Minimizing downtime, reducing overhead costs, optimizing throughput: these are goals that resonate with small and mid-sized businesses every day of the year – and become imperative business drivers when the economy begins to suffer. It's the business that can respond quickest, provide the most accurate data and fulfill demand in the most timely fashion that will gain the upper hand in difficult economic times. One method of achieving this increased level of competitiveness is through EDI Integration. The promise of EDI has always been to empower the electronic exchange of commercial data between businesses for the sake of speed, clarity, and optimum performance. With many large retailers now mandating EDI with their trading partners, implementing EDI is no longer in question – but finding the most cost-effective means of taking that EDI data and transferring it into the in-house ERP system can be a confusing, daunting challenge for any business. A 2007 Standish Group report, in fact, found that over 80% of data integration projects fail or are concluded at over 170% of original budget. With such high failure rates, it's no surprise that many small and mid-sized businesses are wary of embarking on EDI integration.
There is hope on the horizon, however. EDI integration is now available to small and mid- sized businesses that are willing to invest a minimal amount of preparation and some careful planning to gain a thorough understanding of how the data integration process will affect the business during and after the integration phase is completed. As we will examine further in this whitepaper, there are five mistakes that can lead to disastrous consequences for even the most financially secure business contemplating an EDI integration project; avoiding these mistakes is the key to successful deployment, resulting in the economic advantage that every business strives to achieve.