For those of you who are unfamiliar with web EDI, it is fairly simple. EDI stands for electronic data interchange. This basically means the exchanging of data and information between companies around the world.
This electronic exchange of data can be performed in several ways, and one of them is web EDI. Still not getting it? Here are a few basic facts about web EDI services that will help you get a clearer picture.
In layperson’s terms, what exactly is web EDI?
Web-based electronic data interchange is exactly as it sounds; it is the use of an EDI system that can be accessed through a web browser. Typically you are required to pay a monthly fee (sometimes annual) in order to access this EDI service. Using this type of EDI service is perfect for first-time users because it is extremely easy to figure out.
Unlike other EDI software and types of services, a web-based one is less expensive and less complex. If you want to start out slow to figure out the ropes of EDI, it makes sense to invest in web EDI. Most of these services allow you to cancel at anytime, so there is essentially no risk to trying it out.
What are the potential advantages?
As we mentioned before, EDI is the exchange of data electronically anywhere in the world. It requires no paper products, it is fast and efficient, and there is less chance of errors on your important company documents. EDI also allows your employees to be more productive throughout the workday; they won’t be focused on sending documents and updating spreadsheets.
With a web EDI service, you won’t be paying much and it can significantly reduce costs throughout the company. You’ll have real-time updates for all of your data and there is no label software required. This means that you won’t have the high upfront cost of installing a software throughout your company since it is completely based on the web.
Are there any negative drawbacks to web EDI?
Yes, there are a few things that make web EDI not for everyone. First and foremost, the security for web-based EDI isn’t as solid as software installation. You have to remember that all web activity is stored on servers other than your own outside of your safe and secure firewalls. Of course all of your data is encrypted, but this is still something to think about. If security is your first priority, a web-based system might not be for you.
Another potential drawback is scheduling. Since it is based on the web, you won’t have much control over when your documents are actually sent. To be more cost efficient, web EDI programs will batch of the data received from all subscribers to the service and send it out at certain times of the day.
The service sends based on their own time frame, but this is expected since a web EDI is much cheaper than installing your own software. If you want to be able to send your documents where you want when you want, you might need to dish out a bit more cash on a different type of service.