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How to choose a third party EDI vendor

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

There are two paths you can take when it comes to EDI services. You can go with the in-house implementation. This tends to be more costly, a lot more work, but gives a lot of additional control, security, and privacy. Alternatively, you can go with a third party EDI provider. This is faster, has less capital expenditure. Here we will look at some of the considerations when it comes to choosing one:

The first consideration would be the number of partners present on the vendor’s system. This is the most important because the more of your existing vendors and partners on the system, the easier this transition will be. In addition, the cost benefits will also be visible sooner.

The second would be support for overseas partners. This means being able to get your Chinese and European suppliers and customers on board.

Another is training and support for your staff. Training, later on, can be done in-house, but at the start, it is good to be able to get staff trained by the vendor. Electronic data interchange will be a big shift and this will need to be introduced to them well.

Getting your partners on board EDI is also another important consideration. Not all of your partners will be using EDI. Getting them on board will be to your benefit and theirs. Vendors can provide support and guidance on how to best go about this.

Finally, there are the financials. The providers tend to charge on volume of transactions while offering differing payment models.

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Act Data is an EDI service bureau for retail and supplier environments.