February 9, 2016

EDI Expert Video Series Episode 21: EDI and Your Internal Computer System

In EDI Expert Video Series 2.0, IDEA’s B2B EDI Solutions Manager Tom Guzik goes beyond the basics of EDI to more complex topics. Intended as a guide to small IT teams making big decisions and changes, this series explores the ins and outs of EDI implementation, integration, and maintenance.   
In this episode, we discuss what internal changes to your computer system are involved in implementing EDI. If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future segment, please submit your topic to communications@idea4industry.com.

Q: Does implementing an EDI system require modifications to my internal computer systems or ERP?

A: Yes.

If you’re going to integrate your EDI, either inbound or outbound, with your existing environment, there will be a fair amount of work to initially set that up. That amount depends on your current internal systems. If your software comes with the ability to import files into the appropriate areas that are needed, such as the accounting software, the order processing, and the invoicing modules, you really just need to build a bridge that takes the EDI and bundles it into your system. Your system will then take over, business rules will be applied, and the data will be put in the appropriate fields.

If you’re not going to get EDI integrated, you’re going to do what they would call “rip and read” EDI, whereby you are essentially just trying to meet a mandate from a large trading partner who requires you to do EDI. If your transaction count is small, where it isn’t going to be a real problem for you to manually work it, then no work needs to be done on your environment – you don’t have to change anything. When you receive an EDI file from that trading partner, you’ll have it parsed into a means that allows you to read it as if it were a print-image file, then you’ll key in that information in as if someone had faxed it or called it in. So, you’re still doing the manual part, but there is no need to modify your system. Again, that is acceptable and it works, because you are meeting a mandate that enables you to continue trade with that large customer of your,s and they’re seeing the benefit. You may not be seeing the benefit, but your volume may be so small that you’re going to be able to manage everything fine with your current workload environment.

Want to learn more about EDI or IDEA’s IDX services? Contact Tom Guzik at tguzik@idea4industry.com.