What to Look For When Choosing the Right EDI Provider for Your Business

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EDI got its start back in the 1960s when one firm needed an exclusive way to transfer data. The data format has come a long way since then, and anyone can use an EDI provider.

Whether you have a few customers or a few million, you can benefit from EDI, but you need the right service provider. The right EDI provider can help you manage and transfer data securely so that you can communicate with customers more effectively.

What Is EDI?

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange, and it can come in handy when working with a lot of data. It helps you transfer data from computer to computer, except it doesn’t work with monetary instruments.

An EDI can be a set of messages between you and a client or customer. It can also represent messages between a doctor and their patient or messages within a government agency.

There are some EDI standards that pieces of data have to meet to be EDI. Standards can define such things as the elements within the data and the type of message being sent.

To implement EDI, you should understand some of the standards. Understanding what counts and EDI and what doesn’t can help you determine what to look for in an EDI provider.

Why Do You Need an EDI Provider?

An EDI provider can help you integrate EDI into your business. You can use EDI to communicate with customers, and you can save time doing that.

If you want to use EDI, an EDI provider can simplify the process. You can use their services to manage your data and send EDI messages.

Outsourcing EDI can help you help your customers in less time. It can also help you transfer data safely, which can be crucial for some industries.

EDI can serve as a great tool for automation, but if you don’t have an existing framework to use, it can take time to build. When you use an EDI provider, you can use what they already have.

How to Choose From EDI Service Providers

Like any service, you should consider a few EDI service providers. No two providers have the same network or offer the same services.

Depending on your needs, you may find one provider is the best option. On the other hand, you may be comfortable with a variety of companies.

The volume of data that you need to transfer can limit your options based on the plans available. You might also consider if you need to integrate your data with other services.

Now considering every possible detail of what every EDI provider offers can take time. You don’t need to look at everything, but you should consider the basics and what you need from an EDI provider.

Data Volume

If you have a small business, you probably won’t need to use much EDI. In that case, you can use a more basic plan, such as a Web EDI plan.

You can still configure the plan to work for you and your business. Basic plans can still handle data well, but you won’t have to deal with a huge plan.

On the other hand, you may have a higher volume of data. In this case, you can look at Managed EDI plans or other higher tiered services.

A bigger plan can manage higher volumes of data more efficiently. The more data you have, the more you should invest in protecting it.

Especially if you deal with confidential data, you want to keep it safe for you and your customers.

Data Logic

One important thing to consider is how the data transfers. Not all EDI plans manage data properly.

If data gets mixed up on its way from the sender to the receiver, issues can arise. Luckily, Business Processing Logic & Automation can help convert the data.

When you or your customer receives an EDI message, it will be in the correct format. You won’t have to worry about checking the system and processing it all yourself.

Some companies can help you manage the flow of your data so that you and your customers can read messages without issues. While problems can still occur, they won’t be as frequent as if you didn’t have the service.

The more you use EDI, the more you should consider a plan that can convert messages and other data.

Data Integration

Another thing to consider is how your EDI provider integrates with other services. Not all providers will work with third-party companies.

If you work with Amazon, for example, you should choose an EDI provider that works with Amazon. An EDI for Amazon service can help you automate messages for your Amazon store.

When you fulfill orders for an Amazon store, you have to manage everything manually. However, when you can integrate your Amazon store with your EDI provider, you can automate certain tasks.

Of course, you will still have to package and ship orders. You’ll have to track your inventory and log other information.

But combining Amazon with an EDI can save you time on other tasks. You can also reduce the cost of running your store, and you can lower your risk of making mistakes.

Cost

Depending on the size of your business, you may or may not need to worry about the cost of an EDI provider. If you have a large business, you probably have the funding for a larger EDI plan.

However, a small business probably doesn’t have that much money to invest. Now, you shouldn’t let the price keep you from an EDI provider.

You can consider a few different EDI plans within your budget. The Web EDI plan is a great option for starting out, and you can upgrade later when you have more money.

Plus, when you start using an EDI to help automate business tasks, you can dedicate more of your time to making money. Then, you can continue the cycle of making money and investing more into EDI.

EDI for Everyone

The variety of EDI service providers and plans means that almost anyone can use EDI. It also means you can choose the best EDI provider for you.

No two people or businesses are the same, and that’s also true with EDI needs. You may have a small business and not need a huge plan.

However, another business owner might have a large business with a large volume of data. Both businesses can choose a unique plan that suits their needs.

Do you want to try EDI? Contact us to learn more about the different plans we offer!

AdvanceFirst Technologies

AdvanceFirst Technologies

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About AdvanceFirst

Since 2003 AdvanceFirst Technologies Ltd has rapidly become one of the most successful specialist EDI companies in the UK. With over 300 clients in more than 20 countries and five distributors around the world we now also have an established global presence.

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