Features To Look For In an EDI Provider

An efficient supply chain management system is essential for adequate automation and streamlining of distribution tasks. One such solution promoting automation and enhance efficiency is Electronic Data Interchange. It is transferring data from one computer to another utilizing standardized message formatting, relying on internet connectivity, either through peer-to-peer networking or serial links. Documents can be electronically exchanged between multiple companies both in the US and abroad.

It is essential to make a sound decision when selecting an EDI provider since a slight miscalculation and wrong choice could lead to poor supplier scores, inability to forge a long-lasting relationship with clients or missing out on enormous business opportunities, etc.

MANAGED SERVICE

Depending upon the requirement, managed services differ across the board. Data Integration Specialists can provide a remote EDI expert to either complement your existing EDI resource or they can maintain the entire EDI system from their remote offices. DIS’ EDI Consultant will handle trading partner setups, connectivity to VANs/direct connects, automated scheduling, error handling, acknowledgment reconciliation, map fixes, map changes, new maps, map testing, unit testing and ongoing maintenance on a daily basis. They also provide Hybrid EDI Managed service that acts as an efficient alternative to remote administration. The Hybrid model combines both an on-site option (when needed) as well as a remote EDI expert.

FEATURES

An adept EDI service provider should be able to provide best solutions for your business needs. It should be simple, and the user must be able to work with it with little or no training, It should be quick and easy to implement making it more efficient and facilitating better trade relationships.

INTEGRATION

The solution should be able to integrate with your business systems irrespective of their technical capabilities, connection protocols, data formats and back-office systems.  It should include a downstream system that delivers a seamless exchange of information to other operations.

TRANSPARENCY IN PRICING

Check if there is any hidden cost in the number of transactions made. There should be no additional cost for more transactions since that means you might end up paying more for cheap solutions. The EDI Managed Service maintains the health of your EDI business trading partner relationships at a cost model that IT management loves because it’s easy on their budgets.

CUSTOMER SERVICE
The EDI solution provider must have a flexible and available customer support team offering comprehensive, tailored solutions to business requirements. You should be able to rely on a team that is responsive and available to quickly diagnose any problem, determine a quick answer and implement it instantly.

REVIEW

EDI software can be an expensive investment so it’s critical that you have an experienced and proven EDI Consultant. Ask all solution providers to give you a name of their previous clients so that you can validate the level of customers satisfaction and quality of service.

EDI implementations, when done efficiently, can allow for effective business to business data interchange automation, especially for retail, manufacturing, distribution and healthcare.  Considering its capability to integrate business processes and accelerate speed to market fully, its now increasingly becoming a prerequisite for large suppliers and businesses globally.

Planning To Buy EDI Software? Important Factors to Consider

When it comes to managing B2B transactions, EDI software is truly a great gift to businesses. The bulky accounts, paper receipts & payments was the big task and storing & securing was even bigger. Sending, receiving and storing data electronically has made corporate life much easier than all the manual processes. EDI enables the exchange of several business documents, but the two primary aspects in transactions are purchase orders and invoices. If you haven’t yet implemented EDI software, then you should reach out to Data Integration Specialists to ensure your B2B transactions are running smoothly and seamlessly.

There is no doubt that EDI strengthens the relationship with trading partners which is an integral aspect of Ecommerce.  Here are some factors to consider:

What is your monthly EDI transaction volume?

The first and foremost thing you need to consider is the estimation of your EDI transaction volume and measure the frequent performance of transactions.. If your company has a lot of transactions, you can choose an advanced Enterprise EDI solution. On the other hand, if your company doesn’t have a lot of volume, you can buy entry-level EDI solutions. Data Integration Specialists can set you up with both and provide options.

How do you want to integrate EDI?

Another aspect you need to look for is how you want your EDI to integrate. Various companies look for EDI solutions that can integrate with their other performing tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) or warehouse management system (WMS).  If integration is important,  Data Integration Specialists can steer you in the right direction.

What are your business resources?

Reviewing and purchasing EDI software also depends on your resources within IT.  If you are new to this software or EDI technology, then it is likely you don’t possess the internal IT resources to implement and maintain EDI infrastructure. Data Integration Specialists will provide a thorough EDI review and audit to determine what is needed and what type of resources you have internal. We will then propose a solution that fits your criteria, your budget and ongoing EDI processes.

What are EDI approaches provided by companies?

There are Software based EDI solutions and there are Software As A Service (SAAS) models.  Depending on a whole range of factors, one of them is right for your operation.  Overall, our goal at Data Integration Specialists is to ensure that your EC/EDI business trading relationships are healthy and prospering.

Please give us a call or send us an email to set up a time to discuss how we can provide a one stop shop EDI offering for your business.

Ways To Ensure A Successful EDI Implementation

EDI or Electronic data interchange is the exchange of documents between businesses through direct IP connnections or Value Added Networks (VANs). This eliminates the need to mail or fax paper documents.  Data Integration Specialists emphasizes how EDI should be made a part of you business strategy in order to ensure viability in your marketplace.  Good communication between the trading partner to translate business documents in a standard format is critical to the bottom line.

EDI Mapping

This is the process used to translate EDI data into a more easily used format for certain environments. For example, eVision EDI Mapping, a 3rd party EDI software application, enables EDI messages to be translated into ASCII formats including XML and flat file. One of the most important steps is creating files capable of translating one type of data into another. Applications can be used to generate the map to facilitate the process. eVision EDI Mapping enables businesses to leverage their investments in their EDI infrastructure. This automatically sends the EDI data to systems such as accounting or ERP. EDI mapping is also used for creating formulas such as XML.

The Supply Chain

It is important to establish if the business is the Responder or the Initiator. The Initiator uses EDI to improve their business processes. The Responder responds to customer requests and EDI compliance is required to secure the contract. The regulations and rules pertaining to the business model are established by the Initiator. These protocols and standards must be followed by the Responder. The objectives of the business are established by a dedicated project team. This defines the deliverables during a set time frame.

The Trading Partner Communications

It is important to make certain the trading partners have agreed to a full commitment. A copy of the agreement should be obtained from the trading partner to establish which EDI standards and transaction sets are being used. The required communication protocols must also be established.

The Pilot Project

When there are numerous trading partners involved in EDI communications, it is important for a pilot project to be used for the first implementation. The business must be able to make improvements and tweak the project as it moves forward. One of the most common mistakes is attempting to add too many trading partners at the same time. This can be a substantial drain on resources and lead to the failure of the trading relationship very quickly. A phased or stepped approach will work much better such as implementing  the priority trading partners first. The rest can be implemented using a phased basis.

In House and Outsourced EDI

Implementing an EDI department requires numerous resources and the right internal capabilities. It may be necessary to outsource to a 3rd party EDI provider like Data Integration Specialists. The advantage is we will work as the EDI department, either remotely or onsite, and eliminate the complexities, constraints and hassle of establishing an EDI department.  As well, the cost savings are substantial when outsourcing to a consulting organization that has EDI resources as its core business.

The Bottom Line

When the above EDI strategies are implemented, it will help ensure a successful implementation for all of the parties involved and streamline various other tasks. To know more about EDI Mapping and Integration, get in touch with us at Data Integration Specialists www.dis-llc.com  and streamline your EDI data flow.

EDI Transformations And Things You Should Know About

For a legendary, global company like IBM, providing Gentran Server EDI to customers is one element of their business.

International Business Machines (IBM), provides EDI translation software, including Gentran: Server, Gentran Integration Server (SI) and more to EDI capable businesses worldwide. IBM’s Gentran: Server provides a way to address the increasing demands that come with today’s business to business requirements and technology. The Gentran: Server includes data store, process, communication controllers, and UI clients.

Choosing Gentran: Server can help to improve the quality of service, lower costs, and potentially increase productivity. The Gentran: Server allows stakeholders and essential customers to hold that critical competitive edge in the marketplace. Additionally, the Gentran: Server was developed by Sterling Corporation (subsequently purchased by IBM) three decades ago as a way to benchmark e-business transactions.

What Gentran Server options are available to choose from?

IBM has ten different options to choose for Gentran Products. The ten options include the following: Gentran: Server Product options include the following: Sterling Gentran: Server for Unix; Sterling Gentran: Server for Microsoft Windows; Sterling Gentran: Server for iSeries; Sterling Gentran: Basic; Sterling Gentran: Realtime; Sterling Gentran: Control; Sterling Gentran: Plus; Sterling Gentran: Structure; Sterling Gentran: Viewpoint; Sterling Gentran: Director and Gentran: Director Professional.

What is the architecture of IBM Gentran Server?

IBM’s Gentran: Server is built on an open architecture — this allows IT staff to install and work with specific components by utilizing common simple functions and features. Gentran: Server is a high performance, yet versatile solution that can use the Microsoft Windows client and server framework. One of the key benefits of embracing a technological solution provided by IBM like Gentran: Server is that the architecture can be built upon by adding more power and potential as needed.

What type of tools are available with Gentran: Server?

With IBM’s Gentran: Server, process control allows for business documents to be controlled. The question of when, where or how these essential documents are processed is strictly up to you.

IBM’s Gentran: Server also provides for more straightforward methods to map and increase data translation using the mapping utility. The Gentran: Server uses an intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI) to perform data mapping. Gentran: Server provides a way to display one’s applications or data on one’s screen. With the Gentran mapping utility, customers can also point-and-click to create mapping relationships.

The Gentran: Server also provides a way to easily set up and perform trading partner setup and maintenance. This function helps relationships by offering flexibility in creating new relationships. Gentran also allows stakeholders and businesses to exchange complex documents, and utilizing XML, graphics, and even non-EDI standards and business rules.

Gentran: Server also helps stakeholders and customers to trade their data with their business partners on an international scale. Microsoft allows for IBM’s Gentran: Server to use its Communications Service to control the flow of data throughout the system by utilizing many different protocols. To know more about EDI managed services, and to keep your EDI data flow streamlined, get in touch with Data Integration Specialists www.dis-llc.com  and we’d be happy to assist you and shed more light on these IBM Gentran EDI solutions and the services that we offer.

Five Values for EDI Integration Software

Data is a very crucial element of almost every organisation and therefore, it must be dealt with properly. All those who have already put EDI integration software to use have an idea of the benefits associated with the same, while those who haven’t used it still wonder about the same. The following sections include five major values of EDI integration software.

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How Is Electronic Data Interchange Useful

21st century is the era of technology and automation. Almost everything that we see today is run electronically. Electronic Data Interchange is a computer to computer type of exchange of business documents within two business partners. The documents that are exchanged between the business partners are present in electronic form which have now taken over the conventional paper based documents. (more…)

4 Benefits to EDI Managed Services

You have ideas, concepts, plans and goals to support and run your business. But, what about managing your vast-spread business? Do you still use papers to collect, keep and distribute data and documents? Then, you need to update your business and its mode of operations. There are two major factors that are reliable to run a business effectively, first is execution and another is management. You have everything such as latest technology, skillful management professional and more productive executive employees. But, one thing that has emerged as a boon for businesses is EDI managed Services which is, simply, EDI Consultants for your EDI Software. We at, Data Integration Specialists provide you efficient and effective EDI Managed Services with a Senior Level EDI resource managing your EDI processes either remotely or onsite. (more…)