Monday, February 28, 2005

What does it take to do EDI in-house?

Many companies choose to have an in-house EDI department or EDI specialists within their Information Technology department. EDI capability requires knowledgeable personnel as well as the following components:

• Software for communications
• VAN service for EDI transmission
• Software for mapping EDI documents

Software for communications is required to send and receive EDI information with reliability and proper security. VAN, ASYNC, BISYNC, AS/2, direct connection and Internet communications will be mandated by various EDI partners. EDI VAN service is necessary to interconnect with business partners who may use the same VAN or another VAN.

A server or PC, communication devices and peripherals will be needed as well as secured office space, monitored security, backups and redundant power. Additional software will be needed if integration of the EDI transactions with back office systems is desired. An EDI VAN will need to be contracted for transmissions. Personnel must be trained in how to use the software and communication devices. Maps will then need to be developed.

Maps are one of the most difficult components of EDI. EDI documents themselves are very difficult to read. Maps are used to relate each field of an EDI document to another format, such as a file or a web form that is easy to read. Maps must be perfectly constructed to be useful. Frequently, logic must be programmed to decode the EDI information within EDI documents. And EDI partners will sometimes change their EDI documents which will necessitate changing the maps.

EDI capability must be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because EDI business partners expect to be able to send and receive EDI transactions all the time. Monitoring and maintaining EDI compliance is a full time responsibility for one or more people in most companies that choose to do EDI in-house.


At 10:42 PM, Blogger Peyton said...

Web based EDI has helped my business too. All I needed was our PC and access to the internet. Everything was taken care of by someone else.


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