Trading EDI data is confusing. You know you need to transact with a trading partner. Typically either sending a purchase order or an invoice, with information related to product type, quantity, unit of measure, or price among other fields. Before you reach that line level detail, how do you identify either your business entity or that of your trading partner? Unfortunately writing “Walmart” or “Amazon” isn’t sufficient.
In EDI transactions this information is shared via the ISA ID. For companies new to EDI the ISA ID can be particularly challenging because it MUST be unique and there’s no central repository of master ISA IDs. Further, you must have your own ISA ID and that of your trading partner — which are designated as SENDER and RECEIVER in the X12.
To address this challenge, companies turn to one of three common solutions:
- DUNS number — (Dun & Bradstreet’s master Data Universal Numbering System)
- Telephone number
- Mutually defined identifier
In total there are more than 30 types of identifiers that can be utilized in EDI. Depending on the identifier that you choose, make sure to include the ISA ID qualifier.
- Qualifier ‘01’ — DUNS
- Qualifier ‘12’ — Telephone number
- Qualifier ‘ZZ’ — Mutually defined identifier
Here’s an example with a phone number to identify the sender and a mutually defined identifier for the receiver:
ISA*00* *00* *12*4155559874 *ZZ*ORDERFULEDI1207
When creating your ISA qualifier and ID make sure to communicate with your trading partner, be creative to select something unique, and test the file to make sure that you’re able to identify each other.
Now that we’ve gotten through that, ready to spend time working through setting up the next 20 lines of your EDI message just for one trading partner? If you’re exhausted like I am, consider connecting to the Orderful API. Once you’re integrated to the master schema you can connect to any trading partner in the network. Make sure to show up with your ISA qualifier and ID in tow and the rest of the integration can be seamless.