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by Ray Atia,

EDI Services were born with the evolution that EDI went through in the past 30 years. After sending EDI through a land lines dial up modems and paying fix monthly payment to the VAN and also being charged based on the amount of data that the companies were sending and receiving, today in the internet age and in the past tem years or so, many companies started to offer their EDI Services with different capabilities and different EDI service options based on amount of EDI documents being transferred and based on the type of EDI service that the company need. So the big question now would be how to decide with which EDI Service to go? Well, I'll try to put my best foot forward and say that there are few components to the equation. I will display the top 10 questions that arise:
  1. Company transaction set monthly volume, send and received.
  2. Company size
  3. Company industry
  4. Company existing computer systems/software
  5. How much does the company want to spend over EDI?
  6. Which type of report would they want to get?
  7. How often do they need the data sent to them?
  8. Do they want an online EDI service/Internet EDI or In-House EDI?
  9. Do they have an In-House EDI Administrator?
  10. Do they want document flip option like turn a Purchase Order into an Invoice?

Companies that have large amount of transactions being sent every month should look for EDI Service that may charge a fixed monthly fee, no matter how many transactions being sent or bring In-House EDI administrator and invest in an EDI Server tool. That will be a one time fixed investment and then ongoing monthly fee for tech support incase they need it.
Small companies, who usually have low volume EDI Transaction sets should go with Web EDI solution because usually they cheaper and have all the EDI technical issues being taking care of by the EDI Service company and usually these company will give a good solution as long as you have low volume.
Try and choose and EDI company who already have hands on experience with the industry your in, for example the food industry or the car industry.
EDI can be expensive or cheap, depends on the type of EDI solution your looking for. Make sure you select the right EDI Solution for you and your save lots of money.
If the company already invested in an EDI system, EDI Software or any type of EDI Solution and wants to continue with that, they might as well bring on board an EDI Administrator who will take care of all there EDI technical issues and monitor the EDI traffic they have.
Most companies would send reports based on traffic and EDI transaction set volume. Reports should be on a daily basis and have errors report and sent / receive report which is called Acknowledgment report.
Today Document flip is a must have for any type of EDI Solutions and it should save you type, money and errors.

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