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Do you want to introduce EDI in your organization? Then it is important to draw a clear plan. Good preparation is of great importance here. After all, the saying goes: “Good preparation is half the battle”. In this article you will read two things that you should absolutely not forget when preparing for EDI.

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Have a crystal clear goal

EDI is a means and should never be an end in itself. EDI can serve different purposes, so it is important that you have your goal in mind. Clarifying your goal ensures that you always focus on what you want to achieve.

It is not a problem if you have multiple goals in mind when implementing EDI. Is this the case? Then it helps to define a primary goal and secondary goals. In this way you always keep focus on your most important objective.

Possible targets of EDI

  • Increasing the value for the (end) customer. Added value can lie in various areas, such as: faster delivery, lowering the time to market (Time To Market), offering a lower price, higher availability of goods, offering extra value in the distribution area, etc.
  • Improve your competitive position, for example because more and more customers require EDI, or because it is easier for you to enter a new market with the help of EDI.
  • Working more efficiently, for example saving costs and/or working hours.
  • Working more effectively, for example preventing mistakes.
  • Improve cash flow.
  • Sustainable business.

Always make your goals SMART and define KPIs to measure and monitor progress towards your goals.

Make preconditions right

Improving chain collaboration is no mean feat. Therefore make sure that the following preconditions are in order before you dive into the content.

Gather the necessary knowledge

An EDI implementation requires strategic and analytical insight and knowledge of processes and systems. Therefore, think about your own role and the contribution you make.

But also think carefully about which people, departments and knowledge you will need to bring the project to success. It is crucial to bring together the right people (knowledge) in your organization to successfully implement EDI.

Ask yourself whether your organization has all the necessary knowledge in-house, including:

  • Analytical knowledge.
  • Knowledge of process improvement.
  • System and IT knowledge.
  • Knowledge of change management.

Ensure sufficient support and commitment

EDI only has a chance of success with the right support. On the one hand from higher management (for freeing up the budget to name a few), but also from people on the work floor. These people are going to feel the changes that EDI brings the most.

With an internal communication campaign you reinforce your message and ensure that the message reaches the right employees. The communication and/or marketing department can often help with this. Include in your message what will happen, but especially why. Change is difficult for many people. Do not underestimate this impact. Many people resist a change as soon as it is imposed by someone else. The way in which this is done is very important. That is why it is crucial to consider the ‘why’ question. People are more open to change when they understand what it is needed for. Also give colleagues sufficient space for participation and feedback. Make them feel heard.

Next steps: Mapping supply chain partners and information needs

When you have completed these important points of preparation, you are ready to map out your supply chain landscape and information needs. You can read how to do this in our blog article: How to map out your supply chain landscape and information needs during an EDI implementation

Do you want to have all the steps to a successful EDI implementation together in one document? Download our white paper: EDI step-by-step plan