EDI Hosting Managed Services

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1 EDI Hosting Managed Services SUMMARY Leveraging the Managed Services experience of a proven integration vendor can help cut costs and time on your next EDI project. Focused E-Commerce is the leader among EDI specialists and also secure, reliable, high-performance enterprise class EDI Managed Services. CONTACT Focused E-Commerce 1733 West Irving Park Road Suite 317 Chicago, IL USA Phone: (303) Web: Focused-EC.com THIS WHITEPAPER CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT IS PROPRIETARY TO FOCUSED E-COMMERCE. NO PART OF THIS WHITEPAPER MAY BE DUPLICATED OR USED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF FOCUSED E-COMMERCE.

2 Your Guide to a Successful EDI Implementation Technology improvements have helped make the world a smaller place. Global manufacturing has benefitted most with access to real-time information from suppliers, operators and distributors. However, our mindset is that technology would save our operations millions through brute force alone. Patricia Fripp once said, Technology does not run an enterprise, relationships do. In the world of EDI, we can take that a step further to say data relationships run an enterprise. Studies from research firms such as The Standish Group and AMR estimate that 51% and 74% of all IT projects fail. While dozens of books have been written on the subject, just about everyone agrees on the following reasons: Failing to define why EDI is needed. No buy-in from upper management. Poor planning and communication. On-site technology and IT infrastructure incapable of supporting EDI volume. Not partnering with an experienced EDI integration vendor. Not understanding the increasing complexity of today s supply chain. Understanding how to avoid each of these points of failure can lead your business through to a successful EDI implementation while saving you significant time and money. Many companies focus on the end-goal while ignoring the opportunity to save over 65% on their implementation costs. That opportunity comes from choosing an experienced EDI vendor that can provide guidance, advice and much needed EDI integration knowledge. By reducing your up-front costs, the ROI for a project is vastly reduced, in most cases to 18 months or less. Many vendors can assist with either EDI integration or ERP configuration. Expand your search for someone that has very specialized skills and can work on both ends of the supply chain. Companies like Focused E-Commerce have garnered particular attention lately because of their highly concentrated experience in both EDI integration and ERP solutions. Regardless of your industry or ERP vendor, they have worked with the top Global Fortune companies in the world. Their Managed Services offerings are the epitome of what it takes to help you through your EDI integration project. They even provide a world-class EDI Hosting solution that addresses a major failure point. Let s examine each point above and understand how they can be averted. 2

3 Why do you need EDI? Providing a comprehensive outline of your EDI needs can help transition into the planning phase. It should be more than just save money, that s already at the top of every CFO s list. Streamlining operations, supplier integration, product expansion and global visibility are just some of the most common reasons for taking on a project this size. Leveraging Focused E-Commerce at the onset of your project can help you construct a detailed plan outlining the benefits of EDI and what your end-goals should be. Sign-off from the Executive Levels Obtaining buy-in from your CEO, CFO and CTO s require a significant and informative response. Their sign-off and backing is critical to the success of an EDI implementation. Include these critical points in your proposal: EDI provides substantial labor savings by streamlining supply chain operations Double inventory turns Increase on-time delivery 100% Budget predictability Project timelines and implementation costs can be cut by 65% using a managed services vendor Increased data visibility EDI Hosting facility reduces internal capital footprint while increasing EDI capacity ROI on EDI investment reduced to 18 months or less Establish a Detailed Project Plan Investing in an extensive EDI project plan will save you significant time and money on project overages and mistakes. There are a number of key elements to consider in a successful EDI implementation project: EDI mapping development Supplier, Customer, ERP and Warehouse integration Accounts Payable and Financial systems IT and Networking Infrastructure along with the resources to support an EDI exchange Claims management Ongoing exchange support B2B messaging and formats Future capacity expansion and scalability Costs predictions Transaction failures and visibility System security and integrity As you can see these project points are just some of the main topics that should be discussed before any project begins. If this is your first EDI project, most of these topics will be a foreign subject. Leveraging the knowledge from Focused E-Commerce can help navigate the numerous obstacles from an EDI project. They will also commit a team of resources: Certified PMP Project Manager, Networking Specialists, Trading Partner configuration experts, EDI mapping developers, Operational Workflow analysts and Customer Support Personnel. An EDI integration vendor that has quality field experience will have team members who have been in the business between 4-10 years and in some cases over 15 years. Leveraging their extensive mapping libraries, integration techniques and tools, supplier expertise and technology knowhow will help you plan for a supply chain that is reliable, robust and capable of exceeding all of your goals. 3

4 Some businesses underestimate the capital, resource and costs of hosting their own EDI exchange. Establishing networking and systems capable of processing millions of transactions is a mammoth undertaking. If this is your first EDI project or your company has outgrown the limits of your EDI exchange, consider a move towards a thirdparty hosted solution. Perform the necessary due diligence and you can find a vendor that will satisfy all of your IT and operational needs. Here are the most critical aspects of an off-site hosted solution to consider: Transaction (per day) capacity: Ensure the solution is capable of handling millions per day. Network infrastructure: High-speed, global reach Availability: No less than 99.9% should be considered Capacity: Endless data storage along with long-range historical persistence Support for the several hundred document types and communication protocols that exist today Outreach to all of your trading partners regardless of location and technology Secure: Firewall and data integrity segments that allow for segregation by department Cost: Affordable and cost-effective plans that only charge for what you use. World-class helpdesk support What is your IT Infrastructure Capable of? 4

5 Focused E-Commerce: The EDI Integration Vendor of Choice Time and again, the top global manufacturing companies have chosen Focused E-Commerce because of their reliable, secure and extremely robust hosting solution. Utilizing the same scalability of the Amazon.com cloud, their product and services have shown that it can surpass all of the requirements outlined above. This type of architecture is capable of infinite expansion and provides the most advanced encryption techniques available today. It can process over 8 million transactions per day and has the support of on-site technicians with vast IT and EDI field experience to assist with any type of EDI mapping or protocol. Partnering with Focused E-Commerce will ensure your infrastructure can handle any capacity at the most reasonable costs to meet any budget. As you can see, creating a new EDI supply chain can be an incredibly complex project. Companies just starting on this type of venture would serve themselves well by bringing in an experienced firm to help with the major integration pieces. Third-party EDI Hosting, operational planning, cost analysis and employing Managed Services are just a few of the ways you can guarantee success. Contact Us: Focused E-Commerce 1733 West Irving Park Road Suite 317 Chicago, IL USA Phone: (303) Web: Focused-EC.com 5

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