Photo appears courtesy of Gabriel Villena. The only thing that is constant in EDI is change. Coming up on 30 years in EDI I’m observing lots of change in my customer’s EDI . Companies are moving to new VAN or adopting AS2 after sometimes decades on one of the older VANS. Along with that EDI IDs sometimes change. AS2 security certificates usually expire after 2 years.EDI software and ERP systems are updated, often with new user interfaces.EDI standards are changing and companies are adopting new processes, documents or even moving to XML (they were worrying about that in the 1990s). And now more than ever EDI coordinators and programmers are retiring or moving on to hang up their hats and do something else.
One thing is often missing – good record keeping!!! This is a topic we have blogged about many times and it cannot be overstated. Twice in the past few weeks I’ve encountered a changing of the guard at a customer's site where someone calls in a panic, “What’s our EDI ID?” or, “Our AS2 certificate is expiring, where’s the original?” Also, “Where are the EDI guidelines for abc company?” and, “Who’s the EDI coordinator at our big customer? Suzy coordinator has retired!!!”
Now more than ever, with all the change happening in our industry it is incredibly important to have a record, spreadsheet, database or Cloud storage of your EDI records with IDs, EDI Guidelines, AS2 certificates, software versions and a good contact list of who to call for help!!! If you cannot put this together, find a company who can help you document all of this information. Critical business processes depend heavily on EDI running smoothly so your success depends on that.
Have a great summer everyone, and document, document, document to support YOUR changing of the guard.