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5 Signs your EDI System is out of date and really sucks



Old EDI System

One of our widely read blog articles, is one that we wrote a few years ago. Its titled 8 signs your EDI system sucks. While the 8 signs are still valid, and we still see sites with all 8 signs, I thought we would update the 8 signs with 5 more as we come to the end of 2012.

So here we go. Five more signs your EDI system really, really sucks.

1. You can’t handle any ANSI X12 standard after 4020. OK this one is a no brainer. 4020 was released by DISA in 2002. So 4020 is ten years old. If your EDI system is that old it sucks because all it can do is EDI.

2. You are still looking to do custom development on your EDI translator. This I thought had died a long time ago but its amazing the number of people who still figure its cost effective to either continue to develop something they wrote ten years ago or more, or even try and build a translator from scratch. Listen to Rob Fox, the guy who wrote Liaison’s Delta product, talk about what goes into building a commercial grade translator. Rob’s been around the block a few times on this and he’s no virgin when it comes to building EDI translators.

3. You have multiple EDI solutions. Think this is surprising ? Its not, its actually more common than you think. I am always amazed at how many companies are running multiple EDI systems. Sometimes they have been inherited through acquisitions, some times its sheer ignorance; they bought on the advice of a trading partner, software vendor sales rep or worse yet the business didn’t talk to IT and they subscribed to a web portal. Argh ! Consolidate and become more efficient, its that obvious.

4. You have an EDI solution bolted on to your ERP package. Cool, it came with the ERP solution and was sold by the ERP consultant. Plug and Play. Did I hear the big hair rock playing in the background or the disco ? Your system clearly sucks because you have put your EDI strategy into the hands of people whose core business has nothing to do with EDI. I don’t care what anyone says EDI is not plug and play. I’ve been in the business for 20 years and I have never seen an effective solution that was billed as plug and play. Plug and Pay might be a better description. But the sales pitch is plug it in and thats it, thats all. Think an ERP implementor knows much about EDI ? Most don’t because there is more to EDI than a piece of technology. So scrap that bolt on, take a holistic approach to data integration and look for a solution that creates a message layer. We have just the tool and Rob Fox was a key part of writing the products.

5. Finally, your translator is so old you installed it using floppy disks and the sales rep at your provider was just getting out of diapers when you bought it. I hear people laughing. Its true. Hey as 2012 comes to an end remember the old Goodyear commercial …get with the tour. I know its a repeat of the first item but in reality the older your solution the more it hinders your business and thats the reason it sucks.

So as we come to the end of 2012, if you are sitting with the old jallopy do a revisit of your solution set. As Randy Smith says the solutions today have come a long way from the early days.

Take a read of an ebook and get some advice if these 5 points hit home. 

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Categories: EDI, technology