What is needed to Implement EDI?
EDI Expertise - It can be acquired or learned but personnel with EDI expertise are needed to steer the right course strategically as well as tactically manage implementation and day-to-day operations. In a production environment more than one person may be needed to support the processes 24 hours-a-day or during vacation and other absences.
Production Support - Like other production systems EDI must be monitored and maintained. Resolving technical problems, making backups, updating documentation, and monitoring document flows and statuses are part of production support.
Translation / Mapping - Part of the EDI process is translation and mapping. For example, an incoming Invoice may need to be translated from an EDI format into an SAP IDOC format. There are many EDI translators commercially available ranging from simple and inexpensive to robust and expensive. Mapping is the detailed portion of translation - defining the source and target fields and business rules.
Trading Partner Certification and Testing - Change is always a constant. When a new system, document, trading partner or EDI version is required, testing is needed to certify that the information meets your trading partner's need and vice versa. The problem is that this is a "spike" in activity and the same personnel who implemented the changes may be needed for certification thereby creating a shortage. This is where Datric can help by using time-proven methods of testing and certification while minimizing the impact on your operations.
VAN Mailbox(es) - Value Added Networks (VANs) can be thought of as an electronic post office - you send documents to your trading partners and pick up documents from your trading partners by using an electronic address. The VANs responsibility is to hold and forward documents in a secure manner thereby freeing you from the necessary attention of caring for it. A VAN is not a hard and fast requirement for all partners but they are widely used.
EDI System Integration and Configuration - Before the full efficiency of EDI can be realized it must be integrated into your ERP system. For example, if you receive an Invoice from your supplier what business rules do you follow? If there is a price change do you accept it automatically? If there is a new tax or a quantity variance, how is that handled? Since the goal is to work from system-to-system, the configuration of your ERP system need to be planned. This includes the configuration of the ERP system to generate and receive EDI documents through an API. The scripts/tools used to automate the movement of the documents from the VAN to the translator to the ERP system are also a part that can be underestimated in planning an EDI implementation.
It is important to note that documents and standards are different:
- Purchase Orders
- Ship Notices
- Sales Orders
- Banking Documents
- ANSI (American National Standards Institute) X12
- EDIFACT (European version of EDI)
- XML (eXtended Markup Language)
- RosettaNet (a standardized version of XML)
Contact our sales team to discuss how Datric's EDI services can help with your project.