Here’s a great way to save thousands of dollars by avoiding a big EDI project: use Acumatica notifications instead. Recently we did exactly that and were able to satisfy an unmet business need to send out Automatic Shipping Notifications (ASNs) to designated customers. These usually are larger retail chains who are accustomed to receiving supplier ASNs as EDI messages.
Setting up automatic notifications in Acumatica is easy; yet setting up a complex EDI program may cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. This money typically goes towards:
• Licensing and installing an EDI translator.
• Connecting to a third party network, called a VAN (see this article for some typical headaches).
• Facing countless additional interfacing issues, consultation, training, etc.
And all of this usually involves software and technology developed back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
To make this approach work best for you:
1. Make sure Acumatica is up and running and you have some proficiency with email notifications.
2. Talk to the customers who are largest retailers or chain stores (but not as big as WalMart or Home Depot) and ask if they want electronic notifications like ASNs.
3. Design a notification that provides the customer with what he’s looking for (for ASN’s: Did the product ship yet? When will the product arrive? What’s the tracking number? How heavy is it?)
It shouldn’t be too hard to sell this approach (either internally or externally). Emails are accepted world-wide as a quick, efficient form of business communication. And everybody avoids relying on an older technology that is far more expensive to support and maintain.