Identify the trading partner
A trading partner (ie. KMART) will probably contact you, and
indicate you will be required to receive their orders (850's)
via EDI, and may even request the corresponding invoice (810)
be returned. You will then need an 'Implementation Guide' from
them in order to begin.
Select Communication Method (VAN) - Value
Arrange with a communications provider, such as Sterling,
AT&T or IBM, to get an electronic mailbox that will be
used to receive and send information through. This is done to
eliminate any direct computer to computer communications which
can present difficulties and high costs. The mailbox usually
is accessed as a local call or the same as using something
like o2 mobile phones and can facilitate various modem
speeds and 24 hour access times. Often, your trading partner
will suggest their preference.
Select Software to Facilitate;
(1) Communication - the electronic communications (most
translators include this ability)
(2) Translator - the
translation of the EDI document standards
(3) Integration - the printing or integration of the
EDI transaction into your accounting software.
Criteria for Software Selection:
Choosing the right solution, translator and integration
software is extremely important. Separate translators with
mapping capabilities provide for future expansion.
Integration of EDI directly into your accounting software is
necessary to realize any benefits of electronic commerce.
Pre-programmed solutions are often ineffective for companies
that will be adding more than two trading partners. They may
be easier to implement at the start but in the long run, rigid
code, pre-definitions, and no end user mapping (power) may
result in frustration, delays and continuous fees.
Using EDI-PAC with a proven translator provides significant
advantages and unlimited growth potential, that can be managed
effectively by a local consultant or the user themselves.
Set up your Trading Partner:
You will need to establish tables of information such as
inventory items, ship-to addresses, tax codes etc., as well as
basic profile information. These allow for cross referencing
of information that is sent from the trading partner (ie.
their item part numbers) and converted to your layout (ie.
your part numbers). You can set this up in the translator or
integration software, depending on the system requirements.
Trading Partner Mapping:
Each trading partner has to be programmed or mapped into the
translation software. Even if it only prints the documents on
the receiving side, separate set ups for each trading partner
are required. This is due to a number of factors;
Different T/Ps use different versions of
the EDI standard.
Common transaction sets include;
b. Each company may be using different EDI standards.
c. Each company has a unique implementation of the
particular transaction set. For example, not all fields in the
transaction are being sent and they may also be in a different
810 - Invoice
850 - Purchase Order
855 - Purchase Order Acknowledgement
856 - Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN)
997 - Functional Acknowledgement
Testing the Setup:
Test the software, the communications scripts, and modem with
the VAN and mailbox. Arrange to have test transactions sent to
your mailbox from the trading partner. The tests will involve
translating all item numbers, ship-to destinations as well as
each of the transaction record segments being processed. This
may involve several tests and adjustments to your mapping.
Sending back acknowledgements (997) signifying to the trading
partner you have received the transaction set, is then
Start Live Testing:
Make procedural changes and move to live transaction
processing. Monitor process and make any necessary