Top Challenges Of EDI Integration – And 1 Simple Solution

Blue software data moving across space CINTAP Cloud EDI Integration

EDI Integration: Imagine the efficiency of swapping essential business documents with just a digital handshake. It’s a simplified process cutting down costs and trimming the fat off time-consuming processes. 

But it isn’t always that straightforward. Businesses, big and small, may find themselves grappling with outdated systems that are more like rusty props than high-tech equipment. Scaling up becomes a hurdle as operations expand, and keeping track of transactions can feel like trying to juggle too many balls at once. 

These aren’t just tech issues; they’re the real-life obstacles that can make or break your company. 

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Integration

EDI is the electronic transfer of pre-designated business documents using standardized formats. 

While EDI technology has existed since the 1960s, global standards were adopted in 2001- and now it’s a vital part of modern business and trade partner communication. 

In fact, between 60-86% of businesses in the trade sector now implement some form of EDI to varying degrees. 

Why has EDI integration become such an integral part of doing business?  

Automation is the grease that keeps the global economy running smoothly. EDI communications can be automated, allowing for processing bulk amounts of transactions very quickly.  

In a perfect world, companies using EDI should see a reduction in man-hours, costs, communication times, and transaction errors. 

Should. 

But EDI integration isn’t always perfect… or failsafe.  

Top 3 Challenges of EDI Integration 

Let’s take a clear look at three very specific (and expensive) EDI integration challenges businesses face, and their solutions: 

  1. Outdated environment 
  1. Scalability 
  1. Transaction transparency 

1. Outdated environment 

An outdated legacy environment has the potential to cripple your data exchange. 

These legacy relics, which may once have been the backbone of your data exchange, now stand as potential vulnerabilities threatening the security and compliance integrity of your business.  

As data encryption methods advance and regulatory frameworks tighten, the inability to adapt to modern communication standards not only opens the door to cyber threats but also raises compliance red flags. Furthermore, you face potential disruptions in data exchange, delayed responses, and a struggle to keep pace with modern efficiency standards.  

The discouraging truth is that every system eventually becomes obsolete. Even more discouraging is the fact that upgrading legacy systems is both tedious and expensive. 

If you decide to keep operating on a legacy system, automating EDI may not go as smoothly as you need; or worse, may possibly not even work at all. And updating your in-house software and hardware may not always be the best option, especially if it will cost you lost business. 

That leaves you with one viable solution for integrating EDI in a legacy environment: implementing a cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS). 

Cloud-based integration platforms are a fantastic option for EDI integration, as well as A2A and B2B integration. These platforms use APIs to connect you to modern applications as well as other business’ platforms for real-time data-sharing.  

On top of these capabilities, several integration platforms (including CINTAP Cloud) are data-agnostic solutions, meaning they have built-in workarounds for whatever environment you have. 

iPaaS is the all-around solution for integration and a powerful tool that can integrate a nearly infinite range of applications and systems. A low-code platform with an endless variety of connectors and adapters available makes it a snap to implement into any environment: cloud-based, on-premises, hybrid- and legacy systems. 

2. Scalability 

Regardless of your system’s environment, scaling your EDI operation is its own significant hurdle.  

The surge in transaction volumes that naturally stems from business growth demands a meticulous approach to automation. As transaction numbers increase, manual processes become increasingly error-prone, introducing the risk of inaccuracies and delays. 

Onboarding new partners further complicates the scalability puzzle, requiring efficient integration with existing ERP systems.  

The need to adapt to deviations from standardized transaction sets adds another layer of complexity, so flexible integrations are a must. 

Ultimately, expanding your trade network means an increase in daily automated transactions, onboarding new partners, adjusting to deviations from standardized transaction sets, and integrating with your ERP systems.  

However, another benefit to cloud-based, low-code iPaaS is flexible scalability (based on the provider). 

As businesses grow, the goal of Electronic Data Interchange needs to be as much automation as possible; EDI transactions can be overwhelming, and manual tasks and processes increase the risk of human error.  

You need an iPaaS offering custom-built workflows for highly automated systems to do most of the troubleshooting for you. Faster transaction times, increased cost savings, and fewer mistakes all add up to a significant ROI for your EDI platform- and seamless scalability. 

Another consideration while scaling is an increase in trade partners. Not all integration platforms are created equal when it comes to onboarding capabilities. If onboarding new (or existing) trade partners is clunky and time-consuming, that’s lost business.  

All this points to integration support as a solution to scaling EDI. That’s why CINTAP Engineering Group (CEG) provides each partner with a team of experts acting as an extension of your I.T. team. From building custom solutions in a matter of hours to onboarding in 60-70% less time than other providers, CEG is a key component to our partners’ success while growing. 

3. Transaction Transparency

Even in a fully automated EDI operation, it’s crucial for transaction histories to be thorough and transparent. 

If you’re juggling thousands of orders, status reports, and invoices every month, EDI communication is the only practical option. But even fully automated, EDI communication is not always error-free. 

As EDI transactions become more intricate and complex, you’re bound to have operational missteps and errors. Without a comprehensive view of the transactional processes, you risk delays, inaccuracies, and difficulties in tracking orders, invoices, and status reports.  

Through detailed record-keeping, notifications at every step, and specific success parameters, iPaaS providers can ensure a frictionless EDI experience, even if there are transaction mistakes from time to time. 

With the right iPaaS, you’ll be able to monitor transactions and analyze data in real-time. For example, tracking sales data from Salesforce or inventory data from NetSuite to optimize supply chain management.  

CINTAP Cloud instantly records every detail for every transaction: inbound and outbound logs and comprehensive reports are displayed in interactive charts. And the Transaction Trail tracks communications from order to invoice. If an order and an invoice aren’t perfectly aligned, your team’s tolerance parameters automatically trigger the rejection process.  

The simple solution for EDI integration 

EDI shouldn’t create more work, take up more of your time, or cost you more: it should be a trusted way for you to get more done with less

The best solution for EDI integration is a platform capable of integrating, automating, and monitoring your transactions. In other words, an iPaaS that does it all! 

Legacy systems, expanding operations, and complex transactions can all be overcome with the right provider. 

At the heart of the EDI integration conundrum, there’s one standout solution transforming challenges into triumphs – CINTAP Cloud. 

CINTAP Cloud and EDI integration

Seamlessly integrating EDI into any environment with its cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS), CINTAP Cloud is the key to compatibility, offering a hassle-free upgrade for legacy systems without the expensive headache. 

Cloud-based and low-code, CINTAP Cloud effortlessly scales with you. And with CINTAP Engineering Group (CEG) ready to deploy in 24-48 hours, any imagined custom solution becomes a reality in record time. 

With unique tools and capabilities, CINTAP Cloud keeps detailed records, automatically monitors transactions in real time, and gives you complete transparency. From order to invoice, CINTAP simplifies automated EDI integration. 

All this while also offering huge savings compared to other products in the industry! 

It may sound too good to be true- but pinch yourself, because CINTAP Cloud really is here for you! You can learn more about us or get in contact with us right away. 

With CINTAP Cloud, it’s not just EDI; it’s EDI done right. 

CINTAP Cloud is EDI Integration done right

Author – Carissa Getscher

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