If you are responsible for a supply chain or a complex business flow with various partners, you know how crucial it is to exchange timely, complete, and correct documents. Exchanging electronic documents (EDI) in an automated, standardized way has been a huge relief and has helped many companies thrive.
Implementing EDI can be done in a variety of ways. A company can run its own EDI software, developed and maintained by internal resources. On the other side of the spectrum, you could choose for a fully managed EDI solution, a cloud solution from a trusted B2B integrator.
In this blog, we make a strong case for the managed solution. With five strong reasons that will convince you that you are not just buying into a hype.
Often, internal implementations start with enabling one or a few opportunities. But afterwards, each new connection or demand requires additional resources. That mostly proves as complex and time consuming as in the first implementation.
In a managed EDI solution, in contrast, new opportunities and connections are up and running much faster. Your integration partner has already worked out possible scenarios. Whichever the document format, business flow, or industry… if they are a seasoned integrator, they’ve got a solution.
For you, this means you can react much faster to opportunities. No need to discuss with IT, look for budgets and resources, see if your infrastructure is up to the task, and try to keep the partner interested in the meantime.
Also, once a connection or a flow is up and running, it is further monitored and maintained by the managed service. That way, you can keep your end of the business agreement without operational impact.
When running EDI as an internal IT project, your IT experts should constantly be aware of changing standards and new developments. They should take care that data is translated correctly at all times and that is is routed via the right channels. They should have a wide, evolving expertise, spanning many technologies, protocols, and industries.
With a fully managed solution, that is no longer needed. Your integration partner will scan and implement all changes. They will flawlessly translate your data and route it. And when a new development arises, such as digital marketplaces, it will become part of the managed solution.
“Managed EDI helps you keep an eye on what matters to you : Your Business. Leaving EDI knowledge in the hands of experts .”
So your people no longer have to busy themselves with technical details, with hardware and software updates to sustain the scaling business, with 24/7 monitoring, with guaranteeing uptime… Instead, they can concentrate on enabling the business. Your business.
With internal IT platforms, you should continuously plan for growth. But how much and how fast? And even if you do, you’ll have a hard time managing the next disruptive leap that may propel your company forward.
A managed platform, in contrast, will smoothly scale up and down. It will exactly follow the size and requirements of your business. You and your partners will experience no bottlenecks or temporary outages.
Such a platform will also allow you to on-board new partners as needed. From a technical viewpoint, this will impose no strain on internal back-end or legacy solutions that might otherwise struggle with the newer formats and protocols.
A cloud-based, managed EDI system acts as a central hub between you and all the partners you are connected to. In that central hub, you have a full and open view on all your integrated flows.
This is especially important as the amount of data that you exchange and the complexity of the exchanges keeps growing. In that case, having a full, transparent view on what is going on is all the more important.
Also with newer technologies such as APIs and digital marketplaces, you need to have all the information at your fingertips.
That way, you can take fast and balanced decisions, with all information laid out before you.
With a managed cloud solution, you don’t have to invest in equipment. Equipment that will have to be oversized to enable growth. You also will not be surprised by large one-time costs, such as consultancy time. Overall, you’ll need less dedicated people to arrive at the same, or even a better result.
What CFOs will love to hear: managed cloud solutions come with a predictable, subscription-based cost.
As a businessperson, you are probably also convinced of this: Your business should drive decisions about technology, and not the other way around.
So legacy, in-house systems, or the availability of expertise and resources should preferably not block the growth of your company. Or your ability to react to new opportunities.