To implement and run a successful end to end EDI communication with your trading partners, the following five components are essential:
EDI Translation Software: Although the concept of EDI was introduced to have a sole standard for the exchange of electronic data, overtime and across multiple market sectors, many different EDI standards have emerged such as ANSI X12 (predominantly used in North America), EDIFACT (Europe and Automotive sector), Tradacom (UK), Odette and much, much more. In fact within the same standard there are now multiple versions or upgrades, take ANSI X12 version 4010, version 4030 or version 5010 as an example. In order to deal successful and seamlessly with all these standards and versions within standards, it is essential that you have a robust EDI software translator in place.
Data Mapping: Data mapping is the converting of 0information from one location to another. In EDI, data mapping converts a user’s application data into the required EDI file format, and vice versa. Mapping outbound data involves establishing what information from the ERP or accounting software goes where in an EDI file. The data must be properly arranged and formatted so that it conforms to both the EDI standard required and the trading partner’s rules and regulations.
Communication Method: The EDI transaction sets can be transported between trading partners over numerous different methods such as a VAN (Value added Network), AS2, FTP, FTPs, etc. When trading with multiple customers, you will probably need the ability to handle all of the aforementioned communication protocols as different organizations will use different protocols.
Integration: Although there are some stand-alone EDI systems that may suit very small operations or seasonal companies, in order to get the best ROI out of using EDI, any organization should integrate their EDI solution with their back end ERP/Accounting Software/OMS, for example QuickBooks, NetSuite, Sage, SAP, Aptean, Microsoft Dynamics, Brightpearl, Acumatica, etc.. Integration with back end software removes the need to re-key data, thus providing further automation and reducing errors.
Support: It is one thing to get a good EDI system in place, but yet quite another to make sure that that system runs smoothly 24/7. Any system that does not run 24/7 or is prone to hiccups could be costing your organization new orders and therefore costing you lost income. Having good support will also keep your organization functioning seamlessly as trading partners require system upgrades or new EDI transaction sets to be introduced.
B2BGateway is a full service EDI provider and handles all of the vital components listed above on behalf of thousands of clients worldwide on a daily basis. If you would like to know more about B2BGateway’s full service EDI and automated EDI solutions, please call B2BGateway at +1 (401) 491-9595 (US), +353 61 708533 (EU) or email Sales@B2BGateway.Net. You can also visit us online at www.B2BGateway.Net.