Nicole Wilson
August 27, 2023
5 min read
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Modern businesses exchange a tremendous amount of data. The more human involvement in that process, the more the potential for errors increases.Companies still relying on employees to process purchase orders and other standard business documents are wasting their resources. Computers process and transfer data more efficiently than we ever could on our own.That's why large enterprises utilize electronic data interchange (EDI) to automate the process as much as possible. In addition to improving the accuracy of data, EDI also lowers costs and speeds up the transfer of data.If your company isn't utilizing EDI already, it's time to get started. First You'll need to decide if EDI is the best solution for you.Decide if EDI is Right For Your BusinessFigure out the number of paper transactions your company processes on a daily basis. It's not as cost-effective to use EDI if your business doesn't truly need it. Yet, there's a good chance you do.Take a look at the list below to see if EDI is right for you.Your Business Will Benefit From EDI if:

  • You process a high volume of paper transactions
  • You have several documents that need attention from many people in your process
  • You need a significant amount of data entry
  • Your process requires a large amount of document management

Does that sound like your company? If so, it's time to get started!Still not convinced that EDI is worth exploring? Your business could actually be losing money by not implementing EDI. According to the research, EDI can lower your transaction costs by at least 38% and speed up business cycles by 61% or more.Prepare to Implement EDIBefore you decide on an EDI solution, you need to evaluate your process.Analyze your process for transferring documents from one end of the chain to the other. Make note of all the areas where you need an employee or agent to advance to the next step.How much variation is there between documents?What does your internal network look like?What type of IT infrastructure do you currently have?You should be able to visualize your workflow from beginning to end. Once you've identified all this information, you will have a better idea of what you need from an EDI solution.Research Various EDI SolutionsAs with any business investment, you should investigate various EDI solutions and consider your options. All EDI providers are not created equal, and the difference in quality can be significant.Today, most EDI solutions use the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, where you pay a monthly fee for their service. BOLD VAN's EDI services are scalable to accommodate businesses of all sizes. BOLD VAN is first EDI VAN to offer Trading Partner Pricing making BOLD VAN an excellent EDI solution for a business experiencing growth.Smaller businesses will be okay with a cloud-based, more affordable, EDI solution. On the other hand, large enterprises will likely need a full hardware system installed, which comes with a higher initial investment.Whatever size your business is, there are some general features that you should look for in an EDI solution. Your particular needs could evolve over time, so it's a good idea to select an EDI provider that you can stick with for a while.Here's what to look for in an EDI solution:

  • It supports all data formats, label requirements, and transactions — including workflow situations specific to your business.
  • It provides a complete outsourced solutions — including secure data transfers, data mapping, custom workflows, and integration with other necessary software.
  • It offers easy accessibility online and worldwide.
  • It uses a multi-tenant application architecture.
  • It allows migrations between partners to be done seamlessly, without disrupting existing systems.
  • It provides the ability to assign secure user accounts based on roles in the company.

You should also talk to current and previous customers when you can. They'll provide insights that you won't be able to find online or in your consultations with sales reps.Once you've found the right EDI solution, You'll have a new problem: figuring out what to do with the extra resources your company has now.BOLD VAN offers a variety of EDI solutions. From cloud-based to full EDI system implementation, we've got the right solution for you. Speak to an EDI Solutions Specialist today 844-265-3777.Continue reading on why Startups need EDI In Their Business Model.

Nicole Wilson
Engineering Manager, Layers

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