The strategic review highlights where in your organisation EDI could have the most benefit. However, there are other elements to consider before selecting which business cycle to focus on initially. These considerations include:
- Which part of the organisation is most ready for EDI?
- Which cycle will cost the least to implement EDI?
- Which will deliver the greatest savings/increase in profitability?
Answers to these questions require a different type of analysis. Many companies use two effective tools:
Cost Benefits Analysis (CBA)
This analysis further identifies the most likely corporate applications for EDI deployment and sets priorities for conversion to EDI. It includes a description of the present systems in each functional area and an explanation of how EDI will improve them. The issue and receipt of each type of business document is based on a system of human and machine procedures, all of which have to be documented and analysed for EDI efficiencies. For best results, the goal should be to improve the business cycle rather than simply automate it.
The EDI Survey
The EDI survey of an organisation’s customers and suppliers is to ensure that any EDI system that is created can be supported across a wide trading partner network or a small group of high-volume, high-value trading partners. The survey should include the underlying technologies and skill levels available. It must take account of the type of data the current systems require, the type of data required by trading partners and the data required by EDI standards.
As reaching the pilot stage of an EDI programme for a large organisation can be extremely costly, the ability to cost-justify the programme is essential. But, it must be combined with the results of the EDI Survey. In this way, a final report can be produced covering:
- The scope of the project
- Description of strengths and weakness of existing systems
- Recommended system alternative and its capability to strengthen the company
- Required data integration and document customisation
- Reference to alternatives considered but not selected
- Financial data on recommended and rejected approaches
- Timing of system development and funds needed
- List of personnel required to develop and implement the system
- Implementation schedule