Prior to selecting your EDI vendor, it is critical to define the scope of your project so that you fully understand your supply chain business’ needs, both now and in the future. Once these critical factors have been defined it is time to begin the vendor selection process. To ensure the success of the selection process it is critical to involve your entire team so that all functional areas are represented in the decision making process. Work with these team members to evaluate these key areas:

EDI mapping experience – Your supply chain business is complex and unique to your operation. Vendors should be able to easily accommodate any mapping changes needed quickly and efficiently to allow your SCM operation to onboard new trading partners quickly.

Data redundancy – Evaluate security protocols and data redundancy in offered EDI services. Having access to an accurate, real-time flow of data at all times is critical to your operation and you VAN should help, not hinder, this need.

Constant monitoring – Is the potential vendor proactive about identifying and correcting errors? With constant monitoring your VAN can eliminate business disruptions by fixing problems before they become an issue.

Document management – Top EDI vendors should also monitor and make changes to supporting EDI documentation to ensure vendor conformance and regulatory compliance.

Proprietary software – Some EDI vendors are merely resellers. By selecting a vendor who has developed proprietary software your supply chain operation will benefit from quick and easy customizations as representatives are typically brand experts.

System support – Are you able to easily contact support staff when issues arise? Many VANs outsource support to call centers, rather than letting internal staff solve issues. Do not let your business become just a number.

Industry experience – Consider selecting a vendor with experience in an industry similar to yours so they are able to assist your growth initiatives.

System simplicity – Select a system that is easy to use and maintain for your internal IT resources. This will allow them to focus on other business critical functions.

ROI – One benefit of EDI implementation is potential cost savings. Evaluate the possible ROI of each VAN to ensure that their timeline meets your expectations.

To learn more about EDI implementation, contact Datex experts today at or 800.933.2839 ext 243.

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