ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE: PLATFORM FOR A STRATEGIC BUSINESS FOCUS
Links to Fileshttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Swatman/publication/264873865_ELECTRONIC_DATA_INTERCHANGE_PLATFORM_FOR_A_STRATEGIC_BUSINESS_FOCUS_1/links/540953080cf2187a6a6eb2ea/ELECTRONIC-DATA-INTERCHANGE-PLATFORM-FOR-A-STRATEGIC-BUSINESS-FOCUS-1.pdf
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Type of Work18 pages
Citation of Original PublicationSwatman P.M.C., Swatman P.A. and Fowler D.C. (1992) "Electronic Data Interchange: Platform for a Strategic Business Focus", In J. Griar, V. Kilner and J. Novak (Eds.) EDI: Inter-organizational Systems in the Global Environment--Proceedings of the 5th International Electronic Data Interchange Conference, Bled, Slovenia, September 3-5, Moderna Organizacija, Kranj, Slovenia, 360-377.
Early research into EDI stressed the greater speed, efficiencies and cost savings available from electronic document exchange and, despite EDI's cooperative focus, much of this research also described the technology as a competitive weapon for user organisations. Wider experience with EDI suggests, however, that rather than looking for short-term competitive advantages from EDI, it is in the areas of systems integration and business re-engineering that EDI offers its greatest real benefits. This integration enables EDI to support a truly strategic approach to business, offering major comparative advantages to organisations, business groups, industry sectors and trading blocs. The paper develops a model of EDI integration as a series of standard and recurring stages: ! stage 1 involves a PC with EDI software ! stage 2 is sub-divided into two alternatives:- • 2(a) involves a link between the PC software and in-house mainframe software • 2(b) moves the EDI software onto the mainframe itself ! stage 3 provides seamless integration between EDI transactions and application software ! stage 4 involves organisational restructuring to use EDI as the enabling platform for a wholly integrated information flow. The paper then considers the case of a major Western Australian public sector organisation which is in the process of making EDI a vehicle for business re-engineering (as in stage 4, above). The paper suggests that, while EDI itself is a comparatively simple technology, the implications of its strategic use as an enabler of major organisational restructure are profound.