Tag Archives: ERP

Why Connecting EDI and ERP Is Important

For EDI-implemented companies, integrating transaction processing with ERP is the single biggest saver in improving process efficiency and reducing errors. Reaching the ultimate connection means minimizing keystrokes and eliminating duplicate effort through electronic, system-to-system updates of information.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a system to facilitate the flow of information throughout all the business functions within the company as well as interactions to outside partners. EDI takes charge of transmitting documents between organizations.

The importance of an EDI system is that computers can read and understand EDI messages whereas when you receive an order by emails or faxes, you then have to key the order into your accounting software. With EDI, you can read messages and convert them into sales orders or other documents directly without human intervention.

EDI replaces traditional methods of business communication, i.e. telephone and fax, with electronic means of document transmission. Using computers to electronically exchange communication and documents has greatly decreased administrative costs.

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EDI – Electronic Data Interchange and B2B Integration

For EDI-implemented companies, integrating transaction processing with ERP is the single biggest saver in improving process efficiency and reducing errors. Reaching the ultimate connection means minimizing keystrokes and eliminating duplicate…

Betty Machny

EDI Expert * Developer * Onboarding * Connectivity * Bilingual

One of my trading partners was a big, well known company. They kept complaining of duplicate POs. Whenever we investigated, we would find out the issue was that when they received our orders via EDI, they were printed and put in their system manually! There was nothing to prevent 2 people from entering the same order!

Bob Rose

Domtar Sr. E-Business Systems Integrations Analyst

Well said, Ken. To summarize, fully integrated EDI means changing the way business is done.

For companies still doing “rip & read” EDI (like the one Betty mentions in her post), a method that can be used to fully automate the process is to develop a data exchange layer between the EDI server and the ERP system. This layer does all the processing necessary to complete the information to make it processable. For example, if it is an inbound purchase order, the process would extract any necessary information from the ERP system’s database to make the order load without anyone having to key anything. If the data is in the EDI and/or the ERP system, let the computer take care of it.

On the outbound side, if the ERP system extracts data for print, fax and/or email, the same extraction can be done for EDI. Have the data exchange layer do the extraction, then pass it on to the application that needs to format the data into the appropriate media. If the EDI system is robust enough to do any-to-any format and communications, let it determine which map to use based on the trading relationship and how to transmit.

Automate the process between ERP and EDI systems and free the employees to work on growing the business.

Master Data Management (MDM)


Ever get billed by your bank for car insurance when you don’t own a car? Does your cell phone provider fail to send you a bill, yet keeps asking you for your address? Sounds like they both have a Master Data Management problem. The recent emphasis on regulatory compliance, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and mergers/acquisitions has made the creating and maintaining of accurate and complete master data a business must-do.
Most software systems have lists of data that are shared and used by several of the applications that make up the system. For example, a typical ERP system as a minimum will have a Customer Master, an Item Master, and an Account Master. This master data is often one of the key assets of a company. It’s not unusual for a company to be acquired primarily for access to its Customer Master data.

Predictions for the Year 2020

A lot of where Supply Chain Management is by 2020 depends on things like the Cloud. Right now we are in the early days of cloud computing, with many companies taking their baby steps. But by 2020 Cloud will be the heart of the enterprise computing infrastructure. We have already told the story (Vision 20-20) of what will happen in Procurement by 2020. Collaboration will become more important as supply chains share data with customers and vendors. They will start acting like the virtual extended enterprise which they are.


Virtual Manufacturers and Supply Chain Management

Virtual Manufacturers and Supply Chain Management

When it comes to supply chain management execution, we have all sorts of great tools (ERP, EDI, SCM). They are mostly designed for traditional manufacturers who own their factories. But we may be ignoring a new reality: the “virtual manufacturer”, one who outsources production. For them, the “tool of choice” is sometimes an Excel spreadsheet.

Managing to meet customer expectations is not like what ERP vendor’s glossy brochure say. In reality, it is not only spreadsheets, but is phone, FAX, email and lots of sweat. Some of these folks who shepherd  global supply chain operate  with complex “jury rigged” routines.


Wholesale Distributors; Do They Use ERP or CRM?


What kind of systems do distributors use? We used to think that because wholesale distributors did not manufacture anything that they did not use ERP systems. However, many ERP vendors offer modules for distributors. There is a whole separate group of software companies that market warehouse management systems, or WMS.

They are a key part of the supply chain by controlling the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse. They process the logistical  transactions, including shipping, receiving, putaway and picking. A WMS also directs and optimizes stock putaway based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization. This is sometimes referred to as wholesale distribution software. Well, aren’t distributors a candidate for CRM too?