We get incoming leads all throughout the month and I can always tell which ones will not close based on the questions I get. Most of our prospects ask all the right questions, "Can you meet the requirements of my trading partner?" "Is integration possible?" "How long before we can be in production?" But there are a few who are only concerned with how much money they will have to spend and only want low cost EDI. This is a dangerous proposition because the old adage that you get what you pay for is alive and well. It is far better to look for COST EFFECTIVE EDI rather than just low cost EDI.
There have been several times that our prospect went with another provider because their solution was the cheapest. And then a few weeks later some of those prospects come back and sign up with us because they spent the last few weeks on hold with the provider's call center or their customer's deadline came and went...and they still were not in production. In some cases, you will not be able to get your money back and you are either stuck with a sub-par provider or you will end up spending more money than if you had went with a more expensive and reputable EDI service provider to begin with. Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the best EDI service, regardless of price...
1. Get references and always follow up on them. Ask questions like, "How responsive are they to your concerns and issues?" "How quickly were they able to get you into production?"
2. Make sure you get EDI documentation from your customer including mapping, guidelines and EDI contact info. Do not rely on your EDI provider to have the most current information. Your customer will hold YOU responsible for problems, not your provider.
3. Be responsive to your EDI service provider's questions and communications. Most EDI service providers ARE reputable and will provide good service, but they can only do so if they can easily reach you.
4. Above all, weigh your options carefully. Low cost EDI solutions may save you some money up front, but could cost a lot more in the long run.