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COVID-19: Has outsourced EDI ever been more relevant?

Claire Gibbons
July 6, 2020

COVID-19: Has outsourced EDI ever been more relevant?

It is still hard to believe the impact that COVID-19 has had on our daily lives – whilst I don’t think any of us could have been fully prepared for what has happened and the impact it has had across the globe, it is fair to say that some companies have been more exposed than others.

Organisations needed to act fast when the UK Government announced that employees needed to work from home where possible. The implications were huge. This was no easy feat for even the most technologically advanced organisation, due to the numbers of staff involved.

Homeworking and EDI

However, the implications were far greater for those organisations who were still reliant on on-premise IT solutions, particularly in an area such as EDI, due to its business critical nature. With staff working from home, many companies we have spoken to suddenly found themselves in a situation where they couldn’t maintain their EDI solution, which presented a huge risk to their operations should something go wrong.

Homeworking wasn’t the only issue though. Many companies, whose sales had been hit by the lockdown restrictions, needed to furlough staff in order to survive. Whilst this was an unavoidable decision for many, it left their business critical EDI processes exposed, because their IT department was in many cases halved. Suddenly there was no guarantee that the resource would be available to fix an EDI error that was preventing the delivery of orders from a key customer.

Moving to an outsourced EDI solution

TrueCommerce has been helping clients transition from on-premise EDI solutions for over 20 years. However, in light of the office closures and homeworking caused by COVID-19, outsourced EDI is now a key component to any business continuity plan and we have therefore seen an increase in enquiries from companies who have found their on-premise EDI solution unworkable in the current environment. Our dedicated implementation and on-boarding teams have been helping them quickly and easily migrate to our EDI managed service to ensure they can continue exchanging business critical documents with their customers and suppliers. However, importantly due to our managed service delivery model their move to TrueCommerce means that they have been able to focus on their core business without needing to worry about their EDI solution on a day to day basis – something which is absolutely critical in today’s challenging times – not only have they overcome their current challenges they have future proofed their EDI operations.

Looking to the future

And, whilst we are now emerging from lockdown with restrictions being lifted on a weekly basis, as I have said in my previous post, life is unlikely to ever return to the normal we once knew. For many of us we will never shop, socialise or work in quite the same way again. According to new research from O2 Business, 45% of workers predict a permanent change to their company’s approach to flexible working after lockdown. It is therefore inevitable that we will see more and more people move to an outsourced, fully managed EDI solution in the coming weeks and months in response to the ‘new normal’ we find ourselves in.



Claire Gibbons is a Marketing Director here at TrueCommerce. With over 15 years’ experience in the IT sector, Claire’s specialises in market analysis, supply chain strategy and educational articles. Claire is based in our Coventry office.