December 12, 2014

EDI Expert Video Series Episode 7: Mapping Costs and Parameters

EDI Expert Insights with Tom Guzik, Manager B2B EDI Solutions 

This issue’s video discusses mapping costs and parameters.  Click here or on the video above to watch.  If you have any questions you would like answered in a future segment, submit your topic to

Q: How can you keep your mapping costs down?

A: You can keep your mapping costs down by trying to create more generic or global maps.  We mean global where you’re trying to accommodate the needs of many.  So when you create your map, you don’t restrict it to just a tight cohort of  segments or qualifiers, but you create the map to accept many qualifiers, or all qualifiers, and you add in most of the commonly-used segments.  That way, when a trading partner is using a different map where they have additional segments, your map will be able to interpret the data because it will already have the functionality built into it, versus one that’s restrictive.  So, building a more open, general map usually helps save you money because you aren’t so specific and you don’t have to create as many maps.

Q: Why would you create a more specific map?

A: You could create a more specific map if you’re trying to keep to a tight spec, where you really don’t want to be getting anything extra. Because if your end application could possibly blow up with additional fields, you want to prevent that from happening, so you’re going to stop it at the mapping level. So, if someone’s sending you extraneous fields that you don’t use, or can’t use, you want to stop it before it hits your ERP system, because then you could have problems. 

So, you’d want to really be tight on just what fields you’re willing to accept.  If you’re not, if your system is going to be fine with things, then you can open it up so if somebody sends you a segment where they’re talking about terms and different ship dates – that’s fine, you can pass it through.  So, there’s usually a reason where you would want to have something tight. 

Want to learn more about EDI or IDEA’s IDX services? Contact Tom Guzik at