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edi deadIt’s an old topic - EDI being dead. And the reality is that at the current rate of use and adoption, EDI and its similar counterparts are not likely to disappear… possibly ever. But the importance of EDI as a singular and only answer to digital supply chain management is diminishing in importance.

Sure, the details of EDI still need to be attended to and the data that’s transacted is the lifeblood of the trading partners processing the orders. But there are bigger issues to attend to as EDI becomes a standard process. The data that makes up the transactions has typically been thought of as ‘use it and trash it’ data. But the convergence of lower cost storage and highly capable analytic systems means that all that data should probably be used beyond the initial order and tracking process.

One of the things we’ve talked about lately is supply chain visibility. Enabling discrete monitoring of transactions and products as they make their way through the supply chain takes a lot of transactions and a lot of data moving through a lot of trading partners. That means lots of data transformation and duplicated pieces of information that needs to be matched, normalized, and analyzed. And even after those processes are done the information needs to be presented in ways that make sense to those who can do something with the output.

These processes are far beyond the abilities of spreadsheets and the calculating power of desktop computers. They need specialized hosting and management, and getting value from the investment of these systems requires presentation systems that make sense in both the time frames the information is available and the way the results are presented.

As the volumes of data continue to grow, and as users of the analytics become more sophisticated in their understanding and use of what they get, the need for more flexible and faster dashboards is already becoming important. I’m interested in knowing what kinds of information you need to look at, whether you have access to the kinds of presentations that give you what you need, and whether you are able to control what you want and need to see in order to make your job better and more efficient. Let me know. Last modified on Tuesday, 15 October 2013
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