Preparing for EDI Integration into Your ERP
Your business's tech stack is vital for managing communication and data transmission between your supply chain partners. Integrating your technology solutions streamlines every step of your business operations, from order processing to fulfillment. When your company utilizes electronic data interchange (EDI) integration, it can benefit from improved order fulfillment and reduced errors.
Planning is essential for integrating trading partner data with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or accounting system. This guide provides all you need to know about EDI integration with an ERP system and ERP integration best practices to help you begin the process.
The Importance of Planning for Your EDI ERP Integration
You may already have a great ERP system you want to enhance with EDI integration or want to upgrade to an ERP system and EDI solution simultaneously. Whichever category you fall in, it's critical to consider all business systems involved. Taking time to strategize for EDI integration with your ERP brings a few benefits:
- It helps establish your company's integration needs so you can select the best solution.
- It makes the process smoother.
- It ensures your return on investment is accelerated.
Integrating transactional data gathered through EDI into your ERP can seem like a daunting task — especially when you're unsure where to begin. A comprehensive, step-by-step plan allows you to gauge the success of each step in your EDI integration project timeline and guarantee on-time delivery and a better return on your ERP investment.
Make sure your business is prepared for your ERP implementation by
identifying potential pitfalls and the best practices to avoid them.
Determine Value with an Internal Risk and Needs Assessment
EDI-ERP integration is more than a cost of doing business efficiently — it also opens opportunities for new supply chain partnerships and makes your business more competitive. That said, an EDI integration project sometimes involves more than a simple setup. Many companies discover they need to customize their integrations to some extent to maximize their efficiency.
Before you embark on your project, conduct an internal risk and needs assessment. This assessment helps determine the value of the integration, the challenges you're seeking to overcome, and the overall return on investment. Consider the benefits of integration in your evaluation, including reduced manual data entry errors and decreased labor costs.
A risk and needs assessment helps you determine what functionality you need from your EDI integration. EDI software should provide some core integrations with major ERP systems like QuickBooks, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, and Sage. This ensures that even if you change ERP systems or upgrade to a new version, you won't need to completely redo your EDI integration setup.
Determine the Scope of Your ERP Integration Project
The next step is estimating the timeline and business implications of the project with your project manager. Defining a clear project scope ensures that the development and delivery of the project align with your company's key organizational objectives. This process creates the timeline and goals for your EDI integration project and provides insights on allocating internal resources.
To determine the scope of work, take these steps:
- Define your ERP interfaces.
- Determine testing and acceptance criteria.
- Create a launch schedule.
Prior to launching a solution into production, a “go-live" date is determined, which becomes the target to have the integration completed. During the implementation process, a testing scenario must be established to ensure that key objectives are met. Ensure the solution is phased into production until management confirms successful testing and accepts functionality.
Use Best Practices for Outsourcing ERP Integration
If you're outsourcing your ERP EDI integration project, ask the provider if they are outsourcing any project components. In many instances, EDI providers will outsource integration to third-party vendors. This can inhibit communication and often leads to delayed projects, increased costs, and lost revenue. To avoid these issues, we recommend using EDI integration solutions already designed to work with your ERP.
Work with your EDI provider to determine and outline the integration process, noting assigned responsibilities and due dates for each step. Be sure you understand these roles clearly and have one key point of contact to avoid confusion. For example, when you choose TrueCommerce, your implementation process might look a lot like this:
Stay Connected with EDI Solutions from TrueCommerce
To ensure an efficient implementation of EDI, you must understand the value integrating can provide. Aligning your EDI integration project with your goals yields a more successful integration project and helps your business manage its EDI needs.
If you're looking for an EDI provider with a range of EDI solutions, partner with TrueCommerce. TrueCommerce provides EDI solutions and fully managed EDI services that are compatible with the ERP of your choice. Our EDI solutions offer 24/7 monitoring and a cloud-based solution that connects you with a global supply chain network.
Request an EDI demo to see how TrueCommerce EDI solutions can integrate with your tech stack. Start doing business in every direction with TrueCommerce.
About the Author: Kristen Puluso has been with TrueCommerce since 2007. She is responsible for the implementation teams of TrueCommerce. Kristen joined the team as a Technical Support Representative after graduating from Robert Morris University with her Bachelor's in Information System Management. After several years, she moved into leadership. Kristen is our VP of Client Delivery for North America. She is passionate about providing outstanding service and focused on metric driven results with her team. Kristen has two children, Aubrey 4 and Cameron 7. She appreciates the time she gets to spend with her family, boating at their family lake house and all the exciting new adventures they get to do together.