In every EDI application, knowledge of the business needs and functions is of paramount importance. If you don’t understand a “purchase order” or a “load tender” or a “health care claim or encounter” you’ll never be able to map the ANSI or EDIFACT EDI data format for these transactions. In my experience, logistics is the toughest because of the many, many unrelated (by ownership) parties who need to be in the loop.
EDI started out simply. The manufacturer sent an EDI Purchase Order to the supplier. Gee boss, we are on EDI!!! Now we wanted to “automate” the link to the trucker or rail carrier that brought the part into the factory. Yup! Can do; but they have their own EDI format. OK, done! But were we really linked with all parties?
The manufacturer changed his concept. He started getting sophisticated. He started issuing blanket Purchase Orders and ordering his product through a Material Release. The Advance Ship Notice followed shortly. But the suppliers and the shipping companies started getting sophisticated too. But they were not all in synch….and forget about parts imported into the country.
Time to go back to school on that whole transportation thing.