TCO Summary

When discussing EDI solutions with customers and prospects, emphasize that the purchase plan is not the only cost to consider. Organizations providing in-house EDI capability must also include their ongoing staffing and support costs in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Such costs include:

  1. Translation software –This is typically a $25,000 minimum spend. Also, we believe most companies fail to account for annual support and maintenance fees, which can reach $3,000–$5,000 per year. UniLink eliminates both of these costs.
  2. VAN fees – Some trading partners will require VAN communications. These fees amount to at least $300–$400 per month, not including kilocharacter fees that are proportional to the number of monthly transactions sent and received. UniLink includes any VAN communications at no additional charge.
  3. UniLink does not charge for Functional Acknowledgment (997) transactions, although any VAN they use will bill for the kilocharacters required to send and receive these.
  4. Mapping fees –Most companies calculate the cost of creating, testing, and modifying an EDI map to be $1,000–$2,500 per map. Our average fee is less than $250 for each map. Outsourcing to UniLink can yield up to a 10-fold cost savings.
  5. Staffing –Companies will need at least two full-time employees (FTEs) to handle the mapping, testing, and monitoring of ongoing EDI transactions and activity. A conservative estimate of the burdened annual salaries for these employees could total $160,000. Outsourcing this effort to UniLink reduces this cost to less than half of one FTE—a minimum annual savings of $120,000.
  6. Training – In-house efforts require trained technical personnel who understand the chosen solution. At $3,000–$5,000 for each class, with 3–4 classes needed per person, the “do it yourself” approach can easily result in an extra $30,000–$40,000 in start-up costs. In addition, staff turnover and job changes make training a recurring cost, not a one-time expense.

Helping your customers and prospects see the big picture in terms of TCO enables them to avoid unexpected costs, and it positions you as an expert consultant focused on what is best for their business.

Please contact David Humer at 770-263-5370, or visit for more information.