by CData Arc Marketing | October 02, 2020

How to Avoid Dependency on One EDI Expert

Imagine you're a supplier of a key component that a major automobile company needs on the assembly line for a popular car. If that part isn't at the right place at the right time because an EDI shipping document wasn't processed properly, you could potentially shut the entire assembly line down, destroying your relationship with one of your biggest customers.

The reliable transmission for EDI documents is business-critical. You need processes in place to avoid glitches in EDI file transmission, because the cost of your system failing is simply astronomical.

One key consideration as you take steps to ensure your EDI runs seamlessly is having people in place to run your operations at all times. But many organizations have only one person in charge of EDI who knows how these processes work and how to remediate any issues. What happens if that person leaves the company or gets sick?

In short: cross-train your team to understand how your EDI system works.

To avoid the risk that your only EDI expert will be unavailable when disaster strikes, it's important to cross-train team members so more than one person is available to address any EDI problems. If you operate globally, be sure those knowledgeable on EDI within your team are distributed to handle any local issues.

What You'll Need in an EDI Solution to Support Cross-Training Efforts

The wrong EDI solution, particularly legacy EDI tools, will make it impractical or even impossible to cross-train your EDI team. Legacy tooling adds inherent complexity, often requiring advanced knowledge of document transformations, data flows, and logic happening under the hood.

In contrast, the right EDI technology will provide the simplicity and ease making it possible to cross-train your team members. Look for the following capabilities:

An Easy-to-Use UI

Many organizations perform EDI using command line tools and scripts. But EDI workflows built using what are often complex, poorly documented scripts make knowledge transfer difficult.

Instead, the EDI and B2B managed file transfer (MFT) solution should be low-code, so your users can perform the majority of tasks without the need for scripting. The solution should also provide a simplified UI that makes it easier for anyone to view and interact with EDI flows to quickly see what's going on and understand the partner and EDI relationships you manage. Such a solution should incorporate a modern, easy to understand, drag and drop interface that's accessible via a browser.

Standardized Scripting & Low-Code

While it's important to minimize scripting, there are times when you need the flexibility of a scripting language to customize your EDI transfer, for example, by creating lookups. Therefore, the solution should incorporate powerful scripting options while making it easy to see, debug, and extend scripts crucial to your EDI file transfer. Just as important, it should support low-code and no-code logic, with pre-built formatters and full documentation to simplify the process so anyone can understand the scripts.

Error Reporting and Handling

The solution should provide notifications or triggers so that if something doesn't send properly, you can quickly see the problem and what you need to do to fix it. You may want to send these notifications to more than one person to ensure that someone will see and respond to them.

Consolidated Connectivity & Data Integration

Many EDI solutions perform one function. Such solutions make cross-training harder because users need to learn multiple solutions just to see what's happening in a single partner EDI transaction process. And many organizations have dozens, even hundreds of transactions and partners.

Find a solution that incorporates all necessary functionality:

  • EDI translation
  • Secure B2B file transfer between EDI partners (managed file transfer)
  • EDI-backend integration to automatically enter your EDI documents into your database systems, even ERPs, CRMs, ecommerce, accounting, and logistics tools.

Having one consolidated solution will make it easier to transfer knowledge to additional team members, especially if they can visually see and update the entire end-to-end partner data flows in one place.

Failover / Backup Configurations

If your EDI solution goes down, you need to be able to spin up a new instance very quickly. Solutions are available that have a preconfigured instance preloaded onto a VM to make the process of getting back online extremely quick and easy.

CData Arc is Built to Support EDI Resilience and Continuity

EDI is complex, which often makes it difficult to cross-train non-specialist team members, but CData Arc does everything any solution can do to simplify the process. We've built it from the ground up to be easy to use and manage. CData Arc includes everything you need for end-to-end EDI flows: EDI translation, backend database integration, and B2B managed file transfer - along with error handling to notify users of any issues instantly. All in a single solution that's easy-to-learn and use. At the same time, CData Arc gives you the flexibility of APIs, scripting, and webhooks so you can flexibly handle any EDI scenario.

Learn how CData Arc can help your business keep EDI up and running. Download CData Arc today!