EDI or Electronic data interchange is the exchange of documents between businesses through direct IP connections 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.
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 and streamline your EDI data flow.