March 29, 2012       By Ray Atia
There were interviews conducted by executives from five large companies namely, Becton-Dickson which is based in NJ, Nestle-Corporation which is based in Glendale, California, The APL Group in MS, Sterling Software Network. The purpose of the interview was to come up with thirty seven statements that are related to EDI integration partnership. Each item discussed was worded to allow for a 5-point scale answer. Afterwards, this list was shared with 23 executives who were attending an EDI conference. The executives were asked to give their opinion and feedback on the readability, completeness and how clear were the proposed items. They are also required to make suggestions of new items that they thought could be included in the study. This resulted into 31 items and even rewording of the original items in the list. The data used for this study was collected from the membership listings of the NAPM or the National Association of Purchasing Management, EDI Yellow Pages entries, TRIEDI group in South Carolina and Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA) among others. There was also an advertisement that was placed on the EDI World magazine. The questionnaire packets that included a copy of questionnaire and complete postage paid envelope were mailed for collecting responses. Each company also received two packets to fill, one to be filled by the company and another by its business partner such as a supplier or customer. In order for the recipients understand the purpose of the study; a cover letter was included to explain this to the package recipients. For the study to remain meaningful, it was said that both firms responses were needed to provide feedback. The trading partners identity would not be revealed, it would remain anonymous. There were 157 firms that completed and returned their responses out of about 200 firms targeted. This was an 8% response rate. The greatest challenge was to get a firm to contact its trading partner. This was because that there were concerns about releasing confidential information about business partnerships. There were also just 64 customer-supplier firm dyad responses due to the concerns. Despite these concerns there were efforts to address them and make the participants feel comfortable with asking their trading partners to participate in the study. All this study is an effort to understand and develop better EDI integration systems that would benefit businesses.