I met up with a friend and whilst talking touched on my consulting work.
It was the proverbial “what are you doing and why”. To which I explain how I work with businesses to put in systems and processes that enable them to connect to their wholesale distributor and retailers and then support the ongoing processes.
This is really happening
This then led into an interesting discussion in respect of what my friend is seeing and experiencing at their work.
My friend works in part of a large multinational that is trying to consolidate various trading arms onto one new ERP system.
Parts of the various businesses were connected to either their wholesalers or retailers using EDI. Parts were not.
As part of the project was to move to the new ERP no one had considered the EDI requirements. When they switched to the new solution many EDI invoices went missing (my friend did know if any orders went missing but I bet they did). In some instances, they have had to move from EDI invoicing and back to sending PDF invoices via email or via the retailer’s web portal so creating a large amount of work.
As a further issue only one person within the business “kind of” worked with the EDI process. They were no expert and helped where they could. The role that this person had was being made redundant so there is no one that will be able to support this process.
Understand the EDI processes
However, looking at the issues mentioned above how will the business manage their EDI processes and onboardings?
If the EDI business process had been considered:
There would be a department responsible for the process, no single points of failure
There would be a strategy to support the roll out of EDI so managing the internal FTE resource and reducing costs
The EDI processes would be managed and supported both internally and externally
The business would actively work with the EDI Managed Service Provider to ensure that they get the service they need
If this business had an EDI strategy, they would understand the importance of rolling out this functionality to the benefit of the business.
If the business understood all the moving parts within their business, they would not have impacted the EDI functionality so putting more work on their FTE to support what were automated processes.
I did not ask my friend but wonder if there are different EDI MSP’s now working with the larger business? Time to consolidate so saving costs. However, you need to know what to do and where to start. At present this function is no longer supported!
It is fascinating that businesses do not consider EDI when making business decisions. Even in today’s economic climate. What was more fascinating was my friend’s reaction when they could see the benefit of actively working with EDI and the problems they are now facing because they did not.
Do you recognise these issues? Maybe it is time to contact me and have a chat.