spokes1What is wrong with the current approach to EDI implementation? We need a new concept. Everybody wants to be a “Hub” not a “Spoke”, because that is where the money is made. That is also why new EDI implementations have stagnated. Our answer is to turn “Spokes” into “Hubs”. Currently, the “Hub” realizes benefits; the “Spoke” does not. Why can't a Spoke become a Hub and trade electronically with lower-tier suppliers and with their own customers? Only because traditionally they have thought it was too complicated.
We have been discussing the three types of EDI customers: Hubs; Spokes (low turnover of trading partners but higher technical requirements); Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP); A “Super Hub” accommodates all three types of customers.

Lets dig a little deeper into how things have changed and what would it take to do:

  1. Many of the “Spokes” are fairly sophisticated in their EDI skills, but they have become proficient only at accommodating their “Hub” partners. They cannot yet put their whole operation on an electronic commerce basis because they have numerous partners that they still deal with on a manual basis.

  2. They need more than basic EDI software but are not staffed to handle the workload. The answer is to look to the Cloud. SaaS software eliminates the “technical” side. It is as simple as can be.

  3. They need the availability of WebForms EDI to present to their trading partners.

  4. A good VAN2 can help them hook up with their suppliers and customers through their other connections.

  5. There is a need for Hubs and ECSPs to set up business social networks for their Spokes. Several ECSP's are moving in this direction. Spokes create profiles and share with others. This cuts down on the efforts of maintaining trading partner arrangements. Confidentiality is maintained and the Spokes turning into Hubs of their own will not be overwhelmed with a lot of work and no resources.

  6. The new Hubs have a rapidly growing stream of EDI data. VAN2 should have the tools they need to turn it into insights that optimize sales, reduce inventory waste and fortify their bottom lines. This includes features such as product catalogs.
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