EDI best practices

EDI can be a big commitment, and following best practice from the get-go can save you time, money and hassles down the line. We’re pretty experienced helping customers implement EDI, so here are some pointers on how to get things right the first time.

Establish clear procedures

It’s important to have clear contact point for your trading partners to get in touch with you about EDI-related issues they may have. The last thing you want is a colleague who knows little or nothing about EDI being asked EDI questions and not knowing where to direct the question. Work out who will take care of EDI questions from suppliers and educate your team so they understand where to direct these enquiries. Another thing to think about having is a contingency plan if something goes wrong with your EDI. You need processes in place to be able to keep operating in the unlikely scenario of an issue.

Test, test, test

There’s nothing worse than sending EDI messages to your suppliers only for them to not receive it. Or even having suppliers sending you messages incorrectly. This can lead to stock not being on shelves and invoices not getting paid. Testing before going live can make the transition to EDI much more seamless. Organise a time to send and receive test EDI messages to and from your suppliers to ensure that you don’t run into any issues when you go live. If this sounds a bit too manual, you can use our message compliance testing (MCT) service on Colladium to automatically ensure the EDI messages you’ll receive follow the correct syntax and use the right fields.

Automate as many processes as possible

Before getting started with EDI, think about all the things you want automated – an EDI automation wish list so to speak. Think about all the areas that take up too much manual processing or add significant costs, for example not knowing if an order can be fulfilled, or not knowing when it’s going to be delivered. You can even look at the invoice payment process, which is often time consuming for your accounts team. EDI can automate matching purchase orders and other EDI documents with your invoices to ensure they are accurate and legitimate.

Be picky when choosing an EDI provider

It’ll come as no surprise that it’s important to have a list of things you expect from your ideal EDI provider. Have a think with your team about what you want in your provider. Think about:
  • if they meet your technical requirements
  • if their business aligns with yours
  • if they have the right experience
  • if their support model works for your business
  • if their pricing model suits you.
Need more help getting ready for EDI? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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Using EDI to improve supply chain efficiency

Improving efficiency is one way for businesses to help battle rising costs and inflation. One efficiency improvement businesses are turning to is EDI.

Reduce costs and errors

The big efficiency with EDI is there’s no need for emailing or paper, which has some obvious benefits. As your number of orders grow, so does manual processing and hence, the need for more hands on deck. EDI does a lot of the heavy lifting for you through automating a lot of your processes. Studies have shown EDI can reduce the cost of a financial transaction by up to 90% and exchanging an invoice through EDI can even cost less than a cent. Automation from EDI can stop those awkward moments where your customer asks why your invoice numbers are wrong or if a supplier delivers the wrong products. EDI can result in a reduction in transactions errors by up to 40%.

Faster delivery times from suppliers

For any businesses, one of their biggest nightmares is not receiving goods when they need it. Any way to make the procure-to-pay cycle shorter is always a benefit. EDI sends trade documents directly between your software and your partners’. No more emails and manual inputting. EDI automation can speed up business cycles by 61%.

Better supply chain visibility

The best way keep track of all processes in the supply chain is through data. Businesses using EDI can find out whether a supplier can complete a purchase order. If you use advanced shipping notices (ASNs) with your suppliers, you can find out what a supplier is sending you and how they’re sending it. This can help your warehouse teams plan ahead for deliveries, so you can save time and resources. In fact, using ASNs can reduce receiving costs by up to 40%. Have more questions? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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What rules the roost – EDI process or business- and software-process?

We often get companies come to us when they want to implement EDI. And one of the points of confusion is often around where EDI fits in with their business processes and software. They ask what comes first – is EDI the cart or the horse, the chicken or the egg?As a general rule, we say EDI should support your business processes, not rule them. We suggest companies map out their process, whether it be existing or what they want them to be, then insert EDI at points that it can help. For example, if you want to scan inventory in when it arrives, you’ll probably choose to use an advanced shipping notice to get the data into your software ahead of time and have your suppliers attach scannable SSCC labels to their shipments. If your software conducts two-, three- or four-way matching, you’ll need to make sure you exchange the relevant messages that are used in those checks.

The other thing is, you don’t want to make your project bigger than Ben Hur – it’s ok to phase in different stages. Start with where it’s simple to bring EDI into the process. Then if there are other pain points down the track that can be resolved with EDI, then add them into the mix. A key reason for why projects can go awry is biting off more than one can chew.

Different industries, and even different businesses or different software all operate in their own ways. And there’s good reason for that. It’s important that you get your processes in a place that suit your business needs. EDI should ideally be used to bring in automation and to reduce your team’s workload.

Here at MessageXchange, our software can help with the EDI portion, but our powerful business process management layer can help fill gaps between EDI and your processes and software. MessageXchange is flexible enough, and smart enough, to cater to processes regardless of their complexity. For example, two-way matching can be conducted within MessageXchange itself by taking the EDI order and invoice and reconciling them against each other, then sending the result on. It can do the same with three-way matching by including the shipping notice too. It can even enhance the data in your message. For example, if you find it’s difficult for you or your suppliers to include a supplier number or GLN, MessageXchange can insert that into messages for you.

Looking for more information on this topic? Get in touch with us below.

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Things to keep in mind when onboarding large amounts of suppliers

Onboarding suppliers to EDI can be costly and time consuming. A typical onboarding process will involve these steps:
  1. Engaging suppliers Letting them know you’ll be onboarding them to EDI.
  2. Getting them familiar with requirements (MIGs) All requirements are normally shared via a message implementation guide (MIG)
  3. Schedule in testing Set up a time and deadline for testing of messages to start
  4. Test Send and receive EDI messages from your suppliers to ensure they are sending the correct data.
  5. Go live!
If you’re onboarding large amounts of suppliers it’s important to keep things efficient. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Testing is the most time-consuming process

Testing is time consuming because it requires a lot of back and forth checking and communication with your suppliers. This takes time and puts more pressure on you to keep things moving along. A more efficient solution is to use a message compliance testing tool (MCT), like Colladium. It allows suppliers to test their EDI files, often through an online portal, without your team needing to check them. This means you don't have to wait for your EDI team to match up availability with theirs. In fact, your resources don’t need to be involved at all. This also allows the supplier to fix up any issues with their mapping or EDI file generation so that when they go live, you're not scrambling to resolve issues.

Make templates for your communications

This makes it easy for anyone in your team to communicate with suppliers consistently and accurately. The templates should include who your suppliers should contact, the expectations and requirements to onboard and their scheduled time for testing. Just be aware it is pretty normal for these templates to evolve over time as you and your suppliers learn. These templates can also be tailored to the supplier’s knowledge and readiness for EDI.

Communicate internally

It’s key that everyone within your business is on the same page when it comes to onboarding. A step by step process should be finalised and communicated to your EDI team. This process should establish the roles for each part of the process and who to contact. Have more questions? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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EDI for 3PLs and logistics service providers

EDI has been prominent in the retail industry for decades and one area of the supply chain that benefits the most is third party logistics providers, or 3PLs. Let’s have a look.EDI replaces postal mail, fax and email, and eliminates manual inputting of data. It allows trading documents, like orders, shipping notices and more, to be exchanged electronically between businesses. EDI can help streamline and automate logistics processes, such as:
  • receiving and stocking goods
  • managing inventory
  • managing of warehouse movements
  • expediting shipments
  • refund processing
  • repackaging processes (co-packing).

An improved experience for your customers

We’ve seen 3PLs roll out EDI solutions, including portal solutions, for their customers. It makes the whole information flow between you, your customer and their customer easier. When your customer receives an order, they can accept it and at the same time, their EDI service can send a copy of it onto you so you know what to despatch, when and where. You can pick and pack the goods as usual, then when you create the shipping notice, you can send this via EDI to the recipient. Again, a copy can be sent to your customer for visibility. All of this ensures you’re not relying on PDFs and emails, and data is being exchanged in the quickest way possible.

Benefits of EDI

Cost savings

With supply chain costs going up, now is the time for logistics companies to find ways to cut costs. During busy periods instead of receiving an email or phone call every time a customer needs stock shipped, you can get the request via EDI, straight into your software for processing. You won't have to worry about missing an email, or having staff on-hand to enter the PDF into your software and you won't need to 'scan' PDFs into your software and deal with potential scanning errors.

Speed and accuracy

As your orders increase, your time to process them will only increase, unless you automate. EDI allows documents your customers need to be processed and sent faster. By reducing manual inputting, EDI also reduces the risk of inaccuracies in documents you send to your customers. Here are some stats that back the benefits:
  • can speed up your business cycles by 61%. Get documents directly into your software from your customers’ within minutes.
  • It delivers at least a 30—40% reduction in errors.

Reduced manual processing

With staff shortages a big issue around the world right now, logistics companies need to find ways to make process more efficient. With EDI, not only does your speed improve, but the pressure on your staff is reduced. EDI makes it easier for you to process more shipments with fewer people which allows you to take on more customers and more of their orders.

Compliance with retailers

If your customers supply to retailers, they’ll require documents via EDI. Send advanced shipping notices (ASNs) to the stock recipient, and even have a copy go to your customer for their visibility. Have more questions? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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5 reasons why companies are choosing eInvoicing

We continue to see eInvoicing gathering momentum. Here in Australia, the number of companies registering for eInvoicing is growing hugely. Here are five of the reasons companies are choosing eInvoicing.

They’re getting paid faster

Studies have shown that 72.5% of invoices globally are paid late . In 2016, Australian companies were an average of 26.4 days overdue on their invoice payments. With the help of eInvoicing, we’re seeing sellers being paid in less time. This improves cash flow and allows businesses to use their funds more strategically.

They’re saving time by reducing manual processes

With an outdated system, processing invoices involves lots of steps. With eInvoicing there’s no need to enter invoice data, saving you time. MessageXchange can even automate more processes such as matching invoices to PO numbers and more. All these things let your staff focus on more important tasks.

They’re saving costs and reducing errors

The ATO estimates paper and PDF invoices can cost between $27 and $30 to process. eInvoicing reduces the costs to less than $10. In Australia alone, 1.2 billion invoices are sent each year, so you can already see the savings that are to be made. You can save on:

  • paper costs
  • printing costs
  • additional scanning equipment costs.

Manually inputting invoices exposes businesses to human errors. The automation from eInvoicing can reduce errors by up to 37%. Errors can be costly for any business, and especially the costs involved to rectify them.

They’re using a more secure way to exchange invoices

Invoices are often a targeted way for scammers to commit fraud. A recent study by XERO found 18% of Australian SMEs have fallen victim to invoice fraud and this costs a business an average of $15,500. This number has only grown with the increase of scams during the pandemic. To avoid this, eInvoicing messages go through the secure Peppol network, which has processes in place to reduce the risk of fake or comprised invoices.

They’re on a digital transformation journey

Digital transformation is the move to digital technology to improve existing processes. eInvoicing does exactly that and is a great starting point. Can you imagine if you were still issuing invoices by fax? We’ve well and truly moved on from that, and eInvoicing is the new way.

Getting started with eInvoicing

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Check your software

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Our team connects you to the Peppol eInvoicing network

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Go live!

Want to get started with eInvoicing? Get in touch with our eInvoicing team below to learn more.

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EDI mapping explained

In most industries, there’s an EDI standard – whether it be EDIFACT, GS1 XML, ANSI X12 or something else. While standards are fantastic because they make it easier for companies to trade with each other (because they don’t need to setup different messaging standards with each trading partner), ERP software generally doesn’t export the standards out of the box, if at all. Typically, software exports an XML or CSV document. So this is where mapping comes in.

What is mapping?

A mapping translates a file from one format to another. For example, if your software exports an XML file but your customer requires an EDIFACT message, the mapping process transforms the XML to EDIFACT. The way MessageXchange work allows the mapping process to also incorporate business rules. For example, it can be used to enrich data, perform calculations and more. This is particularly helpful for those companies whose software doesn’t export all the information that a customer requires. A mapping is setup once and then it just runs. There’s no intervention needed when a new message comes in, the whole process of mapping a file is automated.

When would I use it?

As I mentioned above, mapping is typically used when software isn’t able to export the file format required by a company’s trading partners. It’s the way to mediate between your software and that of your trading partners. It can even cater for your trading partners who have different requirements – logic can be setup to use certain mappings for certain customers. Mapping cover all message types too – so if you receive an order, the purchase order can be mapped from XML to EDIFACT, but the POR, ASN and INV can be mapped from EDIFACT to XML, for example.

What are the benefits of mapping?

It allows a company to easily comply with their trading partners’ requirements

There’s no changing your software or investing in additional staff or other resources to manage this.

It automates processes

It’s ‘set and forget’. It just runs.

It’s scalable

There’s no extra work to do if your message volumes increase. Once the mapping is setup, any new messages that are exchanged automatically go through this process. If you're needing help with your mapping get in touch with our EDI experts by filling in the form below.

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The future used to be paperless. Now it’s PDF-less.

Not too many moons ago, there was a big push towards a paperless office – everything needed to be digital. No more faxes and no more mail – email was the new hero. This was a big progression at the time. It was more sustainable, there was less chance of things going awry and it was just more efficient. But times have changed.Nowadays, technology has advanced a lot more. And yes, while emailing PDFs is still much more efficient than snail mail or faxes, there are still downfalls. Many companies ‘scan’ or use optical character recognition (OCR) to truly make their invoices digital. However, many companies who come to us report only a 70% accuracy rate with OCR. Imagine then having to find the errors and on top of that, fix them. No thank you! And companies who don’t use this technology are still typing invoices in letter-by-letter, number-by-number. Yikes! We’re lucky to be in such a time where we now have better options. You might have heard of electronic data interchange, or EDI. It gets data from a supplier’s software to their customer’s software. Instead of the customer having to scan (or OCR) a PDF invoice or manually type it in, a machine-readable file is sent to the customer’s software. There’s no manual intervention required and it just appears, almost like magic. This also happens for other procurement documents like purchase orders and shipping notices. The Australian and New Zealand Governments have also identified that going truly digital brings massive benefits. $28 billion in benefits to the Australian economy over the next 10 years, to be specific. Because of this, the Australian and New Zealand Governments have worked collaboratively to bring an electronic invoicing (eInvoicing) standard to businesses: Peppol. This works in a similar way to EDI – it sends invoices from the supplier’s software straight to the buyer’s software. No typing, no scanning, no nothing. And major accounting software providers are onboard too. Both MYOB and Xero allow their customers to send and receive eInvoices. How good is that. So next time you find yourself typing another invoice into your software or fixing up an invoice mistake, have a look into eInvoicing or EDI. After all, the future is no longer paperless, it’s PDF-less!

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The art of writing MIGs

When you onboard suppliers it’s important for them to understand what the requirements are for the messages they need. A Message Implementation Guideline (MIG) refines a generic EDI standard such as UN/EDIFACT and details how it will be used for your company. In simple terms, it tells your suppliers what messages they need to send, what information the messages contain and how they’re formatted.Here are important things you need to know…

Choosing an EDI standard

There are different EDI message standards used around the world. Once you choose a standard it will be used as the base for your MIG. Here are a few of the common ones and where they’re most used:
UN/EDIFACT Standard coined by the United Nations and the most commonly used worldwide, and heavily used in the Australian retail supply chain industry.
ANSI X.12 Commonly used in North America
EANCOM Commonly used in the European retail industry
ODETTE Commonly used in the European automotive industry
EbXML Global standard developed by United Nations body for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business Information Standards (UN/CEFACT) and Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS ).
TRADACOMS Commonly used in the UK retail industry
HIPAAhow Commonly used in the North American Healthcare industry
SWIFT Commonly used by financial institutions worldwide.
 

Choose the message types you want to use with your suppliers

This comes down to what your objectives are as a business. Here are some of the common messages and what they do:
  • Purchase order Sent from buyer to supplier to order goods or services
  • Purchase order change Sent from buyer to supplier if the original purchase order has changed
  • Purchase order acknowledgement Sent from the supplier to the buyer to acknowledge receipt of the order
  • Purchase order response Sent from the supplier to the buyer to let them know how much of the order can be fulfilled, and any discrepancies from the original order
  • Advance shipping notice (or despatch advice) Sent from the supplier to the buyer to let them know when and how the goods will be shipped
  • Invoice Sent from the buyer to the supplier for payment of the goods or services
  • Recipient created tax invoice (RCTI) Sent from the supplier to the buyer for payment of the goods or services
  • Remittance advice Sent from the buyer to the supplier to confirm payment
  • Price/sales catalogue Sent from the supplier to the buyer with up-to-date product and pricing information
  • Product activity data Sent from buyer to the supplier with the number of units sold and units on hand
  • Transport instruction Sent from a buyer to a transport supplier (and related parties) to communicate transport arrangements
  • Transport response Sent from a transport provider to confirm instructions
  • Functional acknowledgement An automated response sent from a receiver of an EDI message to confirm receipt of the message.

Find out what data your ERP system requires to process your message types

This is important because it’ll determine what fields and values you need from your partners. This includes things like:
  • character limits
  • whether only integers are allowed
  • if it needs to be number
  • how many decimal places
  • whether the field is dependent on another field (conditional)
  • whether a field is used for particular use cases only
  • how calculations are made.
From here you can provide a list of values that can be used, If not, all values in your chosen EDI standard. We have a range of MIGs from various companies you can check out here.

Putting your MIGs together

This is where you take everything from the previous steps and document it. Writing MIGs can involve a bit of work and so you can get an external party to help. This where an EDI provider, like MessageXchange, comes in. We can assist or lead the MIG writing process, developing it from scratch or upgrading your MIG. Find out more here. Have more questions? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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EDI documents explained: The retail industry

The retail industry has been using EDI for decades. It’s been proven to give retailers more visibility, better accuracy and truckloads of savings. And there are even benefits for suppliers too, especially those who fulfill large volumes of orders. The use of EDI is mature in the retail industry and covers basically all use cases of the procurement process. Let’s have a look at the different EDI message types that are used in the retail industry and why.

Purchase order

This is sent from a buyer (retailer) to its supplier. It will tell the supplier exactly what they want supplied. It will tell the supplier where to ship the goods to, and it might even tell them when the retailer expects the goods by. A purchase order typically starts the procurement process. In the EDI world, you might see a purchase order referred to as ORDERS (EDIFACT) or 850 (ANSI X12).

Purchase order response

A purchase order response is sent from the supplier to the buyer (retailer) to let them know whether or not they can fulfill what’s been requested on the order. Typically, there are three scenarios – the supplier accepts the order in full (if they can fulfill everything as requested), the supplier rejects the order in full (if they won’t fulfill any of the order), or the supplier proposes changes to the order. Changes on the order response are typically changes to the quantity, the price or the delivery date. In the EDI world, a purchase order response can be called ORDRSP (EDIFACT) or 855 (ANSI X12).

Purchase order change

A purchase order change comes after a purchase order or purchase order response. It’s sent from the buyer (retailer) to the supplier. As the name suggests, it can be used to make changes to the original purchase order. Or if the supplier sends a purchase order response, some retailers send a purchase order change to confirm the supplier’s changes (response).

Advanced shipping notice

This can sometimes be referred to as a despatch advice. It’s sent from the supplier to the buyer to let them know what’s being shipped and when. There are a couple of ways that retailers use a despatch advice. The first is a relatively simple one – it basically tells them how many of each product is being shipped, to where and when. It just gives retailers a bit of visibility. The second one is much more detailed. The retailer requires the supplier to tell them exactly what’s being shipped, how, to where and when. These ASNs have SSCC, or serial shipping container code, details on them. SSCCs are unique numbers that identify a unit. This can be a pallet, carton or something else. The supplier tells the retailer how many of each product are going into each pallet, for example, and what the corresponding SSCC number is. The retailer may also require the supplier to tell them the batch number, best before and expiry dates of the products in that pallet. The supplier then prints labels, with the SSCC number represented as a barcode and sticks it onto the pallet they’re sending. This information is sent to the retailer on the ASN ahead of the goods being sent. When the retailer receives the goods, they can scan the barcode to know exactly what’s on the pallet. In the EDI world, this message is called DESADV (EDIFACT) or 856 (ANSI X12).

Invoice

An invoice is sent from a supplier to a buyer to let them know what to pay them for the goods or services they’ve supplied. Unlike invoices that you might send and receive by email, EDI invoices don’t typically have bank details on them, because these are usually agreed on as part of the supplier agreement. The EDI invoices generally just outlines the total to be paid, the breakdown of what’s to be paid and sometimes the payment terms, although these can also form part of the supplier agreement. In the EDI world, you might see the invoice referred to as INVOIC (EDIFACT) or 810 (ANSI X12).

Product catalog

A product catalog gives the retailer details of the products you’ll be supplying to them. It can be as simple as supplying them with the GTIN or item number, product description and unit price. In the EDI world, this is called a PRICAT (EDIFACT) or 832 (ANSI X12).

Functional acknowledgement

Unlike the other message types we’ve discussed here, functional acknowledgements aren’t your typical procurement messages. These are usually handled behind the scenes. They tell the sender of the message whether it’s been received and if it’s A-OK or why it might have been rejected. In the EDI world, these are called CONTRL (EDIFACT) or 997 (ANSI X12).If you have any questions or need help getting started, just get in touch!

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How to use EDI with Xero

If you use Xero and you’ve been asked to use EDI, your head might be in a bit of a spin. It can seem complicated but there’s no need to worry – there are options and they’re not as complex as you might think. Many retailers require a combination of these documents:
  • Purchase order
  • Purchase order response
  • Advanced shipping notice
  • Invoice.
And you might be thinking, Xero doesn’t even have all of these. You’re right, Xero doesn’t support sales orders or advanced shipping notices. But that’s not a showstopper.

An EDI web portal is the simplest option

Many Xero users choose to use an EDI web portal. It’s a website you can login to, to view orders and respond to them with the response, advanced shipping notice and invoice. It’s simple to use, inexpensive and gets you compliant with your customer’s requirement. Here at MessageXchange, our EDI web portal is called FormXchange. If you choose to go with our FormXchange product, you can even automate the process one step further. By turning on the integration between FormXchange and Xero, you can sync the invoices you enter in the EDI portal (FormXchange) directly to Xero, so your invoices are always up-to-date in your accounting software. That means whenever you send an invoice to your customer on FormXchange, a copy will go to them, as well as to your Xero account. It’s that simple.

Who can you trade with on FormXchange?

Trade with any of these retailers on FormXchange:
  • Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API)
  • Aldi
  • Anaconda
  • Big W
  • Bing Lee
  • Bunnings
  • Chemist Warehouse
  • Coles
  • Costco
  • David Jones
  • Drakes
  • Harris Scarfe
  • Harvey Norman
  • Kmart
  • Metcash
  • Myer
  • Officeworks
  • Petbarn
  • PFD Foods
  • Reece
  • Repco
  • Sigma
  • Spotlight
  • Symbion
  • Target
  • The Good Guys
  • Winning Appliances
  • Woolworths

How do you get started?

It’s pretty easy:
  1. Head to messagexchange.com and click register
  2. Enter your details, choose FormXchange as your service and select the retailers you wish to trade with
  3. You’ll receive a verification email so just click the link in there to verify your account
  4. Let your customer(s) know that you’re using MessageXchange as your EDI service provider (they might refer to it as a ‘VAN’ or value added network)
  5. Then once you receive your first order, follow the prompts on screen to respond to it. You can also look at our knowledge base here to walk through the entire process in detail.
If you have any questions or need help getting started, just get in touch!

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Top 5 EDI questions answered

There are some questions that seem to come up in most calls. Have a look below to find out the answers to the most frequent EDI questions we receive.

1. What types of EDI solutions are available for me?

There are two main types of EDI that are available:

Integrated EDI (EDI Gateway)

An integrated solution allows you to exchange EDI messages directly from your software. When an order is sent to you, it’ll go to your VAN (value added network) then straight into your software. There’s no need to re-key it or anything. Then when you create the order confirmation, despatch advice or invoice, it will go directly from your software to your VAN and onto your customer. This option has the least impact on your current process and requires minimal manual processing.

Web portal/EDI Webforms

The simplest solution for EDI compliance is a webform solution. This allows you to logon to a web portal to view purchase orders and respond by sending back the required information such as purchase order responses, advance shipping notices and invoices. The information input into the web portal is sent directly to your customers’ software.

2. How much does EDI cost?

The cost will depend on the product you go with:

EDI Gateway

The price to setup an EDI Gateway is determined on a few factors, including how many customers you trade with, your customers’ testing requirements, the complexity of your setup and more. After implementation, our pricing is based on your data consumption (file size) so you only pay for what you use.

EDI Webforms

There’s no setup fee to use our EDI Webforms (which we sometimes call FormXchange). You can get started from just $99 a month, which allows you to exchange as many messages as you like with one of your customers. Plus you can add an additional trading partner for just $49 a month.

3. How long does it take to implement EDI?

The implementation time varies with every solution.

EDI Gateway

The implementation time varies depending on your requirements, complexities, the amount of testing you require, the amount of testing your trading partners require, your availability and more. It can take anywhere from a day or two, through to a month or more to get started.

EDI Webforms

For EDI Webforms, you simply register on the platform and you’re good to go. Some retailers require you to go through a testing and accreditation process, but our team are here to help you through that.

4. What does my customer mean by ‘accreditation testing’?

Accreditation requires you to test your EDI messages before they’re sent to your retailers’ production systems. This just makes it more likely that you won’t have issues when you’re sending and receiving EDI messages. The testing checks your files and ensures fields are correctly formatted.

5. Do l have to make changes to my ERP system to get the EDI message?

No, you shouldn’t need to – as long as your software can export and import files, your EDI provider will do a lot of the work connecting to your ERP system and mapping, or translating, the files to EDI messages. However, if your ERP software doesn’t handle certain EDI messages, like advanced shipping notices, you might need to use another bit of software to do that. We provide our EDI portal, Colladium, to our customers to help them send and receive EDI messages that might not be compatible with their ERP system.Have more questions? Ask our experts by getting in touch below.

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