Evaluating EDI providers? Here are the key questions you need to ask.
1. Is your EDI software cloud based?
It’s important to know if your system and data can be accessed from different devices. This will also help you know if their “real-time” is genuinely “real-time” when it comes to your data flow.
2. Can you walk me through your migration and integration processes?
This helps you understand how the EDI provider approaches project planning, implementation, cutover strategy and post-cutover support.
3. Can I set up access permissions?
Limiting degrees of user access to data and notifications is an important security practice.
4. What kind of reporting capabilities do you offer?
Standard? Custom? Something specific?
5. Do you outsource integrations?
An in-house integration team reduces knowledge transfer loss and accelerates timelines.
6. Do you offer native integrations with Fedex, UPS, Shopify, Amazon?
For most suppliers, shipping and eCommerce integrations are non-negotiable.
7. Can you integrate with my ERP, online storefronts and major marketplaces to accelerate order processing speed?
These are table stakes – and speed is the name of the game.
8. Does your EDI software come with built in safeguards?
This is how you reduce data sent in error and related chargebacks.
9. What’s your disaster recovery plan?
COVID taught us many hard lessons, including how to manage supply chain disasters. EDI is an important part of any supply chain, so understanding how a prospective vendor prepares for, assesses and manages major disruptions is critical.
10. How quickly can you get me up and running with a trading partner?
While it will always depend on a retailer’s response time, you want your EDI provider to be confident that, from their side, they can get you up and running in days, not weeks.
11. What about support?
Is it an extra cost? Outsourced? Don’t forget to inquire about their system and data backup policies.
12. What about EDI testing?
Ideally, you want a provider that helps you with retailer EDI testing requirements. Better yet, look for an EDI provider that has strong retailer relationships that oftentimes can eliminate the need for testing.
13.How do you keep me compliant with my trading partners’ EDI requirements?
EDI compliance is critical to your trading partner relationships. A good EDI provider will help you achieve and maintain it through double validation checks, automation of high-touch tasks, and constant updates to EDI mapping and system maintenance.
14. Does your solution allow me to process orders in bulk?
This is all about saving time and money. Processing orders individually requires extensive resources. Bulk order processing keeps things fast and nimble.
15. How do you handle warehouse and 3PL integrations?
You definitely want your EDI platform talking to your warehouse and 3PL systems.
16. Do you offer the ability to automate document creation and transmission?
Automation is a game-changer for your bottom line, reducing the time and resources it takes to create and transmit documents, while also reducing the chance of chargebacks that can happen with manual processing.