Updated: Aug 24, 2022
When we talk about an EDI development have you ever thought about the different parts of your business that might be impacted.
This blog will consider who might be interested in a new EDI connection within your business.
When a new EDI development is presented, normally by the Sales Team there are so many other teams that could have an interest in the proposed work and how it might impact their workload.
The diagram above considers all of the possible teams impacted by an EDI development. Your business might have different team names or might multi task certain roles within your business.
I have worked in both big and small businesses and the chain of command that might be in place. In my roles as the EDI Specialist I have worked within many teams within a business. I have been associated to the Sales Team, Customer Services and the IT Team.
In my view it does not matter as an EDI development will touch so many points within a business.
Sales have knocked their socks off to land the next big trading partner/retailer and therefore they have a vested interest in delivering the new trading relationship.
It is important that, as an EDI Team, you are able to support the proposed go live. However, it must be noted that work needs to be scheduled just to ensure any new proposal can be supported.
When would the trading partner/retailer like to start trading with you?
What impact does this proposed go live date have on the wider business teams? Can this activity be supported by all interested teams?
It is important that when a new trading relationship is looking to be agreed the information is cascaded back to the business so that the wider team can the either agree the date or propose other dates that work for the wider team.
This way no one including the new trading partner/retailer should be disappointed.
Normally there will be a team set up to manage the trading partner/retailer in respect of the orders being placed. If these are Wholesale orders then the Wholesale Customer Service team will manage these orders.
However, if the development is to support a Drop Ship Vendor business model this could impact different teams that support the management of images, product descriptions, carrier options including shipment costs.
When a new trading partner/retailer is signed up they normally come with a number of prerequisite of how the shipments are to be packed even down to aspects such as printing their article numbers on the paperwork that attached to the shipment (palletised or in cartons).
Normally these instructions are to aid the trading partner/retailers own warehouse operation.
What becomes really interesting is when the trading partner/retailer asked that Cross Docking is supported as you then have a third address (Head Office, final delivery address and the intermediary delivery address) in play that is of no real interest to you the supplier.
Drop Ship Vendor (DSV) might impact the way the Warehouse team support ecommerce shipments. If this is a first for you the supplier this DSV development will be a huge learning curve.
New trading partner/retailer new checks to ensure the credit worthiness which will then help agree a line of credit with you.
Are there any further requirements that are laid down by the trading partner/retailer such as EDI Invoicing?
Hopefully the solution the you have deployed does not require any code change within your ERP.
There should be some form of configuration that will need to be set up to allow the transactional data to flow in and out of the system.
Business Intelligence is key to tracking success. The BI Team will need to be made aware of the new trading relationship to enable reports to be amended to support the new trading partner/retailer.
If the development is to support DSV trading the Marketing Team might hold the product images and information that can be sent to the trading partner/retailer.
As advised I have sat within many teams over the years. Hopefully the EDI Team have the autonomy to work on EDI developments albeit communicating with the wider business.
It should be the EDI Team that reviews the trading requirements to ensure that the trading partner/retailers requirements can be supported. If the requirements can not be met then the EDI Team should discuss what other options are available with the trading partner/retailer.
For larger organisations there might be a Project Team in place to smooth out the workload within the business.
The Project Team should then manage the workload across the various departments to ensure the development is delivered successfully.
Third Party Systems
There will be external third party systems in place, for example an EDI Managed Service Provider. You might also find the trading partner/retailer also has an EDI Managed Service Provider in place.
This development work will need to be communicated to these external companies so that they to form part of the wider team that will enable the successful delivery of the development.
Communication is key
As there are possibly a large number of teams impacted by an EDI development it is import that you use a system that can make this communication easier.
I have used Asana to deliver developments in the past and attach a document that I built to support my Asana project template.
EDI impacts so many areas within a business. When considering an EDI development have you considered all of these teams? Or are you constantly failing to deliver due to a team not being considered?
I am hoping this blog will aid your thoughts on what to consider when developing an EDI solution or if you are struggling to get a development up and running.
I have been delivering EDI developments for 25 years and am available to discuss.