How to prepare for the implementation of EDI

Investing in new technologies usually entails substantial expenses and corresponding efforts. Therefore, it is natural to want to plan to ensure that the investment is worthwhile. Certainly, implementing EDI is no exception to this case.


What you’re probably wondering is: “What can I do more precisely to ensure that the investment yields positive results?” In this case, the best solution is to perform a strategic review, which will help you understand how the EDI application will impact your business. However, when you undertake this mental exercise, it’s essential to consider the following three essential elements of a successful strategic review:

Why are you choosing to implement EDI?

As incredible as it may seem, many companies are drawn to the novelty of the latest technologies on the market. Instead of thinking about how the implementation helps the company’s growth, they only focus on the technological advantage they’ll have over competitors. But often, this advantage alone won’t help you win the market.

If you desire more from the implementation process, you should address the following questions before proceeding:

What are your objectives for implementing EDI?

From the beginning, try to visualize the objectives you have for implementing EDI. What results do you expect to achieve? A reduction in the time your employees spend manually entering data? Improvement in relationships with business partners? Or perhaps, above all, you want to reduce unnecessary steps in the business cycle. A clearer understanding of your expectations will show you where you stand, and thus, you can compare it with real results when the systems are up and running.

Imagine the implementation process. What does it look like?

We will elaborate on the topics you need to address before implementation. It is advisable to identify:

  1. The information exchanged in the involved business processes.
  2. The supply chain partners who will send and receive this information.
  3. The business processes that will be impacted by the new EDI system.

The answers to these questions, along with identifying areas that can undergo positive changes, will better guide the implementation process. This way, you will also know what kind of information needs to be converted into a standard EDI format and what formats you will need to use in the future.

Are you adequately equipped to implement an EDI system?

While checking the points mentioned above, also consider if your organization is adequately equipped to smoothly implement a new EDI system. To make it happen, you will need a team of technical experts who can handle every aspect of the implementation. Can they, in turn, provide training to other employees to show them how to use the system to avoid unpleasant situations and unnecessary delays?

If you can’t answer with a clear ‘yes,’ it doesn’t mean you’re not ready for an EDI implementation or that you should abandon your plans. It simply indicates that you could benefit from external guidance from specialists.

Fortunately, there are many EDI service providers to choose from. They are dedicated to helping you from the very beginning, throughout the process, until the system is in use, and even long after.

If you want to increase productivity and efficiency for your company, contact us, and we will work together to see how we can achieve these goals.