In my opinion just by moving to SaaS nodel the complications related to EDI won't be solved. EDI is meant for one-to-one business relationship to transfer documents such as purchase orders or sales invoices between two parties. With SaaS also such one-one relationship has to e maintained. hence any changes in the document formats at one end of a relationship will have to get the required cahges doen at the receiving end. The load of this work is only transferred from the local IT department to the Saas service provider.
Well, you're correct to say that the burden shifts from the IT department to the SaaS provider. The difference is that there are hundreds of IT departments trying to make the same changes (and not always successfully or on time), but only 1 SaaS provider making the changes. That's precisely the economy of scale I'm referring to. And because that also removes the work load from hundreds of IT staff and concentrates it on a few staff members at the SaaS provider, the costs are significantly reduced (economies of scale) meaning the costs of the SasS service contracts are typically lower than the costs of maintaining the indivitual system in an organization.
Besides economies of scale, I believe SaaS systems also spreads benefits by standardizing and consolidating data in one source. Like you said, utilizing a few dedicated SaaS staff instead of coordinating with several IT departments limits the number of touches and thus, inconsistency. There's no need for you or your partners to manually update each other and then translate the documents, resulting in errors and wasting time. With SaaS systems, your trading partners receive clean data in a standardized format with which they are already familiar. In the electrical supply chain, we've had great success with bringing customers and suppliers together to create and maintain industry-specific EDI document standards.
It sounds like to me that using a SaaS system that allows the translator to update any changes to allow for seamless interaction makes complete sense. I am surprised that many companies don't utilize this tool. I'm assuming that it's just a matter of time before cloud based services are used more frequently.
There are a surprizing number of companies using this kind of service. But there are still more using traditional locally installed translator apps. I've heard that changing an EDI system is like buying a new refrigerator... You only do so if the old one is broken, you're redesigning your kitchen, or you're moving. In other words, there needs to be a compelling reason to go through the expense and effort to replace an appliance.
People are not using the new methods of standardizing EDI transactions may have several reasons:
1) people have been doing things traditionally in the old job and it is hard to change. Refer to the book "Who moved my cheese"
2) supply chain partners do not always want to collaborate because of privacy and business competitive issues. This problem is similar to the supply chain theory CPFR -collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment concept. Even though researches have shown that CPFR will benefit the entire supply chain, companies are still afraid of sharing too much information
3) when you no longer need the EDI department, that means people will be let go or transition out to another department. Increase in Productivity also = layoffs
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.