Add On Technologies for EDI will be interesting for manufacturers or distributors involved in the supply chain. The most complicated EDI transaction used in the supply chain is the 856—Advanced Ship Notice (ASN). Companies use the ASN to manage just-in-time deliveries from their suppliers. An ASN is sent by the supplier to the customer, and tells them exactly what to expect in the shipment when it arrives. Creation of the ASN occurs on the warehouse floor where the goods were packed, which is a different location from where the EDI operations take place. Using a third-party logistics company for warehousing and shipping makes the distance between the two locations even greater.
EDI translation, mapping and integration software vendors handle the complexity
of the ASN with software that is Add On Technologies to their base product. Add On Technologies module is accessed in the warehouse where the actual packing and shipping takes place. The base software located in the EDI operations department takes the data, builds the ASN and sends it to the trading partner.
Bar Code Label Printing and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
Many customers expect their suppliers to label packages, cartons and skids according to the customer’s specifications when shipping orders. Since much of the data originates from an order placed through EDI, it makes sense to have the EDI translation, mapping or integration software facilitate the creation of the labels. EDI translation, mapping and integration software vendors facilitate the printing of labels within their base product, or through an add-on. Their software provides the data that goes on the label, but it does require another piece of software from a third party to actually format and print the labels. A label printer is necessary, although some products allow the labels to be printed on 8 x 11 sheets using a laser printer. RFID is a technology that allows miniature transmitters to be embedded in shipping labels. It’s very similar to a bar code label but doesn’t require scanning by hand. When a shipment arrives at the customer’s warehouse, scanners read the labels on packages and skids as they pass through the doors. The scanned data is then uploaded to the host computer for processing. Large skids with multiple packages can be scanned in one pass, compared to scanning one package at a time by hand.
Global Data Synchronisation
One of the inefficiencies in global trade is that a single product could have hundreds of different numbers to identify it. A company in North America could identify a product as number 123, while another company in Europe could identify the same product as 456. Both companies purchase the product from a supplier in Asia who identifies it as 789. Global Data Synchronization (GDS) is a process that companies anywhere in the world can use to identify a product consistently and share that data throughout the supply chain. GDS is accomplished by assigning a Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) to every product manufactured, and making it accessible through the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). The GDSN allows companies to quickly and efficiently exchange product data that is accurate, up-to-date and compliant with universally-supported EAN.UCC standards.
Add On Technologies cost
Depending on the vendor, the cost for Add On Technologies software might be included with the Data Translation, Data Transformation or Data Integration software. For a PC-based installation, the add-on will range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. For bar code label printing, you will have to purchase software at a cost of up to $1,500, plus a label printer for $1,500 to $3,000. The Data Translation, Data Transformation or Data Integration software vendor should be able to recommend a vendor for the label printing software and printer.