EDI vs. Webforms: A Decision-Maker’s Guide

An EDI system or webforms? Which one should you choose for your business?
When onboarding a new customer or supplier, you might find out that EDI is required. At this point, you have a choice. You can implement an internal EDI program or you can use webforms to move your EDI data. Both options are true EDI solutions, but they’re vastly different, in terms of cost, manual interaction and efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at these two ways to exchange documents with your trading partners.

An EDI system—for automated, high-volume document exchange
The more documents you exchange, the clearer the case for an EDI system. If you exchange a high volume of documents each month, you’ll want to implement an EDI system.

When Effective Data builds your complete EDI system, there’s no human intervention required to quickly, accurately and efficiently exchange documents with your trading partners. An EDI system offers many benefits over paper-based document exchange, including:

  • Cost savings—an EDI transaction typically costs $5 vs. $30 for a paper-based transaction
  • Increased data accuracy
  • Improved productivity from reduced employee time-per-transaction
  • Enhanced enterprise agility and responsiveness
  • Reductions in inventory and inventory costs
  • Reallocation of data entry resources
  • Reduced cycle/pay period—by eliminating the use of regular mail and decreasing the time needed to process a transaction, products can be shipped and received faster

Webforms—ideal for smaller, low-volume businesses
If you only exchange a few documents a month, using cost-effective webforms may satisfy your data movement needs. In addition, if your business is just starting out, you can use webforms as a temporary solution until your EDI system is up and running.

Webforms are online forms that you access through a web browser. With this approach, you manually type in product numbers, prices, addresses, SKU numbers, descriptions, quantities, patient or student IDs, and all other relevant information. Once you complete the form and submit it, the EDI system will generate a secure EDI document and send it to your trading partner. If you’re considering this route, just remember—it may cost you significant time to manually key in information, and there’s greater room for error. 

Do you need to invest in a full EDI system? Could webform EDI meet your needs, now and in the future? Ask the data movers at Effective Data for help deciding which type of EDI is best for your business.

12.19.17