After a year in which supply chains were rocked in ways nobody could have ever imagined, companies across the world scrambled to reassess their technology investments. While certain legacy systems may have worked in the past, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us how valuable modern technology truly is.
Relying on outdated and often disparate solutions simply does not provide companies with the ability to best serve their customers, and stay one foot in front of the competition. It’s never easy moving away from something you’re comfortable with, but the business benefits gained from a modern integration platform are remarkable, both in the short and long-term.
EDI remains the most common and widely used standard for B2B transactions. But if you’re one of those companies (and there are a lot of them) that remains on a legacy environment, odds are you’re having difficulty supporting EDI integrations.
If that is the case, i.e., if you can’t support end-to-end EDI integration, here are three indicators that should tell you why your EDI software is broken, and what you can do about it.
- EDI does not connect to your back end systems
- EDI documents are not automatically integrated into your back-office applications, such as an ERP
- Custom scripts that require constant maintenance
- Constantly needing to update in-house custom scripts
- Manual processes
- Manual intervention is needed for an actual EDI transaction integration
If any of this sounds familiar and you can’t support end-to-end EDI integration, fear not, because there is a remedy! There are steps you can take immediately to become more agile, flexible, and easy to do business with than ever before. For instance:
1. API and EDI on one integration platform
It is no longer an either or question. In order for your business to grow and modernize, you must be able to support EDI and APIs on the same integration platform. EDI and APIs are complimentary to each other, that’s why you need both working together for you. API integration augments EDI and provides a deeper context to B2B integrations within your business ecosystem.
2. Support for batch and real-time processes
Companies need end-to-end visibility across the extended supply chain in order to bring real-time API and batch EDI together in the same view, so all stakeholders both inside and outside the company can see how all of the integrations are performing. This makes your business highly flexible and integration simpler, easier, faster, and more reliable.
3. Application connectors for direct integration
Often, companies struggle to integrate different parts of their business ecosystem, whether that might be enterprise applications, SaaS, or EDI. That doesn’t have to be the case, however, through a unified, minimally complex process. Application integration connectors allows enterprises to expand and evolve, something every company needs to be able to do in 2021.
4. Integration process orchestration and automation
Companies that can quickly design, configure, and orchestrate integrations with popular and widely used applications and marketplaces makes saying ‘Yes’ to prospective customers instead of ‘No’ much easier. Imagine having the technology to dynamically orchestrate end-to-end business processes and integration data flows to any cloud or on-premise location – that’s what a modernized integration platform can and will do for you.
So … if your B2B integration is broken …
If your current integration strategy that does not support end-to-end EDI integration, you ought to embrace a modern integration platform that transforms an EDI document and puts it into your back-end system to complete its lifecycle B2B transaction. EDI and API on the same platform will help you leverage integration for the benefit of not just your company, but your entire business ecosystem.
There are other smart moves you can make to fix B2B integration at your company, and we’ll be writing about them in future blogs. But if you want the full story now, download our booklet, ‘Your B2B Integration Strategy is Broken – Here’s What to Do About It’