The global supply chain depends on electronic data interchange (EDI). More than forty years ago the military came up with an efficient way to transmit data. A few years later, the supply chain picked up on this data trading practice, because at the time it was fast and reliable. Through the decades EDI steadily gained traction and has since been embraced by companies across all industries. Fast forward to 2019, it is the preferred means to exchange documents and is the backbone of business-to-business (B2B) transactions in the supply chain.
There are hundreds of different EDI transaction types and each one has a specific function. A significant number of these transactions are supported in Orderful’s platform. Buyers and suppliers exchange these documents using EDI standards to automate and streamline B2B data trading. While some EDI transaction sets are unique to a particular industry, a number of transactions are used by multiple industries. These transaction sets encompass health care, insurance, transportation, finance, government, supply chain and other industries.
Some of the most commonly used document types include the Purchase Order (850), Advanced Ship Notice (856) and Invoice (810). If you’re new to EDI or are about to trade EDI with a new trading partner, how do you figure out what specific EDI transactions your trading partners require?
Before you can begin selling your product, there are some crucial housekeeping items that need to be addressed. It’s important to understand your business and what is required from your trading partners. If you’re working with a major retailer, you can’t necessarily go off the information that’s in their online vendor portal. There may be ten transactions types listed in the portal, however only three of them may be applicable to your business. The first and most important step is to get in touch with your vendor’s EDI team to determine what transaction types are required for your business. If you don’t confirm and agree on the transactions required by your trading partner, you can’t start trading EDI with them. Overlooking this step can cause significant delays during the implementation process.
From there, our team of EDI experts can assist in understanding and gathering information from your trading partners, before you can go-live. If you’re new to EDI, it can be overwhelming. Beyond determining transaction types, what communication channel (SFTP, FTP, VAN, AS2) does your trading partner prefer? How do you test transactions? How do you sign off on passed tests? Who do you contact if you have an issue and need to create a support ticket? Where do you upload your product catalogue? How and when can you go live? These are all important questions that are critical to any successful EDI integration. Our team is here to help you ask the right questions and ensure you’re EDI compliant.
Most importantly, once you’ve determined what EDI transaction types are required, we gather your trading partners’ guidelines and digitize them into our platform. Orderful’s API validates all inbound and outbound EDI transactions. This allows you to test transactions against your trading partners’ guidelines. You’ll know immediately if there’s an error with your transaction. For example, if you forget to include the billing address on your test invoice, you’ll instantly receive a notification and can fix the error on the fly. Orderful’s guideline validation is critical to ensuring your EDI data meets your trading partners’ requirements.
To learn more, schedule a time to connect with one of our EDI experts here.< Back to EDI Blog
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