The proliferation of web based EDI portals over the course of the past 5 years has meant that many small to medium size business have signed up for these no software based EDI solutions. A cheap entry price is the over riding decision-making point in the majority of cases and this is where the problem begins. Over the course of a company’s evolution the one size fits all web-based solution often doesn’t keep up with the task or the volume. The solution either gets too expensive because of transaction volumes or it becomes cumbersome and slow because of the number of partners being managed. Finally as volumes rise integration to a host ERP package may become an issue. Many web based solution providers have answered the integration call by providing interfacing services for various ERPs and accounting packages. The issues however remain; a cumbersome web interface that in some cases creates more work and therefore is ultimately more expensive, no ownership of raw data, and a platform that provides in most cases very rudimentary interfacing capabilities or none at all.
We even sell one – Athena. Our experience, however, is that customers very quickly out grow the web solution as volumes increase and the number of trading partners increase. In short order a customer is paying more than they should for the service simply because of volumes. A hidden cost is also buried in the equation and it is the amount of time it takes to manually manipulate data on the web portal. Most SMB/SMEs don’t even factor that into their number crunching but it’s a huge amount of money. Will we continue to sell our web portal – you bet. Why? Because for some small, low volume sites it makes perfect sense. But for those where it doesn’t we have a solution that addresses all the concerns and gives them room for full growth without having to scrap everything and start all over when their requirements become more complex. Our hosted EDI Desktop platform coupled with our on network translation servicegives users a complete environment to handle any and all retail EDI. Back end translation of data is flexible and completely configurable to the client’s specific needs and requirements. Best of all, the translation configuration is completely portable with the purchase of on premise software. So the customer gets the benefit of flexible integration and the power of a feature rich software package to build ASNs, handle PO changes dynamically, generate order confirmations to name a few of the features.
So if you are at the point of searching for a replacement for your web portal solution and don’t feel you have the capacity for an on premise solution give us a call or better yet take a look at the EDI Desktop overview document. If you like what you see we will give you the first month of hosted EDI Desktop service for free (Disclaimer: some conditions do apply and it only applies to new clients signed up in 2011).