Skip to Content
 

Electronic Data Interchange

Discover the Best Practices Involving the Interchanging of Sensitive & Valuable Data Between Users
Automated, Secure, & Efficient

Best Electronic Data Interchange Practices

Today, we’ll be looking at what to consider when evaluating a buying group and group purchasing organization eCommerce platform in regards to electronic data interchange (EDI). EDI allows you to automatically place orders without any human interaction between the buyer and the seller. It is a computer to computer process, reducing the required hands-on work. EDI is a powerful tool as, once terms and a business relationship has been established, future automated orders will be easier to accomplish.

In many scenarios, EDI orders comprise the majority of orders placed. For the vast majority, around 85% of orders come through EDI, helping with restocking inventory and dealing with warehouse management systems and inventory levels. It allows for better inventory management, keeping items in stock for a more seamless and efficient order fulfillment process.

Having EDI capability with your eCommerce platform is a key capability in the long term, if not right away. In fact, many of the different members who will be looking at and considering joining or staying with a buying group will be looking for tools like this. They desire value and capability with the buying group that they're part of. With that in mind, the content below will provide an outline of how to best evaluate some of the key factors for EDI.

Learn Discover Countless Possibilities

EDI Format Types

To begin, you’ll want to look into the most common EDI types. The different formats of EDI have their own standards established by different groups that have documented some of the best practices and formats creating a common “language” for computer to computer communication. These formats inform the computers how to read and understand whatever documents, transaction sets, or messages are being provided or sent.

It’s actually possible to utilize more than one format. You can offer your EDI in a couple of different formats to your members, allowing them to use whichever one they find most user-friendly. To do this, you will require a translator to take the data members provide and translate it into the format your internal ERP system is using to automatically manage orders.

There are more than 300 types of EDI as this feature is utilized across many industries, ranging from transportation to health care. For general e-commerce use, two of the more common formats are the ANSI X12 and NC X12, however there are a multitude of options available.

Storing & Presenting Information

EDI Document Types

For eCommerce, there are a variety of different EDI document types that will be utilized. The most common is the 850, used for the purchase order, and the 810, an electronic invoice. There is also the 820 which is the actual advice of payment. This is commonly accompanied with the 856, which is the shipping notice or the shipping status. Each of these documents can lead into another, starting with a placed order with the 850, receiving an 810 receipt, and so on.

These documents vary based on the purchaser and their system, so it's very helpful to have both the ability to integrate with these different EDI data-sets and to leverage a translator depending on what the type of EDI standard they're using.

Keep Users In The Know

Notification Systems

In the event that of a failure or an issue with an EDI document going through, it can be helpful to have a simple notification system for the user so they know the error has been noted. It is an automated system that can give a friendly error message back via e-mail or their user dashboard. So, consider if you want to provide a simple message, or pursue a more robust notification system. Furthermore, the system can notify the seller as well to ensure the error is known and being accounted for. This is important for transactional integrity, as you want to make sure the data is making it to every needed recipient.

In addition, having a notification system can be helpful whenever a new purchaser or a new buying group member is getting set up. You can provide them with tutorial documents, helping them walk through the process of setting up and using the EDI. You want to provide an easy to set up and easy to interact with process. Providing as much automation as possible alongside guidance during the configuration process will reduce the amount of work the buying team will have in setting up the EDI system for the end users.

How Can Clarity Help

Clarity Buying Group Solution Experts

EDI is an extremely powerful capability that allows members to automate their processes, leverage their own internal systems, and allows for the most optimal inventory management system. Check if the system you’re looking at has the capability for these robust EDI features, as they can be incredibly useful long-term.

For more information regarding EDI integrations, look to the resources provided below. You will find other useful eCommerce information, so it’s definitely worth your time. Feel free to reach out to us at Clarity for a complimentary review and consultation or fill out the provided contact form regarding any questions. We’d love to chat or show you a demo with different possible scenarios. We look forward to working with you!

Back to top
Request a Quote
 
Please feel free to send any associated files to us at:
[email protected]
 
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
Click anywhere outside this form to close.
Request a Demo
 
Please feel free to send any associated files to us at:
[email protected]
 
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
Click anywhere outside this form to close.
Ask an Expert
 
Please feel free to send any associated files to us at:
[email protected]
 
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
Click anywhere outside this form to close.
Newsletter
 
Please feel free to send any associated files to us at:
[email protected]
 
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
Click anywhere outside this form to close.