EDI and ERP Introduction - General Information
Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means. It is used to transfer electronic documents or business data from one computer system to another computer system, i.e. from one trading partner to another trading partner without human intervention.
It is more than mere e-mail; for instance, organizations might replace bills of lading and even cheques with appropriate EDI messages. It also refers specifically to a family of standards. (source: Wikipedia.com)
An EDI translator is designed as a bridge between your ERP and the Inbound/Outbound EDI standard documents. There are translators available for importing purchase orders into SYSPRO sales orders, and for exporting invoice and shipment information. A variety of other documents imports and exports are available for other tasks. The system currently supports the ANSI X.12 standards and any subsets (such as VICS) of those standards. EDIFACT support is available also.
Communications: Value Added Network (VAN)
SYSPRO’s EDI system, generally, does not include a communications system. This was done intentionally, as there are many fine communications packages available. Also, different partners and VANs may require different communications styles (Asynchronous, Synchronous, AS2). The EDI translators can interface with the major EDI communications packages available. Some packages are Emanio, and IMB/Sterling software. In addition, the system can read and write ANSI X.12 document files directly. Additionally, SYSPRO has several other modular systems which can handle the transactions without a VAN. Such as Document Flow Manager and direct ANSI X-12 file transfers using an internet address and routing to local storage on your network.
EDI Checklist:VAN Selection
The selection of a VAN is not as major a problem as it may seem. Generally, companies will choose the VAN that their major customer(s) are using. The monthly costs are very similar across the VAN’s. In addition, the VANs are all interconnected. The interconnection means, if you have a mailbox on GEIS and your customer/vendor is using IBM-Sterling, transferring documents between systems makes sure everything gets to the proper location. There is a charge for the interconnection, however, it is still more convenient to use an intermediary rather than maintain multiple VAN accounts.
Select Communications Software
Although some VAN’s will try to sell their communications software along with their VAN services, you are not required to use their software. Cleo Lexicom (AS2), Emanio and Sterling have packages specifically designed to work with their and other networks. However, AS2 software can work with these and any of the other networks because it is stand-alone.
Select an ISA and GS Communications ID and Qualifier.
The communications qualifier is like your address or phone number. It is a unique piece of information for your company that the outside world can use to direct documents to you. The two most common selections are a DUNS number or phone number. The DUNS number is generally recommended, as it is less likely to change than a phone number.
UPC Vendor Number
If the company does not have an UPC vendor number and is working with a company that will be required UCC-128 advanced ship notice container labels, the Uniform Code Council must be contacted and a number assigned.
Install the communications and EDI software
The communications software should be installed and a communications test performed with the VAN. The EDI software should be installed - notify the trading partner that you are ready to test and implement EDI
At this point you are ready to begin EDI testing. Contact the company you will be trading with and follow their EDI testing procedures.
EDI Shipping and Manifest Systems
The SYSPRO EDI Shipping System provides for shipment verification, carton labeling and packing slip production. The system can be utilized in the warehouse, in the front office or both. Although the system operates without SYSPRO’s EDI system, it complements, adding the ability to create shipping labels with the UCC 128 serialized container codes and pass this information to the EDI 856 Advanced Shipment Notice (ASN) programs. ALso populating salkes orders with this information for tracking and shipment auditing.
EDI Reference Links:
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - http://www.ansi.org/
- GE Information Services (GEIS) - http://www.geis.com/
- IBM (Sterling Commerce) - http://www.stercomm.com/
- Universal Commercial Code - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Commercial_Code
- Bartender Enterprise Software – http://www.seagullscientific.com
- Motorola Handheld Computers – http://www.motorola.com
- EDI Terms and Definitions - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_data_interchange