8 minute read

What Makes a Good EDI Dashboard?

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, having a robust Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system is crucial to maintain efficient communication with partners, suppliers and customers. While there are many things that separate good and bad EDI solutions, arguably the most significant is the main interface – your EDI dashboard (also often referred to as an EDI monitor or EDI portal).

In short, an EDI dashboard is like your company’s B2B messaging cockpit, providing visibility of all automated exchanges and allowing relevant individuals to access and edit information easily. Without a good EDI dashboard, management of automated B2B communication can be complicated. With one, it’s a piece of cake!

In this article we’ll explore what makes an efficient EDI dashboard. Hopefully by the end you’ll know exactly what to look for when selecting a new solution.

Data visibility

The main job of any dashboard is to make information accessible and easily digestible. A good EDI dashboard can achieve this by providing…

1) Full transparency for all departments

Given the technical work involved in managing EDI connections, access to EDI data in companies is often limited to the IT team, or a small number of EDI specialists. But EDI data is relevant to many different teams, and providing access to relevant individuals such as those in Purchasing or Accounts can help to streamline processes and eliminate bottlenecks.

2) Full-text search functionality

In a good EDI portal finding transactions and documents should be as quick and easy as possible. Given that not everyone looking for information in your portal will necessarily be an EDI expert (especially if several teams are granted access), it’s important that your EDI dashboard has an intelligent search functionality. Rather than requiring users to manually scroll through data or enter specific message identifiers, the best EDI portals will allow users to locate relevant data quickly using any relevant keywords.

Message overview in the ecosio.monitor Message overview in the ecosio.monitor

3) Detailed EDI analytics

Just as the dashboard in your car displays all the key information you need in one place, so your EDI dashboard should too! When you’re exchanging high volumes of messages with partners, it’s important to be able to identify any issues quickly. A good EDI dashboard should make this possible via helpful real-time graphs and EDI analytics. When errors do occur, the error information should also be thorough, so as to facilitate swift resolution.

Example of ecosio.monitor dashboard analytics overview
Example of ecosio.monitor dashboard analytics overview

Flexibility

Behind data visibility, the next most important attribute of any good EDI portal is flexibility. Although there are only so many ways to conduct EDI, every company’s EDI requirements are different. Plus requirements naturally change over time! As a result, it’s important that your EDI dashboard has sufficient flexibility to allow your EDI solution to continue to deliver no matter what your specific situation is.

Key things to look for here include…

Customisability

Ideally a good EDI portal should provide ways for individuals to tailor processes to meet their needs. For example, the ability to control notifications can be particularly useful, and help ensure you are only alerted about what’s important to you.

Extensibility

The ability to integrate your dashboard with other solutions, such as a Web EDI portal, will ensure you are able to adapt as needs evolve.

For example, in addition to being compatible with all ERP systems, ecosio’s EDI dashboard (the ecosio.monitor) can be integrated with all ecosio products, from our e-invoicing solution to our Web EDI portal.

Management tools

With any platform or software which is accessible to many individuals, being able to manage usage is important. There are two areas to consider here…

1) Management of internal teams

In order to manage internal teams efficiently, it’s extremely useful to be able to control access and edit user permissions.

Another feature that many EDI professionals find helpful is having real-time visibility of which users are active, as this can enable faster issue resolution.

2) Management of external partners

Depending on your partner and supplier landscape, it may also be helpful for your EDI dashboard to enable you to manage access and functionalities for external entities. For example, this can be a useful feature for businesses wishing to control the access of ERP partners, and for larger organisations with sub-companies.

Good support

As support is not technically a feature, it’s something that many people overlook when selecting an EDI dashboard. However, having reliable support is crucial – particularly for those businesses without substantial in-house EDI expertise.

With this in mind, it’s worth looking out for the following when considering your options…

Reachability of support

Most solutions will provide a support number and/or email address for users to contact when an issue arises. However, these methods of contacting support aren’t optimal. A much better method is being able to raise tickets within your dashboard. Not only does this allow your colleagues to see that a ticket has been raised, it also makes it easier for the expert to see the relevant information, leading to faster resolution and better transparency for all.

Example of support ticket functionality in the ecosio.monitor
Example of support ticket functionality in the ecosio.monitor

Proactive EDI portal maintenance

If optimal system performance is to be maintained, updates need to be proactive rather than reactive. If maintenance is left to internal teams to handle, it’s easy for maintenance to be put off and performance to deteriorate over time.

Security

Given the significance and sensitivity of the data being exchanged via EDI, it’s important that your EDI dashboard is sufficiently secure. Features that can help bolster security include…

User authentication

Obviously, you don’t want anyone accessing your EDI data who shouldn’t be, and the easiest way to prevent this is through thorough implementing failsafes such as multi-factor authentication. Meanwhile, Single Sign-On (SSO) and editable user preference settings, including “remember me” functionality, can be used to enhance the user experience.

Secure archiving

Archiving is not only a legal requirement in many transactions, it’s also essential for maintaining data integrity. While all EDI solutions should offer archiving, a good EDI portal should make this as easy as possible by providing user-friendly management features.

The ecosio.monitor offers the ability to create custom archives The ecosio.monitor offers the ability to create custom archives

Regular updates

Regular updates are essential for long-term efficiency and will prevent a gradual decline in performance and security. As mentioned previously, it is best if technical updates are handled proactively by external experts.

Have you considered the ecosio.monitor?

Now that you’ve got a clearer idea of what a good EDI dashboard can deliver, you should be better placed to decide on a suitable solution. And luckily you don’t have to look far to find one!

If you’re searching for an EDI portal that offers impressive data visibility, flexibility, robust management tools, good support and top-notch security, you need look no further than the ecosio.monitor.

Thanks to deep integration into your existing ERP system, the ecosio.monitor offers unparalleled usability and data visibility, allowing users to view real-time message statuses and find relevant data within seconds. Plus access can be extended to and adjusted as required, ensuring EDI never becomes a bottleneck.

Find out more!

For a detailed breakdown of the ecosio.monitor’s key features and how these can benefit you, please visit our dedicated feature page.

Alternatively, if you would like to schedule a call to see first hand what our EDI portal can do and how the ecosio.monitor can be integrated with your existing systems, contact us today. We’d love to show you how our solution can help you achieve maximum efficiency with minimum effort.

Frequently asked questions

Why is an EDI dashboard important?

An EDI dashboard is essentially your very own EDI control centre. An efficient dashboard makes keeping track of EDI message traffic and identifying and eliminating errors easy. For large businesses a comprehensive, flexible dashboard is an invaluable tool in helping to streamline key B2B processes and communication.

Is changing EDI dashboards difficult?

How much work it takes to upgrade your EDI dashboard depends on several factors, including what type of EDI solution you currently have, which dashboard you want to implement, and how much EDI expertise you have in-house. While some EDI migration projects can be lengthy and complicated, if a fully managed solution (such as ecosio’s) is opted for, all technical tasks are handled quickly and efficiently by external experts, and migration becomes simple.

How important is usability in an EDI portal?

Extremely important! EDI data is typically relevant to many different teams within a business. For some individuals interacting with EDI data may be something that is only required very rarely. As a result, your EDI portal shouldn’t require detailed technical knowledge or familiarity with a unique system. Ideally, the user interface should be in line with that of your existing ERP system. Features, folders and pages should be clearly labelled, and a flexible search function is crucial.

Can I see a demo of the ecosio.monitor in action?

Yes! We would be more than happy to show you what our EDI monitor looks like and how its many unique features can benefit your business. To arrange a demo please contact us.

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