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COVID-19: Has outsourced EDI ever been more relevant?

Jul 16, 2020, by Claire Gibbons, TrueCommerce - Category: Retail Technology

Business continuity with employees working from home - how did your EDI and invoicing fare?

It is still hard to believe the impact that COVID-19 has had on our daily lives. Whilst I don’t think any of us could have been fully prepared for what happened and the impact it had across the globe, it is fair to say that some companies have been more exposed than others.

Organisations needed to act fast when the Government announced that employees should work from home where possible. The implications were huge. This was no easy feat for even the most technologically advanced organisation, due to the numbers of staff involved.

Homeworking and EDI

The implications were even greater for those organisations who were reliant on on-premise IT solutions, particularly in an area such as EDI, due to its business critical nature. With staff working from home, many companies suddenly found themselves in a situation where they couldn’t maintain their EDI solution, which presented a huge risk to their on-going operations.

Homeworking wasn’t the only issue though. Many companies, whose sales had been hit by the lockdown restrictions, needed to furlough staff in order to survive. Whilst this was an unavoidable decision for many, it left their business critical EDI processes exposed, because IT departments were in many cases halved. Suddenly there was no guarantee that the resource would be available to fix an EDI error that was preventing the delivery of orders from a key customer.

Moving to an outsourced EDI solution

GS1 Gold Partner TrueCommerce has been helping clients transition from on-premise EDI solutions for over 20 years. However, in light of the office closures and homeworking caused by COVID-19, outsourced EDI is now a key component to any business continuity plan and they have therefore seen an increase in enquiries from companies who have found their on-premise EDI solution unworkable in the current environment. Their dedicated implementation and on-boarding teams have been helping to quickly and easily migrate customers to their EDI managed service, to ensure they can continue exchanging business critical documents with their customers and suppliers. With the move to the TrueCommerce managed service delivery model it means that these businesses have been able to focus on their core business without needing to worry about their EDI solution on a day to day basis – something which is absolutely critical in today’s challenging times – not only have they overcome their current challenges they have future proofed their EDI operations.

Looking to the future

And, whilst we are now emerging from lockdown with restrictions being lifted on a weekly basis, life is unlikely to ever return to the normal we once knew. For many of us we will never shop, socialise or work in quite the same way again. According to new research from O2 Business, 45% of workers predict a permanent change to their company’s approach to flexible working after lockdown. It is therefore inevitable that we will see more and more people move to an outsourced, fully managed EDI solution in the coming weeks and months in response to the ‘new normal’ we find ourselves in.

This article was originally published by Claire Gibbons on the TrueCommerce Blog on 6 July 2020.

Tags: EDI, Outsourced, TrueCommerce, Gold Partner,