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EDI Deployment: What are the Obstacles and How to Overcome them?

edi deployment

EDI Deployment: What are the Obstacles and How to Overcome them?

Sending commercial documents physically, by fax, or even by email is over. Since the late 1990s, these exchanges have been gradually replaced by electronic messages (order or delivery vouchers, invoices, etc.), which allow the automation of processes. To do this, companies are now using EDI, an acronym for Electronic Data Interchange. EDI is the exchange of commercial documents from one computer to another, in a standardized and automated manner. Despite offering many advantages such as speed, reliability and traceability of exchanges, EDI is still not used by all companies. How to explain this situation? What are the obstacles to implementing EDI? Focus on the main obstacles to making EDI the norm in companies, and how to overcome them.


Implementation costs

Developing an EDI solution is a substantial process for a company. It is a two-pronged project involving:

-Full-fledged IT project management, with its classic phases of analyzing existing information, choosing a solution, configuring it, then deploying and maintaining it;

-an impact study related to the digitalization of manual processes in the company and its business environment

In fact, the ROI – Return On Investment is faster and more substantial when exchanges between partners are regular and recurring, regarding significant volumes. This is why small organizations rarely benefit.

To reduce these costs, there are many ready-to-use services available on the cloud. Offered by experts like Generix Group with Generix EDI Services, they allow for a quick start-up at a lower cost. Additionally, their use is charged per use, which favors small and medium-sized companies.

Difficult implementation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Beyond the financial investment required, small businesses often lack the expertise to begin an IT project like this. If they can call upon an EDI supplier to handle such considerations, the process undeniably requires time to acutely understand the offers and analyze their needs.

This is a necessary step to find the pricing model that best meets the business needs of the company. Choosing an offer and an EDI supplier requires a preliminary analysis of the commercial transactions to be processed, and thus the volumes of data involved. Without this initial review, the company may face significant additional costs.

Several alternative solutions are offered to SMEs or very small companies that do not wish to invest in a fully automated EDI solution. They have the advantage of being inexpensive to both buy and use. They are mainly offered in SaaS mode, but are also compatible with EDI solutions used by client partners. These solutions include WEB-EDI, SmartPDF and online OCR.

Diversity of technologies and rules of standardization

EDI is even more interesting for a company as its entire ecosystem can use it. When deployed among different players in the same sector, it generally encourages partners and competitors to do the same. Thus, EDI has a strong presence in:

-Mass distribution

-The Agri-food industry





This dynamic therefore most often depends on the main contractors in the sector. If Airbus and Boeing adopt EDI with their suppliers, the entire aviation ecosystem moves in this direction. Indirectly, this impact can extend to nearby sectors with common suppliers, such as the naval or automotive sectors.

For an industrial company at the crossroads of several industries, it is complex to master the different standards and technologies of each sector.

In this case, the ideal scenario is to use EDI services in SaaS mode offered by mature players who have already deployed their solution in several sectors. By sharing processes, it is then possible to reuse at lower cost connectors and technologies that are already proven and financed.

Implementation and deployment time frame within each entity

Faced with relatively long implementation times, companies sometimes turn to alternatives to EDI to digitize their data exchanges more quickly. This may be a document entry and collection portal, or an OCR solution. Keep in mind that they do not offer the same automation capabilities, so these intermediate solutions will never bring the same quality benefits as EDI.

Again, the best way to bypass delays and implementation difficulties for an EDI system is to retain a service in SaaS mode. Hardware and/or software costs are eliminated, and configuration costs are significantly reduced due to the pooling of technologies between network members.

Synchronous trade dynamics

With the development of internet and e-commerce technologies, integrations between application components increasingly require real-time interactions. It involves knowing, for example, the position of stock, obtaining updated prices, or the status of a completed process.

During its start-up period, EDI relied on asynchronous file-sharing technologies. This still corresponds to the need to exchange certain commercial transactions. Additionally, it is necessary to associate it with API management, usually with REST and JSON technologies.

Be attentive, however, not to oppose EDI and API. Digital data exchange can be based on all forms of syntax or language such as XML or JSON. Data transport can also be carried out by protocols close to web services such as EDIINT AS2, SOAP, or REST.

In summary, it becomes necessary to combine the management of EDI and APIs. Fortunately for businesses, most EDI services offered in the cloud are actually open to most B2B integration technologies including MFT, EDI, API, MOM, etc.

Deploying EDI brings about several obstacles: limited adoption in small businesses, diversity of technologies and standards, and sometimes long deployment times. However, the emergency of technologies such as APIs and blockchains alleviates these challenges, thereby ensuring a bright future for EDI. Want to know more about EDI’s benefits and its development prospects?


This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.


Collaborative Supply Chain Platforms: Vectors of Customer Satisfaction?

By providing visibility into the operations of the company, suppliers, and providers, a collaborative platform applied to the Supply Chain enables different stakeholders along the supply chain to better work together. It’s a great asset to control costs, but also to improve customer satisfaction. To what extent is this possible? How can collaborative platforms improve the company’s mission? Generix Group takes stock of the strengths in collaborating to better meet customer expectations.


An optimal shopping experience

With the rise of digital commerce, consumers have increased their demands for products and services. To meet these new needs, distributors and online retailers are now required to adapt in terms of SEO and logistics services. Faced with this challenge, collaborative platforms are the solution to help companies to keep the promise made to their customers.


Meet needs with a wide variety of options

Accustomed to having diverse and competitive offers, customers today want to be able to choose between multiple products that meet their needs. The logistical challenge for businesses is to offer an extensive product catalog, based on a wide range of suppliers. What is the final goal? – Responding in a diversified way to customer requests and retaining the customer by offering a large selection of products.

Supplier repositories can double or triple, while product choices may grow to five or ten times the number of references. The collaborative portal will therefore automate a large number of operations to avoid a significant increase in management costs.

Most products will never go into storage but will need to be delivered directly by the supplier. Logistics collaboration portals will enable this type of process to be implemented at a lower cost while coordinating cooperation between stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, logisticians, carriers, and service providers.


Share product availability

To have an optimal shopping experience, customers need to be reassured at all stages of their order and, if necessary, be able to return a product easily. Faced with these requirements, customer information is a real asset for retailers who must be able to track all logistics operations related to the supply and return of goodsWhat is the goal here? – To inform consumers in real-time about the stock of available or returned products. With the collaborative platform, collecting stock data throughout the distribution process is made simpler.


Describe product features extensively

To be sure that products meet their needs, consumers need to know specific characteristics such as dimensions, composition, features, etc. With a collaborative platform, vendors can collect this data from suppliers more easily and make it available to consumers.


Improved visibility of B2B and B2C logistics operations


With a collaborative portal, companies can get a consolidated view of the logistics operations carried out at every stage of the Supply Chain including providers, warehouses, and carriers. The collaborative portal ensures the traceability of all operations conducted by each step in the process. Once available, this information can be sent to the final customer to inform them of their order processing (preparation, delivery tracking, etc.).

A B2B customer can benefit similarly from reliable information about their purchases. Informed throughout the supply process, they can improve operations planning and task management.


Introducing value-added services


Product customization

Through this consumer-friendly mode of consumption, brands can satisfy the need to customize products requested by their customers, while maintaining originality.


Delivery scheduling

Through this innovative service, consumers are given the opportunity to select a delivery date and time from a calendar based on their availability. Flexibility and comfort are key.


Returning goods

The return of goods is critical in an online purchase and has become an undeniable method of attaining customer loyalty. It contributes to a positive customer experience and can generate upsell when returning to a physical store. For delivery drivers, it’s also a great opportunity to increase the volume of services.


By granting further visibility of all logistics operations, collaborative platforms provide numerous advantages for the various Supply Chain stakeholders. These include reducing costs, improving service quality, enhancing general performance, and increasing customer satisfaction. Want to know more? Download our e-book “How and why collaborative platforms have become essential to the Collaborative Supply Chain.”


This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.