Paperless document transfer
But the improved performance that EDI can bring usually requires that software integration with back end software already be in place, as well as the capability to translate outgoing invoices into the varied EDI formats that customers' systems might require. Both requirements can be difficult and intimidating for a small enterprise to successfully implement. Any software integration project can encounter unexpected pitfalls, and the sheer number of document formats and transport protocols that EDI supports adds complexity that can be both daunting and confusing.
Fortunately, the emergence of cloud and Software-as-a-Service providers means that small businesses and understaffed information technology departments have an alternative to pulling their hair out over EDI integration with their existing back end accounting software. A number of vendors offer managed and hosted EDI solutions with the EDI capability your business partners are asking you for, and to provide it in much less time, and with much less stress, than this might otherwise take.
Here are some of the most prominent vendors, and a quick look at some of their services:
Redtail Solutions has a managed cloud EDI solution that natively integrates with Microsoft, Sage and AccountMate software. Their 3PL Link product provides an electronic link from your accounting system to your third party fulfillment providers.
123 EDI has software, EDI Engine, that supports all versions of all standards for EDI software, and can translate XML and flat files as well. 123 EDI also offer both hosted and managed EDI. Their software accommodates many interfaces, for example Quickbooks, Peachtree, Sage, UPS, DHL and FedEx.
EDI Consulting Group offers many EDI software integration solutions tailored to specific tasks, such as FAX 2 EDI and PDF2EDI and EDI LINK, a bridge from EDI to your accounting software that generates sales orders from incoming customer purchase orders and translates outgoing invoices into EDI data formats. EDI Consulting supports all EDI formats including X-12, UN-EDIFACT, and XML. We do a lot of business with this EDI provider.
Which of these vendor is best for you? If your business needs EDI today, outsourced solutions may be the place at least to start. If you have the time available to map out and implement an organized and incremental roll-out, you may want to keep at least some of your EDI capability in-house, if your information technology department has the required capabilities.You may also want to bring fresh eyes in to analyse your EDI needs and capabilities. Call PC Methods Inc. at the number above and we will be happy to discuss your EDI requirements and potential designs for a solution that fits your business.