Photo appears courtesy of Vector Open Stock. This year will mark McAna EDI, Inc.’s 20th year supporting our clients' integration/EDI solutions. Software companies and/or their products have come and gone, have been sold, renamed and have certainly matured. But along the way, one thing that will never change is the need to provide companies foresight and direction to implement integration solutions that streamline their business practices as well as the support to maintain these processes to ensure the ability to grow, succeed and prosper in ever changing supplier, customer and internal integration environments.
Twenty years ago, EDI/integration solutions came in many forms - there were tools for application development and tools for integration. The challenge was educating companies to understand that each has their place and why. Integration tools provide standard definitions for data that needs to be integrated. These tools are also what we call 3rd generation tools that have more point, click, drag and drop mapping for greater speed in development. Having experience in integration tools helps those used to regular application development tools to understand those benefits. Much like Legos these solutions bolt the integration together allowing for reliable solutions. Purchase orders and invoices don’t have to be printed and mailed, saving time in the office to support the growth of the business thus, generating more revenue.
In the early days of integration there were tools for EDI and then there were tools for other integration. Today we enjoy products that allow us to do enterprise integration – B2B (Business to Business), web to application and application to application. We also enjoy integration with email systems opening report options or simply eliminating the effort of developing reports. For example, EDI Notepad, a free reader available from Liaison Technologies for EDI documents, allows us to provide HTML reports to users that can be delivered via email and stored in Outlook folders for future reference. Beyond products choices we also provide analysis on current processes to determine best practices. We strive to provide a unique method to implement solutions and provide suggestions to improve upon current processes to achieve the same results with less effort. Having worked on so many tool sets our skills mitigate the learning curve to support products not yet used. Knowing how to review, recommend, familiarize and execute becomes second nature saving the client time and money.
Getting a company to grow sometimes means challenging the status quo. This will often allow the client to think out of the box. Where being PC might be the norm, a consultant can come into a company’s environment, see it fresh and not be afraid to stand up for what is best for the organization. A good consultant can look at a project with imagination and translate it into a well-constructed solution using best-of-breed tools. Standing true to the best interest and success of the client puts the project (and sometimes conflicts) center stage. Those conflicts are endured and in the end individual interests are dissolved. Incidentally, in counseling circles conflict equals growth. Ultimately those whom we have engaged were able to find a fresh view, become successful and reap the benefits. Growing is not easy - this is why we call them "growing pains." Challenging current processes is not always well received, but provides for the greatest potential. Letting the status quo rule allows for comfort yet our growth is stunted... ”Got a day time job doin’ all right..."
Value to a client comes in many forms – product selection assistance, implementation options, support flexibility and business practice review. We have provided clients remote support for the last 20 years. This reduces the cost of supporting the clients' solutions, saves the clients money in transportation expenses and adds a layer of comfort for clients knowing that someone can quickly reach into their systems to review, correct and ensure successful processing. The next time you have an EDI requirement, challenge yourself to think big, determine how you can measure the benefits and believe in the ideal. We have provided solutions for many organization over the last 20 years from big companies like HP/Agilent, Danaher Motions, Koa Industries, Incline Village General Improvement District, Kellogg’s, Alcoa, Odom’s Tennessee Pride, Bay Area Transit and Roche to small family size companies. The next time you have requirements let us dream with you, provide suggestions and see where it takes you.
Click below to view a video on how thinking outside the box about EDI can make you a rockstar within your organization.