To help you choose the best Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) program for your or your clients’ Sage 100 ERP system needs, we’ve compiled a handy list that should help you rank your EDI options by the feature sets that actually make a difference.
Get the details on what EDI offers, figure out what really matters for business, and rank the available EDI options with a handy chart – all in this post.
*This blog post was originally published on 90 Minds website, July 7, 2015.
HOW TO MAKE SURE AN EDI SYSTEM MEETS YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS
When considering different EDI solutions for Sage 100 ERP, follow these steps:
- Read the descriptions of various EDI features below.
- Download the EDI Ranking Tool (at the bottom of this page).
- Follow the directions in the EDI Ranking Tool to determine the EDI solution that best fits your company’s (or your client’s company’s) needs.
Please Note: At the bottom of this page, we’ve included the EDI Ranking Tool, a chart that will help you sort through, organize, and prioritize the EDI systems you’re considering.
WHAT EDI FEATURES ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR MY BUSINESS?
It can be exhausting to compare and contrast the various EDI tools out there, so we’ve helped you out by cutting the wide range of EDI features into six simple categories. Once you’ve read through these descriptions, use the EDI Ranking Tool at the bottom of the page to determine the best EDI solution for your needs.
Effective EDI includes:
1. UP-TO-DATE MAPPING
What it is: In the world of EDI, each retailer you work with requires a specific form, a “map,” with a very specific format. Though many of your trading partners will require the same information from you, their systems are set up to read that information in a different order.
The stakes: Every time you miss a field or present map information out of order, you face a chargeback fee.
How this feature helps you: Large companies like Amazon change their mapping styles regularly and aren’t good at providing adequate advance notice of those changes. When you have access to up-to-date mapping, you know that your maps reflect the latest map updates for each company.
2. ERP INTEGRATION
What it is: EDI software works best when it’s integrated with your ERP system. Integration allows your order and customer information to seamlessly flow into your EDI maps, and also into your ERP-connected shipping partner forms.
The stakes: Without integration, your company faces time-consuming, expensive, error-prone duplicate data entry.
How this feature helps you: With ERP integration, your employees only have to enter in information once. This saves you time, labor costs, and expenses associated with keystroke errors.
3. VALIDATION CHECKING
What it is: With built-in validation software, your EDI system will check your required fields for you and point out errors so that you can fix them immediately.
The stakes: Have you gathered that big-box EDI is all about dotting your “i”s and crossing your “t”s? If you send out incorrect information, you’ll face more chargeback fees.
How this feature helps you: You’ll never have to worry about the costs that arise from forgetting to fill in a single form field again. If your systems are up to date with the latest retailer requirements, you’ll know that you’re providing your trading partners with the right information.
4. SIMPLE AUTOMATION
What it is: With automated features, your EDI software will complete orders for you.
The stakes: Because EDI coordination requires a lot of detail-oriented work, it can be easy to get caught up in what you’re working on and lose track of your deadlines.
How this feature helps you: With EDI automation, you can lower your labor costs and still get work done on time.
5. SUPPORT WHEN YOU NEED IT
What it is: Though some businesses prefer to build their own EDI documents, it doesn’t hurt to consult with an EDI expert when you need one.
The stakes: Retailers change their EDI compliance requirements frequently. You have to constantly stay on top of updates — or suffer the consequences.
How this feature helps you: This is something that’s often overlooked by companies who choose to leap into supplier relationships with big-box retailers, but smart leaders know it’s a bad idea to do everything alone.
6. EASY-TO-LEARN SOFTWARE
What it is: It can be hard to learn a new system. However, when you choose a system that’s familiar to you, you can make the learning process much faster and easier.
The stakes: If you’re using EDI because of new trading partners, your employees will have to learn a new EDI system while meeting higher production volumes. Missteps are penalized with chargeback fees.
How this feature helps you: Reduce the stress and get up to speed fast when you choose a system that not only provides effective workflows, but that already looks like the ERP system your company is currently using.
SUMMING IT ALL UP
When you’re looking for the best EDI solution for your Sage 100 ERP system, make sure that you know how it performs in terms of mapping, integration, validation checking, automation, support, and ease of use. If you get an EDI system that is strong in all of those main areas, your EDI journey should be a success.