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Bye, Bye EDI Testing Fees PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rob Guerriere   
Jan 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM

The value and justification of EDI testing fees are weak at best and disproportional to the costs.   Over the last decade suppliers, EDI experts, and providers have ranted their experiences online but generally have complied since the service was put forward by a big retail account.  But that Mickey Mouse bad business practice is finally coming to an end.  There is a new sheriff in town.  He has heard the cries of tens of thousands of suppliers.  The convergence of new technology in community management and a talented group of EDI developers have put forward a no cost service called Infoborders CE, which industry leaders predict will end EDI testing fees in 2012.

Infoborders CE, is a self-service no cost tool for both retailers and suppliers to connect and test their EDI connection online.  The CE stands for Community Edition and some of the highlighted features include an EDI spec builder, syntax level testing, business rules testing configured by each retailer, item level check, multiple document process flow validation, and collaborative work flow tools that include issue resolution and task completion reports.  For suppliers, the community tools allow for the sharing and editing of EDI spec information.  For instance, if there is a change to the specs for Macy's, supplier/subscribers can be alerted to the change in the specs.  The combination of a central point for trading partner information together with a testing platform, maintained by the community of users, much like Wikipedia, at a zero cost point is a game changer.

"The proliferation of EDI connectivity just took the next step into a new generation", states Mike Franks, President of DataTrans Solutions Inc., one of the beginning sponsors of Infoborders CE.  "Our retail EDI partners, the DataTrans service team, and thousands of supplier partners will benefit by being able to cost efficiently test EDI per partner in a single wiki environment."

For readers who have not had the experience of going through an EDI testing third party service, check out the EDI-L group on Yahoo http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/EDI-L/ and search for ‘EDI testing fees'.   One will notice over 200 messages related to the topic from users who have dealt with the process.    How does one justify the efficiency of EDI over paper when charging anywhere from $1K to $5K just to test the electronic connection?   That is per customer and just the fee the supplier pays the EDI testing service company not including their own staff or EDI vendor who has to do the work.  Imagine if the supplier has 10 or 20 retail customers asking for EDI testing fees.  How can EDI providers look themselves in the mirror and say, "I am promoting the supply chain efficiency by charging trading partner thousands of dollars just to test a connection."  Supply chain efficiency?  I don't think so.

But that is all coming to an end thanks to some focused developers, designers and new technology.    EDI and technology has prevailed over soon-to-be obsolete bad business practices.   Let's mark this day a victory in the evolution of EDI converging with social collaborative tools.

SIGN UP:  http://infoborders.com/community-edition

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Last Updated ( Jan 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM )

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