Modernize Your EDI System for Faster, Flexible Integration and Scale

We’re living in a rapidly changing environment. Only those companies that invest in modernization can succeed and stay ahead. Whether you are a small company or a large enterprise, if you become complacent, your competitors will get into your market share by digital transformation

Written by TAFF Inc 19 Jul 2022

EDI has become an integral part of B2B commerce over the years. Many people have predicted the demise of EDI, but it has stood its ground and is still going strong. Legacy EDI is getting rapidly replaced by modern and sophisticated EDI that are very well integrated with third party apps. 

In 2021, EDI alone processed around 76.5% of total B2B digital sales which is an astonishing achievement. This is based on a B2B ecommerce market research report by DigitalCommerce 360. When more and more enterprises invest in modernization of their existing EDI platforms, the role of EDI is only expected to grow further in the coming years.

Reasons to consider EDI modernization

To maintain business continuity

There is a recent contradicting trend in the enterprise world, when a business grows rapidly it puts pressure on their ability to operate efficiently. When a business works on a growth path signing multiple new clients each week, it is a sign of amazing success but at the same time, their existing EDI and IT infrastructure is not capable of handling such rapid growth. This is why one should opt for EDI modernization else the success of your sales will not convert into real profit for the company. 

Based on a 2019 report, around 63% of companies worldwide reported that it takes around 2-4 weeks to onboard a new partner, just imagine what will happen to the company if they manage to acquire 100 new clients in a short period of time. They will end up not delivering what was promised to the customers and eventually losing their business.

The SLA Violations are piling up

When a business grows but operates with a legacy EDI, it is quite normal that they might not hit SLAs or meet necessary deadlines for onboarding guidelines. This will result in SLA penalties and lost opportunities. As per the 2019 State of Ecosystem and Application integration report, 55% of the business decision makers say that around 50-150 orders are lost each year due to inefficient integration of resources. 

Partner Onboarding Process is slow

Around 63% of IT decision makers are of the opinion that new-partner onboarding is not only cumbersome but also takes a long time due to the customized requirements of the new partner. This is why Modern EDI systems are developed with complete flexibility to integrate and connect with multiple formats and APIs during new partner onboarding. 47% of C-Suite leaders believe that the delay in onboarding new partners means direct revenue loss for the organisation.

To Improve Quality of Service

Acquiring and onboarding new partners is a complicated and expensive task, but not retaining existing customers leads to business closure. Existing customers tend to leave the company when the quality of service takes a back seat. A modernized cloud-based EDI system will enable the vendor to service their client queries in the stipulated period of time without delays. When customer complaints and queries are resolved at a faster pace, they will start trusting your organisation.

Your Current Solution is at Its End of Life/Support

Many organizations are hesitant to initiate EDI modernization citing reasons like capital required and disruption during migration. These organizations fail to understand that the cost of EDI modernization is economical compared to hefty SLA penalties and data breach. If the business continues to operate with legacy EDI that have software incompatibility issues and unsecure, then the business might risk closing down due to a potential data breach. 

According to a 2018 IBM survey, the average cost of data breach was $3.86 Million. Do you seriously want to risk such an expense with your legacy EDI system or protect your company’s reputation by modernizing your EDI to a secure and flexible one?

Lack of skills to manage your traditional EDIs

Modern workforce tends to learn and update their skills to latest technology trends. As time passes, you will not be able to find the skilled resources required to manage your on-premise legacy EDI systems that are likely to become obsolete in near future. With Modern EDI systems you no longer need to worry about resources since the workflows can be outsourced to trust and skilled third party partners.

Lack of support for new technologies 

Most of the traditional EDI systems doesn’t have the integration capabilities with modern software and SaaS. This lack of support for new technologies could mean loss of business. 

To improve scalability and flexibility

When an organization is growing slowly, the existing systems will be able to handle the incoming business but what happens when there is a sudden surge of new client acquisitions. It is highly unlikely that your traditional EDI vendors are able to handle sudden increase in volume and thus leading to delays. 

According to a market research report in 2019, 38% of IT decision makers lack the required confidence to scale up operations with their existing EDI systems. To enable scalability and flexibility, a business should modernize their EDI systems to fast-track customer onboarding. 

Here are five strategies to modernize legacy EDI services.

1.Adapt cloud-native EDI platform

The core of Digital transformation is migrating to a secure and scalable cloud platform from on-premise model. We cannot just migrate existing EDI into a cloud platform since the traditional EDI systems are rigid. You need to opt for a cloud-native modern EDI platform that is completely flexible and integrates with other applications seamlessly. With a cloud native platform, a company can easily deploy their EDI instance in any country or region to meet evolving business requirements. Such kinds of distributed cloud systems enable companies to meet challenging business needs that keep changing regularly.

When a company expands its global reach, it will come across countries where the regulators will demand that all the local transactions should be processed in a domestically deployed EDI instance. This is a perfect use case for cloud-native EDI platforms since they will aid the company to deploy local EDI instances in any country or region.

2. Deploy human-readable EDI dashboards

Majority of the traditional EDI systems require a specially skilled IT person to manage and resolve issues with EDI workflow. It is quite common that there will be discrepancies between the original orders and the real shipments that are sent. In order to resolve this problem, one has to work across multiple EDI documents and is a complicated process. The person in-charge should coordinate with the respective IT person for each and every step in fixing the EDI issue. Since a normal person will not understand and lacks the skills required to work on EDI formatted data. This is why it takes a long time to fix issues in legacy EDI systems. 

Most of the modern EDI systems translate the EDI language into a human-readable format and reports in a customizable dashboard. With a modern user-friendly system, ordinary business users will be able to diagnose and solve issues in the EDI system themselves without the help of an IT person. This way, the core IT team can work on the important things like development and security rather than fixing errors. 

3.Avoid EDI silos by ensuring seamless data flow

The core functionality of the EDI system is that the order communication from business partners reach the VAN mailbox and the buck stops here. It is important that the date from the VAN mailbox should seamlessly flow into the company’s ERP system. The intercommunication of data flow between the VAN mailbox and ERP should be automated and should not require another third party application for integration purpose. 

While selecting a modern EDI solution, ensure that it automatically integrates with your ERP system and enables data flow seamlessly without the need for external application. You should not waste your budget in buying a third party software for dataflow integration instead it should be taken care of by your EDI system itself.

4. Implement fast, easy self-service onboarding process

One of the most difficult challenges faced by legacy EDI systems is the manual onboarding process of partners and new vendors. When you onboard a new partner, you will have to communicate manually with the partner’s team to ask a series of questions that will lead to a thread of to and fro communication. In some cases, the employees will be occupied with their main tasks and will take a long time to answer your emails. This will only prolong the onboarding process and will eventually degrade the partner benefits.

With the modern EDI, the complete onboarding process is automated and is handed over to the new partner. The new partner or vendor can onboard themselves with your modern EDI using the seamless self-service onboarding module. When a modern self-service onboarding platform is used, the time taken for onboarding a new partner is reduced by 95%. This will ensure smooth integration and business growth.

5. Future-proof your B2B/EDI capabilities

Companies that succeed always think about the future and not focus entirely on present requirements. When deciding your modern EDI system, keep in mind that it should have the flexibility to integrate and support futuristic technologies like API lifecycle management and workflow automation. Such API rich EDI systems will make your B2B more responsive and will help your company stay ahead of the competition.

Make the Leap from Tactical  to Modernized EDI with TAFF 

Despite the benefits EDI has already provided to the supply chain industry, the deficiencies of legacy solutions are difficult to ignore in the face of increasingly complex supply chains. We hope that you’ve understood the significance of modernising EDI applications and you can take that leap of faith to modernize with TAFF’s highly skilled and experienced team.

Here at TAFF, we believe the adoption of a modern EDI strategy that uses a combination of cloud-based tools and managed services is that solution. Our team at TAFF is on hand to help you get your supply chain back into the fast lane. Feel free to reach out to us to discuss your EDI modernization strategy. Contact us today

Written by TAFF Inc TAFF Inc is a global leader and the fastest growing next-generation IT services provider. We create customized digital solutions that help brands in transforming their vision into innovative digital experiences. With complete customer satisfaction in mind, we are extremely dedicated to developing apps that strictly meet the business requirements and catering a wide spectrum of projects.