An efficient, effective supply chain depends on fast, accurate communication between your internal teams, partners and customers.
Integrating your Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and back-end ERP system will help you achieve this seamless, accurate communication, allowing data to flow between the EDI at the front and the back-end ERP.
But EDI ERP integration isn’t always straightforward. In this article, we’ll consider 5 of the most common integration problems, and how to solve them.
What benefits does EDI integration provide?
With integrated EDI, documents flow directly in and out of your ERP system, without the need for manual input or intervention. This speeds up essential supply chain functions, such as order processing, picking/packing/shipping, and invoicing.
Key benefits of integration include:
• Increased efficiency
• Increased accuracy
• Reduced inventory costs
• Better return on investment
• Improved visibility
Common EDI ERP integration problems
Lack of expertise
One of the biggest problems faced with EDI ERP integration is a lack of training and expertise within the organisation. The integration of ERP requires specific skills, which are often not available within the organisation.
A lack of skills and expertise can hinder the effectiveness of the integration and slow down the process. If the project is handed over to an inexperienced team, it could cause issues further down the line.
The best way to avoid issues with training and expertise is to opt for an EDI-managed service, which removes the need to invest in skills and processes. Instead, the service provider will manage all of the business’ electronic trading activity, using the latest technology and expertise.
Multiple applications and integrations
Within an organisation, different teams will use different applications to simplify their back-end processes, including CRMs, ERPs, and more. But integrating EDI data into multiple applications increases the risk of potentially costly errors being made. Each team may also develop its own, isolated integrations that work for its own processes.
Having a single integrated solution for all applications and integration processes reduces the time it takes to create integrations, simplifies the process, and ensures that the process is reusable and repeatable. An integrated platform with pre-built connectors to commonly-used ERP solutions helps to remove the complexity from integration.
Relying on manual processes
If EDI processes are not fully integrated, some workflows may still be driven manually. Retaining any manual steps in the process wastes time, increases the chance of errors occurring, and complicates the integration process.
A fully integrated end-to-end process without the need for manual input helps prevent errors, streamlines processes and improves accuracy.
The cost of upgrading and integrating EDI and ERP systems can be significant, not only financially but also in terms of time and resources. This is coupled with the fact that, within organisations, there can often be numerous conflicting priorities at any one time.
With a managed service you can transform EDI integration from an expensive but unavoidable overhead to an opportunity for growth. Our team of experts will take care of the entire process, allowing your IT team to focus on more strategic value add projects, while your team can focus on your core business activity.
Unexpected issues can often arise during integration. This can impact the speed and accuracy of communication between the EDI and ERP.
Having a flexible EDI platform that supports customisations will allow you to make any necessary adjustments to support your specific business processes.
Effective EDI ERP integration from TrueCommerce
TrueCommerce fully automates the flow of information between customers, suppliers, channels, and ERP system, enabling you to streamline your processes, improve visibility and shorten the order-to-cash/purchase-to-pay cycle. The TrueCommerce integrated EDI solution is compatible with almost all ERP systems, so you can connect your business across the supply chain.
About the Author: Ben Taylor has held a variety of roles on both the vendor and client side under the banner of digital commerce / digital enablement for more than a decade. Currently, he shares his expertise with customers and prospects as TrueCommerce's Director of Pre Sales, Europe. Ben has deep experience across the procurement, sale and implementation of EDI, master data management, B2B ecommerce and Omnichannel trading solutions, including a wide range of use cases. He's passionate about identifying and installing digital solutions that deliver tangible commercial benefits and oil the cogs of commerce.