Tired of solutions that don’t deliver promised results? It may be time to consider EDI migration. With electronic data exchange playing an increasingly important role in keeping business operations intact, the need for more advanced data management tools is growing as well. But how do you go about changing your old EDI solutions provider and switching to a more efficient system? Here are the steps to take for successful EDI migration.
Step 1: Identify the reason for migration
Before embarking on an EDI migration project, it is essential to recognize the issues with your current solution. The most common ones include difficulties with:
- Quality of current services – if you are not satisfied with the current vendor and your current provider does not meet expectations
- Maintaining legal compliance and meeting the regulations of your trading partners (e.g., regarding document formats)
- Lack of resources – an on premises/in-house solution EDI created 20 years ago will be known to a very limited circle of specialists, have numerous open tickets, will no longer properly maintained by an internal team, may use obsolete languages/codes, could have no documentation, and there may not even be anyone in the company who knows how to operate it.
- Many different systems to be integrated – companies after acquisitions have got different EDI providers, different ERPs/ other systems that need unification
Companies often find themselves looking for an EDI system based on newer technology that will make data exchange processes more automated and therefore improve their overall performance. Identifying the reasons for migration is an important step, as it will help you define the scope of the project, select the right technology, and set realistic expectations.
Step 2: Map out the EDI migration project
EDI migration deals with multiple processes that affect people, logistics, and technologies. From the supply chain to finances, the project influences most branches of operations. That’s why, before embarking on the journey, it’s important to map out your current EDI situation and the changes that need to be made. This can include a list of documents that will be migrated, currently used protocols, the timelines for the project, and the resources required. It is also essential to identify any potential risks and challenges that may arise during the migration process, and define the mitigation strategies. During this step, it may be helpful to rely on the advice and knowledge of an external expert that can help you lay out your options.
Step 3: Select the right EDI solution provider
This is probably the most important step when going through an EDI migration plan. Choosing the right solution can make or break your project, which is why it’s so crucial to conduct thorough research on what the best vendors have to offer. Your new EDI solution provider should be based on your business requirements, the scalability of their solution, and the ease of integration with existing systems they can secure. Analyze possible EDI options on the market and find what tools and technologies they include. Relying on innovative solutions, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, or cloud, can help your company achieve better business results and reduce document handling costs. It may also be of value to check whether your potential new provider has dealt with EDI migration projects before and can ensure a smooth transition for business continuity.
Step 4: Prepare data for migration
Another step of an EDI migration process is taking proper care of data. Before relocation to the new system, your company’s data should be cleaned, standardized, and validated. It will also be useful to define the mapping rules between the old and new systems to ensure accurate data migration. The right EDI solutions provider will help you with the bigger part of this task and come up with ideas for improvement if you hit any snags.
Step 5: Test the migration process and evaluate the new system
Detailed analysis is the key to successful migration of an EDI platform – and that holds true regardless of the phase of your EDI migration process. After implementing the new solution, it’s time to assess the effectiveness of your new system and check whether it meets your business requirements. This can be achieved by end-to-end testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing. If the new EDI platform is performing sufficiently, all that’s left is to regularly monitor its adequacy and delivered results. The right solution should help you boost productivity, minimize the risk of human error, and optimize everyday operations. It’s therefore important to systematically check whether those goals are being met.
In conclusion, EDI migration is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. The steps outlined above provide a framework for its successful conduct. By following them, you can ensure that your EDI migration project is completed on time, within budget, and with minimal disruption to your operations.