Defining an EDI system policy

The last stage in the EDI planning process is the development of your company's EDI system policy. An EDI system policy is a set of maintenance and logistical decisions that affect how your company's EDI system is maintained. This information is critical to the system and must be developed before setup.

Lawson recommends that companies think about these issues while determining an EDI system policy:

Maintenance and transaction monitoring

Unlike other computer applications, EDI is not a maintenance-free system. A working EDI system demands repetitive, organized maintenance. Lawson recommends that a schedule for EDI maintenance be designed and approved by your company's management before your system is installed.

Your maintenance schedule should include plans for these tasks:

  • Monitoring inbound and outbound transactions

  • Auditing data

  • Archiving data

  • Backing up your EDI system

Developing a maintenance schedule that includes repetitive maintenance can save your company time and money by safeguarding your EDI system.

Selecting an EDI system administrator

Because the EDI system requires routine maintenance and upkeep, companies must develop a leadership hierarchy for administering the EDI system. Someone must be in charge of maintenance, administration, and authorizing key decisions for the new EDI system.

Lawson recommends designating an EDI system administrator to take care of the day-to-day decisions and maintenance responsibilities for your new system. This administrator would serve an invaluable role in the upkeep of your company's data interchange.

Legal isues

Electronic commerce is a unique business communication method with its own legal rules and issues. You need to take the time to learn about the legal issues of EDI before adopting an EDI system.

In particular, you should review the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) EDI requirements. IRS Revenue Procedure 91-59 relates to EDI record-keeping requirements. Contact the IRS for more information on the legal issues of EDI record-keeping.