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Early EDI Engagement Pays Off!

Engaging EDI early during your ERP Migration saves money and time

Overlapping EDI and ERP

  • If the EDI system is selected first, the EDI operations team can begin the partner conversion process while the ERP search continues. New trading partners can be implemented in the new EDI system quickly—a critical need in the fast-moving supply chain world— thanks to design tools that are easy to use and that enable reuse of previously-developed EDI artifacts.

  • It’s possible the EDI system will not have ready-to-go interfaces built for the ERP system, and it could take considerable work to build them. But the number of defined interfaces should be a key factor when evaluating the EDI system: if the top ERP candidates are Epicor, SAP, and VAI, selecting an EDI system without interfaces to any of them probably would be unwise. It’s reasonable to assume that an organization won’t be comparing SAP and QuickBooks, so the pool of EDI candidates should target the pool of ERP candidates.

  • At the same time, current trading partners are migrated to the new system, a task that often takes time because the people that do it—the EDI operations team—usually have daily production responsibilities too. But EDI systems with modern design tools will actually make time available by reducing the effort required to set up and manage trading partners. Changes to custom code necessary to support new trading partners end. Faster turnaround of change requests often translates into increased revenue and reduced operating costs, if there’s no requirement to maintain old and new EDI systems. But there’s a much more significant reason to implement EDI right away.

Risk Reduction

  • Reducing risk increases the chance of success, and few projects don’t have components of scope, schedule, resource, activity, and project risk.

  • Trying to install a new ERP system and a new EDI system at the same time doesn’t double risks, it squares them. The workload on the project management team is doubled and management has to make the inevitable resource tradeoffs between competing projects. Deployments, particularly the big-bang type, also increase risk considerably.

  • On the other hand, an ERP vendor without a proven interface to the ERP system adds multiple elements of risk: schedule, cost, scope, and quality.

Scheduling

  • Because ERP implementations seldom take the same amount of time as EDI implementations, it’s very tough scheduling them so that both applications are ready to go into production at the same time. What do you do if the new ERP system is ready and EDI is not? Do you hold off on going live with ERP, and risk crashing the EDI implementation schedule? And if the systems are ready simultaneously and go live, what happens when a trading partner identifies an error? There’s an additional layer of troubleshooting: is it the EDI or the ERP application? Trading partners are waiting!

  • Of course, the ERP software vendor hoping to sell his EDI module will wave off such concerns by referencing the fact that ERP and EDI are “fully integrated.” That response fails to acknowledge where the real EDI migration effort takes place—setting up trading partners and testing the interchanges.

  • Why is that important? Consider and EDI implementation that takes 100 units of work and an ERP implementation requiring 1,000 units. It’s easy to field 50 resources across the broad scope of an ERP implementation, so that’s 20 units of work per resource. But if there are only two resources (EDI is a technical skill), each resource has 50 units of work. So even though EDI is usually a smaller effort, there are far fewer resources, and the result is that EDI implementations benefit from an early start.

Here to Help!

  • Your EDI integration experts at Effective Data will be thorough, quick, and economical due to our many years of experience. We will work directly with your vendors to develop a process that works best for you. Having ED engaged early during ERP migration helps to control the overall cost of the implementation, expedites payback, while saving you time and headaches.

Contact us for a an low-cost assessment to get the process started today!

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