Electronic data interchange (EDI) has big potential to save a lot of time. The automatic exchange of documents like invoices, quotes, dispatch advises, or inventory reports improves productivity in your company.
This is the good news. The challenge in EDI projects is their complexity and long-running implementation periods. EDI projects may become like a never-ending story. Let’s avoid this!
Read in this newsletter our TOP 5 recommendations for a successful EDI project.
Our team has an outstanding experience in EDI projects for more than 10 years. We have worked on over 160 different projects for Microsoft Dynamics NAV partners and users. We would like to share our experience with you.
I kindly invite you to read our TOP 5 and I am looking forward to your feedback.
Product Manager Anveo EDI Connect
Top 5 How-Tos for Successful EDI Projects
Very often, an EDI project is planned using the provided EDI documentation of the partner, especially if you have to deal with big companies. However, do not expect too much: This type of documentation can be used for a rough time planning, but it is useless for an implementation. Why this? Have you ever seen a documentation that is 100% up-to-date and 100% complete? The answer is “No.”
This is why it is best to request and wait for example data from your EDI trading partner. This data should also fit to your company’s master data like your items or customers to make implementation and testing much easier. This way, you just saved a lot of adjustments or even a second implementation if the documentation was bad.
Very often, documentation is not complete or not up-to-date.
Never begin an EDI project without a detailed planning of all implementation steps. The main challenge are long test periods because of many different parties being involved. Every step must include a well-defined goal, a specific deadline and a responsible party. If you ever experience a shift, re-do the planning and name the responsible party. We also recommend including some time for unexpected shifts. As an example: a testing period for a single data mapping should be at least a week.
All parties must participate in first planning. It is crucial to wait for everybody’s approval before moving ahead.
Name and communicate any timing problems to the whole team, even if you may not have the project lead. It may significantly affect the initial planning.
The user may have a deadline by a third party, in some cases also including contract penalties. Of course, all parties will do their best to run an EDI project as fast as possible. However, we have seen that additional resources cannot accelerate the initial planning from step 2. This is because waiting times between meetings or test runs is responsible for most of the project time, not the implementation itself.
This may result in a displeasing truth about the project planning. If you want to speed up your project, keep any waiting times between test-runs and meetings as short as possible.
Every EDI implementation results in a process change for the user. The new automation of processes reduces the workload; this is the purpose of EDI. However, a new task called Clearing is required. A monitoring and error solution process of the EDI communication.
It is very important to understand that no EDI process will ever run without any interruptions. This is not because of technical reasons. From time to time, EDI partners have to adjust their master data like, for example, a new unit of measure or new item numbers. An experienced user has to handle these type of tasks. Knowledge of company’s business data is important; a developer or consultant is the wrong person for data maintenance.
We have seen people sometimes do not accept these type of tasks, because it is only dealing with annoying errors. While the successfully processed data is invisible in the meantime.
Help users understand this new type of tasks and provide a good training on solving these kinds of issues.
Explain the new clearing task very carefully and assist the first weeks on every new case. It is very important to clarify the type of interruptions – data based tasks that have to be resolved between EDI parties and technical issues (transmission channel).
We recommend solving the first issues by the initial implementation team. However, do not forget to hand-over afterwards. Especially master data mismatch is normal from time to time. A user must be empowered to solve them on its own.
Anveo EDI Connect for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Based on several years of EDI experience, we have created Anveo EDI Connect – a fully integrated EDI solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Simply set up all data mappings in your Windows Client or Classic Client of Microsoft Dynamics NAV – without any line of code. The Anveo Connect EDI import assistant helps you to create a document structure in minutes – just take the example file and import it. The assistant saves a lot of time for every developer.
We show you how to set up data mappings between different EDI partners with a lot of configration properties.
Feel free to pose all your questions in our webinar.