You already know that EDI is a huge part of how you do business, but how satisfied are you with how your business manages it? You may be surprised to learn that many aren’t at all.
In fact, many companies actually lose around 1% of their annual revenue to EDI-related fines, fees, and chargebacks. For a Fortune 500 company, that tens of millions of dollars every year.
There are several reasons why this happens:
- EDI is highly technical so non-technical business users often require IT assistance to interact with data
- EDI standards (EDIFACT, X12) are archaic computer languages that don’t translate to English very well
- Companies don’t have a way to stay on top of these EDI-driven transactions and catch issues before they happen
But there’s hope! Here are some steps you can take to optimize your approach to EDI, avoid those costly issues, and ensure your business is operating on all cylinders:
1. Cultivate and Maintain an Optimal Environment
It’s important to first ensure that your EDI data is in a single, easily accessible place. That’s why you should consolidate the physical locations of your data to streamline the search process (i.e. create a standardized local agent). You can also utilize cloud applications for quick access to your EDI data and leverage permissions to provide access to the people who need it. Make sure to use common business keys (PO numbers, dates, internal reference numbers, etc.) so you can find information quickly and efficiently.
2. Collaborate With Internal Teams & External Partners
When you’re using EDI, you’re constantly interacting with your internal teams and vendors. For this reason, it’s important to promote transparency by sharing as much relevant information as possible. You can avoid business issues before they arise by working cooperatively with trading partners from transaction kickoff to completion. You can also foster cross-team collaboration by inviting all internal shareholders to participate in a business process when it’s beneficial.
3. Assign Ownership
A major reason why business process-related transactions sometimes fall through the cracks is due to a lack of accountability. That’s why it’s important to designate appropriate team members to take ownership and audit progress against KPIs. Work to make your EDI human-readable (where possible) to empower non-technical users. This can help decrease issue resolution times and take the stress off your IT department. Additionally, you can also utilize dashboards and reports to track data points to ensure timely delivery of services.
4. Be Proactive, Not Reactive to Your Business
Make no mistake about it: the health of your business depends on how quickly you can react to potential errors in your transaction processes. That’s why it’s critical to set rules, notifications and reminders to identify abnormalities that can help you save money and prevent delays. You should also automate your processes (where possible) to reduce errors and accomplish more with your valuable time. Furthermore, work with your IT team to develop a rapid-response plan for mishandled transactions to increase customer satisfaction and save you and your partners time and money.
But what if there was a platform that helped you meet all these challenges? Luckily for you there is.
Check out Syncrofy to see what it can do for your business today!