Sunday, July 17, 2005

Easy Does It: EDI Made Simple

Photograph: Pam Bluh, Melody Lembke, Alan Keely, Dan Rosati.
EDI Panel discussion attended by 25 interested AALL conventioneers heard how and why to implement EDI. Today, Melody Lembke led a stellar panel discusion, consisting of Pam Bluh, Alan Keely, and Dan Rosati. Pam led off with an 10 year overview of EDI and her experience with it using Ex Libris. Pam provided a lengthy handout that accompanied her presentation. Alan followed with a how to approach using Voyager and highlighted key points about his claiming with W.S. Hein. He was able to use some of Pam's screen shots to illustrate his talk. Dan Rosati rounded up the discussion with the vendor perspective and stressed the help that other users can offer each other. Dan also had a handout and can provide additional copies for anyone needed one.

A lively audience participation period elicited many enthusiastic comments about the process, how detailed the preparatory work is and how worthwhile it ends up being. Improved efficiency, large invoices made more manageable, paper reduction, elimination of repetitive tasks, reduced errors, improved internal workflows, and enhanced service are results. Drawbacks involved the lengthy and arduous work that is necessary.

Several vendors, domestic and foreign, are using EDI. The two major U.S. legal publishers are still not able to provide this service.

Photograph: EDI attendees.