Most people confuse internet based EDI with web based EDI software. This is completely normal since these two terms are quite similar. However, these are two options that are different and better for specific companies.
Generally, web based EDI is utilized to describe those EDI systems you can access with the use of an internet browser. Systems are normally based on a SaaS (Software as a Service) principle. Users just pay monthly fees and they gain access to the entire system. The popularity of this type of EDI software started to increase during the early 2000s. Smaller businesses particularly appreciate the service because they can utilize EDI software without having to invest a lot of money. EDI software is highly complex and expensive. Getting to use it at a lower price is definitely a clear advantage.
Web Based EDI Software Advantages
The main advantages that need to be highlighted are:
- Data visibility is available in a real-time setting.
- A highly affordable price point since you do not have to make an up-front payment.
- Lack of label software needs.
- Chargebacks can be dramatically reduced.
Why Web Based EDI Software?
For most small businesses, web based EDI stands out as the easiest and cheapest way in which transacting can start with trading partners. Most systems work with really large retailers so it is easy to minimize the complexities that are associated with regular EDI configuration and setup. Also, most of the packages that you are going to find are really cheap.
Obviously, there are limitations that exist. You can only trade with those partners that are supported by the system. When there is a specific request that is not supported, the EDI system cannot be used to deal with the partner you had in mind. In addition, when you want to integrate EDI data with current accounting or ERP systems, it is possible that the system will not properly integrate. However, even if these limitations do exist, for most small businesses we are faced with clear benefits.
Web Based EDI Is Not For All Businesses
Drawbacks do exist when it comes to using a web based EDI system. For starters, security is something that needs to be taken into account. Encryption is absolutely always used when systems are accessed. Even so, all the data is stored on the servers of the software provider. You cannot control this.
We should also think about costs. The systems are going to charge a clear variable rate but this is based on how many kilocharacters you send out. In the long run, when you deal with more and more businesses, data usage starts to outgrow an EDI web based solution.
To sum up, web based EDI software is very useful for many companies, ranging from small ones to medium ones. However, it is important to think about all the advantages and disadvantages associated with the choice so that you can make an appropriate decision. Have patience and compare all the options that are available so that you see if this type of EDI is for you.