When is enough, enough?
And better yet:
How do you know when enough is enough?
Lots of businesses get caught in the legacy system cycle. It goes something like:
You’ve had Application X forever, and because you’ve had Application X forever, you will continue to have Application X.
EDI is no exception to this phenomenon. Some businesses committed to their EDI system decades ago. So how do you know your EDI system sucks, and that you should be entertaining your upgrading options?
Keep reading for 8 Signs Your EDI System Sucks!
This article has been updated from it’s original posting from August 19, 2011.
For most companies in the SMB/SME space, your EDI system is one of those necessary evils.
For many, this system was bought years ago, in another century, and it sits on an old PC churning away in the corner of the IT or customer service department. No thought was put into placing any strategy around how the EDI data was going to be used internally; instead, the EDI system just replaced the order taker.
In the old days, the EDI system used to be called ‘glorified faxes’, or ‘rip and read’. As the years went by, the computer hosting the system died (because, of course, the system couldn’t be run on a newer machine), some businesses went looking for a replacement and ended up using a web portal or web-based EDI system. Not much more sophisticated than the old stand-alone system, this new EDI system became even more out of sight and out of mind.
At least the old software running on the old PC didn’t really cost anything – or so it seemed. Now, the most you had to deal with was an invoice every month. And best of all, IT no longer need to be involved in EDI maintenance because it the new EDI portal was a website, and didn’t require a dedicated PC.
While the EDI system was treated like an afterthought, it often became an increasingly important part of the business as the business grew. Much like your business’ accounting system choice, the poor selection of an EDI provider and solution left the business vulnerable.
Why does this scenario persist in many small to medium size businesses?
Quite simply, people don’t realize how bad their system really is. It’s a ‘maintain the status quo’ mentality, coupled with no set plan or strategy for their company’s broader data integration needs. In most cases, companies just don’t know any better, and are caught in the cycle that we introduced at the beginning of this article. And ultimately…
Out of sight, out of mind.
So how do you know that your EDI system sucks? Below are eight simple signs; if you find yourself agreeing with any one of your points, it might be time to look at your options for moving into the 21st century.
8 Signs Your EDI System Sucks
1. Your EDI Software only does EDI, and runs on a Windows 2000 or older PC system.
2. You use a dial up modem to communicate to your VAN.
3. You have no integration to your in-house applications.
4. To send outbound invoices and ASNs, someone manually enters all the data into the software.
5. To do EDI, someone has to sit and manually invoke the communications and wait for the data to come in and be processed.
6. EDI is a full time job for one or more of your employees.
7. Errors in manually entered data cause charge backs and compliance charges, and you can’t fight these charges.
8. You are too afraid to upgrade the PC the EDI system is on, because the EDI might no longer work and you are not sure you have a backup or the original disks to reinstall.
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these 8 points, then I’m sorry to be the one to break the news to you: Your EDI system sucks, and it’s time to replace it.
If you are looking for help and information, you’ve come to the right spot. We have the solutions and the expertise to assist you in making the right decisions, one that will enhance your organizations use of data.