As a logistics service provider, you are continuously challenged by the small margins and non-stop changing customer wishes. Therefore, quick order processing, efficient use of personnel and reducing error sensible processes are topics you regularly struggle with as an entrepreneur, but in which there is still a lot to gain. In our earlier blog post, you could have read how EDI can be the solution to optimizing your processes and it makes sense that you are now thinking of investing in data communication. However, digitalizing your processes doesn’t happen overnight. Questions remain, such as: what do you need to focus on when implementing EDI in your organization? And how do you prevent yourself from facing unpleasant surprises afterwards?
The first step
Before implementing EDI, the first important decision you must make is whether you take care of the EDI process in-house or whether you (partially) outsource it. And do you connect the systems directly or with the intervention of third parties?
In-house vs. outsourcing
When your own organization executes the entire process in-house, you stay in the driver’s seat. Fundamentally, that is an advantage, but this task is often given to one person and only this person has sufficient knowledge of protocols and standards. What will you do when this person leaves, for example? In the case of outsourcing, a lot is taken off your hands. However, a lot is also processed behind closed doors. The hired party will set up your processes, but do these parties have enough insights into your logistic activities?
As you can see, we could write an entire blog about the dilemma of in-house versus outsourcing. However, that is not the goal. In this blog, we prepare you for important matters during the implementation of EDI. For example, the implementation of our DataHub solution.
What do you need to pay attention to?
When you have chosen the flexibility and reliability of Mercurius’ DataHub platform, we unburden you of the integration, mapping of messages and go-live. However, there are still important matters you should take into consideration. So, how do you make sure EDI brings your organization to the next level?
- Make an inventory of the demands and expectations of the users in your organization.
In this way, you avert surprises at the end of the day.
- Involve your business partners on time and inform them.
Sharing knowledge about systems within or outside of your organization beforehand averts a lot of drama afterwards.
- Test, test, test!
The key to success? Testing your software. Collect both quantitative (enough) as qualitative (user cases) scenarios. Furthermore, free up your own resources to do so.
- Determine, together with the stakeholders, a clear start and end point of the project.
And do not plan them too far apart. Especially when multiple (external) parties are involved in the communication, the collective focus is of great importance.
- When EDI is live, monitor your own communication flows.
In our 3PL Dynamics solution, you have access to our DataHub platform in a protected environment. In this way, you can identify potential errors in time.
A digital transformation with DataHub