Three tips for increasing trading partners

Investing in technology is just as important as equipment and people for manufacturers and suppliers. Often, when a company implements electronic data interchange, it is at the behest of a single customer. The company realizes the benefits of EDI and runs into issues when it wants to expand coverage to all trading partners. Here are three tips for managing that process and keeping issues to an absolute minimum:

Upgrade EDI tools

Companies that use EDI to service a single trading partner will need to overhaul its EDI tools. A single trading partner often means a web-based EDI implementation. Supporting multiple trading partners and the various business rules and logic that comes with that is best served by an in-house solution that integrates with the ERP system.

Outsourcing EDI

The biggest advantage of outsourcing your EDI operation is scalability. For example, vendors like Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA has solutions that scale from a “one-man-operation” to Fortune 500 companies and grow in tandem with your business. Without the ability to scale, the ability to handle growing transaction volumes will suffer, affecting sales.

Plan ahead

Every additional customer brings new business requirements. Expansion is more than just producing and selling more products. Growing a business is never easy, and new challenges arise as partnerships grow. Bring in the right partners that will add the flexibility you need going forward as you grow. The key is to anticipate potential issues before they arise.