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Planning and Implementation Process of EDI

Outlining your plan for your EDI implementation is just like planning for any other campaign; your tactics should include the following:

  • Create Logical goals. EDI implementation goals that are achievable. Your goals should follow a pattern Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
  • Identify your Trading Partner(s). To whom you will be using this process. Define all the different partners. Confirm that EDI software is mapped to your trading partner
  • Communicate Your Goal.  Make sure you construct a message that is easy to understand and with precise details of how you want to execute your goals.
  • Timeline. Create a schedule for each communication and follow your deadlines! 

By communicating your goals, you are informing all the Trading Partners and may get them involved.

Planning and Implementation process

  • Build Project Team

Following the choice to implement EDI, the project team will plan, correspond, and deliver all implementation efforts. The EDI project team should include agents from all functional departments that may be affected by EDI. Someone leading the team will be responsible for organizing all phases of the planning and implementation processes, including connections with trading partners, software vendors, and network service providers. The project leader should be full time and should also have the full support and direct access to the top management. 

  •  Produce Business Plan 

The first task of the team is building out an EDI strategic plan for the project. A program that will explain in absolute terms: the expected completion, benefits, and corresponding technical specifications to complete them. 

  • Distinguish Functional Essentials

    We need to identify the company, operations, legal, security, and technical concerns that the business is having with their operating environment.

    • Create an idea using the EDI operating concept. A concept that will explain the program flow, trading partners, work practices, and systems that will make use of an electronic environment. This task guarantees that the project has a concise understanding of its new work methods, procedures, and controls.   
    • Know all data components needed to fulfill data flows between Trading Partners. These details can be used to improve or revise EDI patterns, to develop or modify EDI standards, procedures, and programs to accommodate the application system database with the software package of EDI translation. The leader will assign an expert system analyst that will generate the required data and produce them in an applicable format. 
    • Many application systems must be revised to acquire EDI transactions and make use of the speed and accuracy of those transactions. So we need to discover the required application system enhancements and create a plan of executing them. 
    • Know and find the business legal and security issues. This task is where you review and solve the identified concerns during the EDI probability or opportunities assessment, as well as the EDI security and legal provisions and that its electronic environment functions integrity are maintained.
  • Make sure that the operating system is following its identified functional specification. 
    • Study and complete the specification of the hardware like its technical design and the amount of system requirements to make sure that it can support the EDI applications, also if there is a need for new hardware. 
    • Identify the required EDI transaction software like the final operating system, operative requirements, hardware capacities, and the option the vendor has. 
    • Secure a telecommunications plan to use in communicating with internal and external trading partners. Consider the telecommunications requirement covered by the amount of transactions both sent to and receive from the trading partners.
  • Reevaluate the EDI Standards and practices and propose needed changes to ensure that you are meeting the requirements.

  •  Integrate and do multiple testing of the system
    • Obtain and connect hardware and EDI software
    • Improve application systems and make sure it is taking EDI information and maximizing the purpose of it.
    • Modify program interface with vendors’ EDI translation software.
    • Update the operating system. Discuss procedures like software operation, transmission schedule, customer service, back-up systems, and business process. You need to interpret the internal procedures of their manual process, comparing it to the new electronic process.
    • Conduct an EDI training for the end-users and supervise the implementation process.

 

  • Build trading partner relationships strategy for approaching and working with them.

    • This preparation procedure is for all prospective trading partners. It should include information about the system of implementation, operating process, EDI codes and security details, contacts, and EDI trading partner arrangements.

 

  • Once testing is completed, and trading partners are all set to send and receive business transactions electronically, you can now go live!

About the Author: AJ Amjad Khanmohamed

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