Being in the trenches every day and speaking to so many different people, I get to hear a lot about the EDI solution mistakes that have been made and what companies would do differently if they could go back. Here is a short (certainly not exhaustive) list of the top five "I wish I knew then what I know now" insights. If you have more to add, please feel free to comment!
1. Not Integrating - If you are processing more than 20 transactions per day, you should have an integrated EDI solution. It's that simple.
2. Buying on Price - When shopping around for an EDI solution you should not automatically pick the least expensive package. This is a big mistake as there are too many variables to buy solely on price. First and foremost, your EDI solution should meet your business goals.
3. Not Taking Advantage of Alerts - This is perhaps the simplest yet most effective, single thing you can do to avoid charge backs. If your solution offers this feature, be sure to take advantage of it. It WILL pay for itself!
4. Not Checking References - I am always surprised when we acquire a new customer and they didn't ask for references. Whether you're hiring an EDI provider for either mapping services or hosted EDI, you should make sure they have happy customers.
5. Too Many Solutions - Too often I get calls from companies who are overwhelmed because they have three or four different EDI providers! What invariably has happened is that they started out with one EDI provider and later added a trading partner. Rather than going to their provider for help, they mistakenly signed on with a new provider and the whole thing snowballs. My advice is to stick with one provider. If an EDI provider is telling you that you HAVE to use them, don't take them at their word, do your homework.