So you have started EDI and/or e-invoicing and are not sure how much benefit you are getting? After a little while, most companies realize that the benefit from electronic document exchange depends on the number of partners they have. This is logical: the more paper- or pdf-based documents you replace with e-documents, the less manual work you will have. Most companies also soon realize that their e-document exchanging partners do not just pop up and start using EDI. Onboarding EDI partners is a journey, a long journey.
The good news is, there are hints from other companies who have mastered EDI partner onboarding. Those hints can be useful to you on this long onboarding journey, so we will be sharing them in our blog with you. Here is hint #1.
Hint #1: Set a deadline and communicate it clearly (letter templates)
When informing your partners about your ability to exchange documents in electronic format, always set a clear but realistic deadline. This is the date when you expect your partners to start the EDI with you. Keep in mind that most often it will take your partners time to setup the connection, even if they already use EDI. And if they are new to EDI, there is more communication and more time needed. On the other hand, do not push it too far into the future, as history shows that your partners have the “student-syndrome” – delaying even starting with projects with deadlines too far in the future.
Here are some sample letters which you can send to your partners:
Letters from buyers to suppliers
Letters from suppliers to buyers
Stay tuned for more hints for onboarding partners!