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Published On: Wed, Oct 30th, 2019

Time to Move on From Your Web EDI Solution?

With data exchange costs increasing rapidly above your agreed data limit with your browser based EDI software vendor, and pressure from retailers on moving to cloud-based internet EDI solutions are you considering the life span of your Web EDI Solution?

The Limitations of a Web EDI Solution

EDI Solutions have been around now for a few decades and have been the main stay of the link between retailers and their suppliers in exchanging data and transactions.  Web based EDI solutions were developed by software providers to reduce the upfront cost of an ERP type system, reduce initial investment to zero and spreading the cost across the life cycle of the software in monthly subscription payments.  This allowed smaller businesses to access supply to larger retailers. Along came online retailers and the supply chain was diversified even further with suppliers now supplying not just a small handful of bricks and mortar retailers, but now able to supply tens if not hundreds of online retailers with their products, allowing for diversification of their product range and more profit per transaction.

However, Web based EDI solutions have their limitations, and these become more noticeable as a vendor becomes bigger, is transacting more products, dealing with more customers and suppliers, and essentially is transacting more data through the platform.

photo/ Gerd Altmann

Limitations on Transacted Data

Web EDI systems often have a data threshold written into the contract, and up to this point the amount of data exchanged is non-chargeable.  But above that threshold a charge per kilobyte, megabyte or gigabyte may apply which can quickly increase the monthly cost of the EDI software solution.

A further factor is the security of the data.  Because data transacted by a web based EDI software provider is stored on their own servers rather than the cloud, data security is below industry standard and may not comply with retail partner standards who enforce their Data Privacy liabilities along their supply chain.  

A further data limitation with web EDI solutions is data scheduling.  Software providers, in an attempt to reduce their operating costs by batching data received before sending it out from all of their customers at scheduled intervals.  This reduce the real time availability of data and can cause problems with customers and suppliers when trying to solve a fulfillment issue, making it look like there are errors or discrepancies in data, when in reality the data hasn’t yet been sent by the software server.

Changing to an Internet Based EDI Solution

If these issues are plaguing your business and your EDI Web based solution provider is unable to resolve them, then it might be time to consider switching to an Internet based EDI solution which utilizes cloud based data storage.  Internet based EDI solutions cut out the middle man, thereby getting rid of limitations on data usage, security and scheduling, and utilize standard data transaction protocols readily available. Front-end software can be tailored to your business and will usually integrate easily with most ERP systems, and with your suppliers and vendors.

Author: James Daniel

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