on 18 May 2017 11:04 AM
Electronic Document Interchange (EDI) solutions have become the norm rather than the exception for communication between trading partners. With more stringent legislations being put in place in regards to electronic documents, especially e-invoicing, and businesses continuously dealing with a network of clients, partners, and suppliers, companies need to be able to count on systems that simplify the process rather than complicate it. In order for a business to efficiently implement an EDI solution, there are three requirements that need to be fulfilled:
For documents to be exchanged electronically between two business partners there needs to be a standard language in place. Inbound and outbound documents are converted into this format through the system, ensuring that all documents can be interpreted, filed, and archived correctly. There are several different standard EDI language formats that can be used, amongst others EDIFACT, XML and X12.
A SaaS platform
Both sender and recipient companies must have a SaaS EDI platform at their disposition. This platform allows users to manage all incoming and outgoing documentation, create new documents, access all documents whenever necessary, and archive them. A SaaS solution will allow this document management to take place in compliance with existing electronic exchange laws. Amongst other advantages, SaaS EDI solutions also provide an important business attribute for companies: the ability to track and monitor exchanges in a high-quality manner.
Secure communication networks
EDI exchanges must take place via secure networks that have been adapted to deal with these types of transactions. There are currently several approved options; the most used being Value-Added Networks (VANs). Basically, a company needs to ensure their exchanges are passed through private networks with high security protocols, ensuring the security of each document at every step of its journey.
With these three conditions in mind, migrating to a completely paperless system should be headache-free for most companies.