In EDI Expert Video Series 3.0, IDEA's B2B EDI Solutions Manager Tom Guzik continues to explore the ins and outs of EDI. Intended as a guide to small IT teams making big decisions and changes, this series answers questions about various aspects of EDI implementation, integration, and maintenance. In this episode, we explain what a consolidated EDI invoice is, and when one would use it.
Q: What is a consolidated EDI invoice, and when would I use it?
A: A consolidated EDI invoice is the EDI 811 document, which is typically used when you’re creating an invoice that includes multiple trading partners, multiple purchases, and separate vendors, so you’re not looking at one isolated purchase with just one vendor.
This would be used when, say, a contractor is doing a job, and he is dealing with seven different suppliers, but the job is actually being paid for by one specific customer, and the contractor is acting as the general contractor for this job. So the general contractor makes all these purchases from all the various manufacturers, buys all the component parts, but he is going to bill the customer with one consolidated invoice, which would include all the various manufacturers and items purchased. Because multiple manufacturers and different items are involved, the hierarchical structure of an EDI 811 is a little more complicated than that of a typical invoice. EDI 811 has been built to support separate manufacturing IDs, and it can even support additional groupings, so you can have one set of purchases that fall under one group of manufacturers, such as wiring components, and another group that falls under the connectors’ part.
It’s really a complicated document; however, it simplifies the invoicing process when you’re taking potentially dozens of invoices and making them into one. Within the electrical channel, we don’t really see this document being used. It’s something that the telecommunications industry was inclined to use, and there is value in using it, but it’s just not something you see often within the electrical industry.