EDI Implementation: Developing Strategic EDI Solution
EDI Implementation is a complex process and consists of several stages that should be considered thoroughly. An important step for EDI deployment is choosing the best strategy of EDI implementation. A proper EDI business solution combines all issues considered – both technical and business, and is usually developed according to the results of the analysis conducted.
Any EDI implementation solution includes the following factors to consider:
- The expected volume of the EDI transactions
- Internal business operations structure
- Network connections
- IT infrastructure
- Programming facilities
- EDI standards compliance (including partner compliance)
- Customization and deployment scope.
There are two issues you must think about on this stage – EDI translator package and EDI communications model.
EDI Translator is a package that is sold by a software company or VAN provider. Its role is to receive EDI data and transform into a human-readable form that is suitable for the receiver. Besides, translator can have extra functions such as envelopes handling, documents managing, checking compliance etc.
EDI Communication model serves for connection with your trading partners. Today there exist some methods for exchanging EDI documents, like FTP, EDI-NET, VAN, and also many outsourcing companies who deal with EDI communication.
Usually EDI Business Solutions regard the following set of electronic documents:
- PO (Purchase Order) – contains name of the ordered goods, description, quantity etc. (is sent by a retailer);
- ASN (Advanced Ship Notice/Manifest) – document that describes goods packaging: e.g. 5 pallets, 5 carton boxes on each pallet, 50 items in each carton box, total weight, size etc. (is sent by a supplier);
- Invoice – invoice for payment (is sent by a supplier);
- Remittance Advice – payment confirmation (is sent by a retailer);
- FA (Functional Acknowledgement) – special document type that is automatically sent as a conformation of an EDI document reception and contains information about unprocessed data (if there are any).
After choosing the most suitable and efficient EDI implementation solution you can move further to selecting proper provider.