The primary motivator behind an EDI implementation is to increase efficiency, improve accuracy, and increase revenue. One of the key components to a successful implementation is the data mapping phase.
EDI systems work by taking your data, transforming it into a common format and then converting it again into a format that your partner’s systems can accept. One of the key requirements for this to work is that your data needs to be in a specific format for conversion. Here are some common challenges according to Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA:
Often, we take the current systems and data within at face value. However, when you take a closer look, you will see a lot of extra, and sometimes unnecessary information. For example, a common issue is that you will suddenly realize that one item of information you need to send is a combination of two. Which requires a change or upgrade of the existing in-house system.
Another common issue is the wrong types. The data you need to send should be a number, but your system stores it as a text field, allowing mistakes like extra whitespaces. Before any of that data is usable, it needs sanitization.
The worst and most time-consuming issue is garbage data or data that is not accurate. A good example is when a company does not properly maintain current stock levels or does so with wrong codes.
All of these issues are easy but time-consuming fixes. However, they are essential to making the most of your EDI service implementation.