How to Select the Best EDI Software Vendor

EDI

Electronic data interchange (EDI) solutions help you exchange data with your business partners quickly and efficiently. These systems can streamline business communications, automate workflows, improve efficiency, and reduce errors, all while helping your organization comply with industry regulations and standards.

If your company is looking to purchase an EDI solution for the first time or upgrade your existing EDI system, finding the right EDI vendor is an essential part of successful implementation and integration. Since there are so many options available on today’s market, be sure to carefully review top EDI providers and select an EDI vendor that is the best possible fit for your needs, goals, and budget.

What Are EDI Vendors?

An EDI vendor is a company that provides EDI solutions to businesses.

Some EDI vendors specialize in certain industries or market segments, while others create software that meets a wider range of needs. Regardless, EDI vendors produce, support, and manage EDI products that allow businesses to securely transfer standardized data to and from partners and efficiently streamline business communication between parties.

5 Things to Consider When Reviewing Top EDI Providers

As you review leading EDI vendors and narrow down your list of options, it’s important to consider criteria such as how the system will integrate with your existing architecture, whether you want a cloud-based or on-premises system, what industry experience the vendor brings to the table, how responsive their customer service and technical staff are, and whether the provider has a trustworthy reputation.

Pay attention to these factors as you evaluate top EDI companies.

1.    Connections & Integrations

What integrations and connections are supported by the EDI vendor?

Your new EDI solution should be able to integrate seamlessly with your architecture, such as your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and other business software. Choose an EDI provider that can ensure the EDI system can properly connect and integrate with your existing technology stack.

2.    Cloud-Based vs. On-Premises EDI Solutions

Are you looking for cloud-based EDI services or on-premises EDI solutions?

Cloud-based EDI solutions are held in a secure external network and are ideal for businesses that have no experience with EDIs or in-house resources prepared to manage the new system. Cloud-based EDIs are also a good fit for organizations looking for more scalability and flexibility.

On-premises EDI solutions are based on your company service and require in-house EDI specialists, extensive infrastructure, and implementation support. This type of EDI system is often a good fit for businesses with a low number of trading partners or companies whose business partners use similar EDI standards and formats.

3.    Industry Expertise

Does the EDI vendor have relevant experience in your industry?

Standardized data and communications formats differ based on industry. The EDI provider you partner with should have deep expertise in your industry and a solid grasp of the standards in your field to ensure you are getting applicable advice and targeted solutions to industry issues. 

4.    Customer Service

What level of customer service does the EDI vendor provide?

During and after EDI implementation, you will need to rely on your EDI provider to solve technical issues, make corrections, and identify solutions before they snowball into bigger problems. Find an EDI vendor that you can count on to offer a personalized, responsive approach and have a knowledgeable technical staff.

5.    Vendor Reputation

Is the EDI vendor trustworthy?

Your EDI system is only as good as the vendor you purchase it from. They should be trustworthy, reliable, and credible and have a positive reputation in your industry. Look for high-quality, responsive customer support, fair contracts and prices, thorough service level agreements (SLAs), and transparent communication.

How to Find an EDI Vendor for Your Company

The EDI vendor you partner with makes all the difference, so finding the right EDI vendor for your company is essential. Follow these tips to make an informed decision and select the best EDI solution.

Assess Your EDI Needs & Goals

The first step is to assess your EDI needs, goals, and budget. Having a clear idea of what you’re looking for ensures you are better prepared to select the right EDI vendor. Speak with key stakeholders and define your EDI requirements and objectives, and verify your EDI system budget. Additionally, think about the types of data and documents you want to exchange with trading partners as well as the standard formats used in your industry.

This information will help you narrow down your list of potential EDI providers.

Compare Different EDI Features

Based on your established needs and goals, compare different EDI features and solutions and see which vendors meet your requirements. What features does the EDI offer? How will the EDI system integrate with your existing software? Is the EDI solution cloud-based or on-premises? Evaluate your options and create a short list of EDI providers to investigate further.

Research Potential EDI Vendors

It’s time to research your list of potential EDI vendors.

Check reviews and testimonials as well as credentials, certifications, and awards. Look for transparency in their contracts, and ask for references so you can validate their customer support and track record of satisfaction. The goal is to work with an EDI provider that has experience in your industry and offers the features you need as well as has a solid reputation for high-quality service.

See the EDI System in Action

Once you’ve narrowed down your list to just a few options, figure out if you can see the EDI system in action. Many top EDI providers will offer free trials, consultations, or demos so you can test the solution before making a decision. Take advantage of these offers if you can to ensure you are selecting the right EDI system for your business.

Streamline Business Communications with CAI EDI Systems

At CAI, we create innovative, production-oriented software to help our customers across a variety of industries streamline business processes and optimize their manufacturing, processing, or distribution environment. Our goal is to provide you with industry-leading solutions that improve your business operations, all with excellent service and support.

Whether you are looking to automate business operations, streamline business partner communications, or comply with industry standards and regulations, we can help. With our suite of EDI products and access to our expert team, optimizing your business processes is easier than ever.

Contact us today for a free consultation.