Today, electronic data interchange (EDI) accounts for 85% of all electronic business transactions. While global industries shift towards the cloud and focus on application programming interfaces (APIs), EDI remains a valuable modern business process.
Despite this, many enterprises still lag behind. Instead of taking advantage of EDI and Infor M3 managed services, they continue to struggle with manual, paper-based approaches that rely on human input and disjointed systems.
Read on as we reveal the business value of EDI, and show you how Doppio Group can help your business use EDI to grow.
What is EDI?
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computerized exchange process of business documents between business partners, whereby two organizations send and receive all information in a standard electronic format.
By removing the paper trail and the need for human data input, EDI increases processing speeds, reduces data translation errors, and ultimately improves efficiency and business partner relationships.
How does EDI Work?
Whereas email, fax, and direct post all require human interaction, EDI is entirely electronic. Documents flow directly to the destination application, where processing and storage happen automatically.
You can send a multitude of documents via EDI, including purchase orders, invoices, payment documents, and advance shipping notices.
What are EDI Standards?
EDI standards are the official requirements that define the format and content of all EDI business documents. These standards determine the correct location and order of all units of data within an EDI document.
When two organizations decide to exchange documents by EDI, they must agree on a specific EDI standard and version, which ensures the receiving computer will understand the information from the sending computer. If there is no standard format, the information could be lost in translation.
Here are some of the most common EDI standards:
ANSI ASC X12 – In 1979, The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) hired the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 to design uniform standards for the electronic exchange of business transactions between industries. Today, over 300,000 global companies use X12 EDI standards in daily business transactions.
EDIFACT – The United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Transport is a widely-used international standard, especially in Europe. Developed and maintained by the United Nations, the EDIFACT standard facilitates multi-country and multi-industry exchange of electronic business documents.
Quite often, businesses will use different standard formats, which means EDI messages must be converted for the receiving EDI mailbox to process it. For this to be possible, you will need EDI translation software.
Also known as an EDI Translator, this software converts business data from irregular, enterprise-specific forms into a standardized structure compliant with EDI standards. Similarly, an EDI Translator can perform the same function in reverse, converting an EDI document into a data structure suitable for enterprise use.
If your company performs data translation tasks manually, someone would need to do the following:
1.) Identify the data required for the communication
2.) Retrieve all essential information
3.) Arrange the data in a comprehensible structure for the vendor
4.) Send the request to the vendor
Essentially, an EDI Translator automates these manual processes, as follows:
1.) Extract and convert the data
2.) Translate an inbound message (or generate an outbound message)
3.) Format the message
4.) Transmit the message to the vendor
Key Benefits of EDI
Despite the shift towards APIs, many Infor M3 managed services still prefer to use EDI transactions to exchange documents and transactions with other companies.
Here are five business benefits EDI technology offers B2B companies:
EDI saves your company time and money as you no longer need to rely on paper or people to conduct data transactions.
EDI improves business productivity and efficiency as you can process and share more documents in less time and with greater accuracy.
EDI minimizes errors due to rigid standards and automation, ensuring everything is correctly formatted and aligned between the two organizations.
EDI improves data reporting, analysis, and traceability. You can easily integrate electronic documents with different IT systems to support analysis and data handling tasks.
EDI enhances the customer experience. As a byproduct of the internal benefits, once your company is more efficient and productive, you can offer more reliable services and communications that engender stronger customer relationships.
How Doppio Offers EDI Support
Making the switch to EDI can seem like a daunting prospect. Indeed, a lot of big companies avoid it and continue to battle with a disjointed manual approach to B2B order fulfillment based on on-premise software and unique mappings for each trading partner.
Inevitably, errors happen during manual translation and input, and data integrity suffers. On top of the complex trading partner requirements, you have to deal with expensive Value Added Network (VAN) fees and huge time constraints. All of this leaves your team swamped, with no ability to scale.
Doppio Group can help.
As the market leader for EDI transactions in Infor M3, we offer the reliable, consistent architecture and expert support you need to succeed with EDI while migrating to Infor Cloud ERP.
Our Infor M3 Managed Services include, but are not limited to:
1.) Connector Development (Integration)
2.) New Trading Partner Go Lives
3.) Trading Partner Rules or Mappings
4.) Data Transformation
5.) EDI failures and troubleshooting
Our technical team and business consultants understand the structure and standard language in complex EDI processes. We build and support seamless ERP integrated transaction sets that maximize accuracy and minimize friction.
In essence, we transition you from a segmented one-to-one relationship into an immersive one-to-many integration ecosystem, which requires less development support, and fosters greater connectivity with your supply chain partners.
Get in Touch to Access Our Infor M3 Managed Services
We’ve successfully navigated hundreds of enterprise-level EDI projects, helping many of the biggest companies to unlock the potential of their M3 data with EDI integrations that are fast, flexible, and scalable.
By consolidating ERP and EDI technologies, we eliminate the need for custom code and point-to-point integrations, effectively reducing your costs to accelerate data interchange between trading partners.
Whether you need support for a few hours a month or want to outsource your EDI efforts completely, Doppio can help by serving as an extension of your IT Team.
Get in touch with Doppio Group by filling out the contact form to discuss how Doppio can help your company become more efficient and profitable with EDI.