You've been a supplier for Company X for 10 years and you get that dreaded e-mail...you have to become EDI compliant or risk losing them as a customer. Where do you start? Where do you go? Most suppliers just turn to the EDI provider recommended by their customer via their Supplier Enablement Program. You need to know that is not always the best course of action.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they were under the impression that they HAVE to use Provider Y...well I wouldn't be writing this blog. This almost always is not the case. Successful EDI onboarding requires that you do your homework. Don't sign up for a solution just to avoid paying testing fees. Shop around for a solution that fits YOUR needs and YOUR budget long term. Most importantly, don't sign up for a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all solution. An EDI solution should be able to grow and evolve along with your business. After all, what is appropriate now may not be appropriate in five years.
Ask questions like...
- What happens if I already have an EDI solution in place?
- Do you have a list of approved or recommended providers?
- What sort of time frame do I have to get EDI compliant?
- What happens if I'm not ready by the due date?
- If you test, will you be testing with real data?
- If I have questions, who can I contact?
- How long before I can expect a response?
- What are my requirements?
The most important thing I can stress is be prepared and do your homework. As they say, "Today's preparation determines tomorrow's achievement." If you need help with EDI onboarding, most EDI providers offer free no obligation consultations.