI system as close as possible to the paper-based procedures that staff is accustomed to using, but it will still be perceived by them very different. We will therefore need to arrange for training in EDI operation and theory...

Plans for training the staff that will have to use the EDI system should be started as soon as we have made the commitment to create the system. In order to derive the greatest benefit from the system, our company should be prepared to use it from the very first day. We will not be able to do this unless the staff is properly trained, and they cannot be trained if we have no program in place to do it. Training should be an integral part of the EDI system from the outset. It should not wait until the system is ready to be implemented.

The specific techniques of training in general would be best left to your company's training manager, that part of the Personnel Department concerned with training, or a professional training consultant retained by your company, and you should be prepared to work within that structure to provide information on the way the EDI system works and the theory behind it. The trainers will need this information to prepare course materials and lesson plans if the training is going to be conducted in a formal manner. If a more informal setting is envisioned, you may find yourself working with the professionals to develop means by which you will train your company's staff in either small "classroom" or one-on-one settings. Either method is valid. The important issue is to get the information to those who must use it in a manner they can understand.

When planning the training phase of an EDI implementation there are a number of points that must be covered. We will present them here in no particular order, for they are all of equal importance, and that is to say that all are of PRIMARY importance to the success of our EDI system. These points are:

It is impossible to stress training enough in any discussion of any type of management methods. The amount of knowledge that we give our staff about the tools and techniques that they will use in their jobs is directly proportional to the production we can expect from them. The statement is an absolute. If we expect people to do a job, we must give them power to do it, and there is no other way to do that other than to TRAIN them!