What do your business processes look like today? If you can write them down in a day’s time and think you can go straight to an EDI solution you have just encountered your first setback. Unfortunately, business processes really should dictate what your EDI solution should ultimately look like, and time spent in this area will be time well worth it!
Business process flows should be viewed from all angles. So let me get into some of that ugly detail we wish did not have to veer its ugly head! To breakdown in a less complex manner, however, let's think about the core transactions you will most likely trade with your customer - purchase order, purchase order acknowledgement, advanced ship notice and invoice
So today when your organization executes a customer purchase order, here are what seem to sound basic, but are very important questions to ask and answer:
- "Who" is actually receiving the PO today?
- What do they do with PO? Enter it into another system? Phone, fax or email it to another party to process and fulfill?
- Who are all the parties that touch the PO? What business process are they fulfilling by touching it?
- “Where” is each of these business is processes taking place? Same floor, building, city, country?
- "Where” do all parties involved in the PO process reside? Same floor, building, city, country?
- How does each of the parties communicate with each other?
- How do you track what stage the PO is in?
- Once the PO is fulfilled, “who” is provided with the information to execute the other transactions of the customer, specifically the ASN and invoice? How is the data transferred back to them?
And now the same questions and answers need to be asked of each of the additional transactions. This will set you well on your way for the next wave of execution of an EDI solution. That of envisioning what your business partners and processes will look like when incorporating them into your EDI solution.
I know….just when you thought it was in the bag….more to think about! Don’t you just love it? Of course, more to come on EDI Solutions!