Outsourced EDI can deliver savings, but there are risks. Topping the list are disappointing support, lack of promised expertise, and onboarding delays. But you have options, have you considered managed EDI services? Going this route has lots of benefits, and in the below sections we detail the top five you can expect to see.
What are Managed EDI Services?
Managed EDI services at Remedi are designed to fit your business needs instead of a one-size-fits-all service model. When you choose to go this route, a team of IT specialists focused solely on EDI will customize, operate and optimize your EDI technology for you.
Today, most businesses use EDI to manage their buying and selling, so going without it is simply no longer an option for companies wanting to compete and stay relevant. What’s more, EDI simplifies, streamlines, and saves – both money and time – so you won’t want to forego its advantages.
In-House EDI vs. Managed EDI
It’s important to note the differences between managing your own EDI system and having a trusted third party do all the work for you. The former set-up requires extensive expertise and know-how to operate and maintain, and it usually requires hiring full-time, specialized employees – in addition to any general IT personnel you may already have on staff. Why? Your existing tech team may not be familiar with the many metalanguages or complicated coding needed for EDI.
Even if your IT employees were equipped to handle things on the knowledge side of EDI, the large number of documents coming into and going out of your EDI system would make bringing on a dedicated team necessary anyway. There’s simply too much volume to make the EDI system of a successful organization anyone’s side duty.
But it’s likely that hiring full-time staff members to manage one system isn’t within your company’s budget. (And if it is, there are probably other ways you’d rather spend that money.) Enter managed EDI, which administers everything for you.
With managed EDI, a third-party vendor takes on responsibility for all aspects of your system: implementation, testing, troubleshooting, transaction monitoring, error resolution, mapping and more. When you choose Remedi, you’ll also get full technical support, as well as the capability to scale with your business; as you grow, so does your EDI solution.
A top-of-the-line EDI management firm will monitor the communication network between your company and your partners so that nothing slips through the cracks.
5 Ways Managed EDI Improves your Business
Using managed EDI services means you get professional support at the level you need for your business. So needed updates, new maps and any changes to vendor requirements are implemented as soon as they become available.
Because your provider team will notice and act immediately if something goes wrong, you’ll never fail to meet another service level agreement target, either. No longer will you or your staff have to fret about whether you met a receipt-acknowledgement deadline, as deadlines will be met for you by your EDI managed services team.
Now, back to the matter of staff compensation. Using managed EDI services, you don’t have to worry about hiring and paying for full-time workers, so you remove the significant cost risk involved in onboarding employees and paying for training, W2s, health care, retirement plans and more.
When you engage Remedi, you get the deep expertise of a designated team member (or members) whom you’ll come to know just like you know your onsite staff. This resource continuity erases the cost and downtime exposure that comes with a rotating roster of outside-vendor help and the accompanying, always-present learning curve.
Then there’s the matter of pricing. High-quality managed service providers should use a transparent cost model so you know before you commit exactly how much you’ll be paying each month and what your contract will include.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
EDI speeds up business processes all along the supply chain and enables real-time communication with partners. By having your EDI platform fully managed, you take full full advantage of this increase in speed, leading to shorter lead times and shorter buy-cell cycles. So customers get their orders sooner and their satisfaction increases.
In the event of any errors, concerns or changes, your managed EDI services team will spot and address needed fixes right away, keeping things moving quickly. This is crucial, because retailers today expect their documents to be acknowledged right away. In fact, some large companies will even stop doing business with a partner that fails to respond to them in a specific time frame.
As for new trading partners, managed EDI services will get them onboarded fast so you can start working with them sooner. Then you can take on as many of them as your business can handle.
Because automation drastically cuts down on the need for manual processes, you’ll see savings right away. For example, the price of manually processing an invoice is $27. With EDI, that number is reduced almost 90%, to a mere $3, according to IBM.
Owing to its greater levels of efficiency, EDI also reduces your order-to-shipment and order-to-cash times, meaning that you get paid sooner and your customers stay happy (which keeps them coming back). With managed EDI, you’ll process more documents in less time, so you’ll also see fewer chargebacks. Why? There will always be an eye out for errors or discrepancies – so they get addressed before they can become problems.
With a dedicated offsite team seeing to all your EDI needs and concerns, you and your staff may find yourselves with newly freed-up time on your hands. Here’s why: EDI automates B2B processes and manual tasks, and your managed-services provider takes care of all EDI-related work that requires a human hand. That leaves your team with spare hours for revenue-generating work, such as innovation.
As a managed EDI services client, your vendor will do all partner onboarding and related tasks on your behalf, as well as implement and test it all. Getting up and running in less time gets you on to the business of making money that much sooner, too.
And as for your employees’ sick days and vacation time? They don’t affect your EDI at all. That will stay managed every day, all day, no matter who’s in (or out of) the office.
Improved Transactional Visibility
EDI gives you better visibility into your company’s operations, a boon in today’s fast-moving, expansive and complex marketplace. With status information readily available, you can be proactive if you notice something amiss, taking corrective action if needed. That spares you spending in funds, time and reputation.
Used in tandem with enterprise resource planning, your managed EDI platform allows you to see what’s going on between applications and parties throughout your B2B ecosystem.
Improved visibility also means your business no longer has to try to forecast sales. Your managed EDI services team will help ensure that you can ably track goods, components and product variations across all your channels so that you know what’s selling and what’s not. Just as importantly, you’ll also be able to see when products are running low, so you don’t make any false promises about delivery dates.
And if you store your inventory at multiple warehouse locations, managed EDI will support you there, too. Stock-splitting features can help you get your product to customers sooner.
In today’s marketplace, EDI is a must. But managing it yourself is costly, time-consuming and difficult. That’s where managed EDI services come in. At a cost and time savings over in-house EDI, they will reduce your risk of error, ensure that you meet regulation and SLA requirements and improve customer satisfaction. If you want to be and stay successful, you need managed EDI services.
With Remedi’s managed EDI services, you get support of your EDI system without having to cede control of your integration environment. It’s the perfect balance between going it solo and checking out of the process entirely.