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Understanding the Basics about EDI Systems An EDI System refers to the software and practices involved in enabling the exchange of transaction data with customers and vendors (trading partners) using industry standard EDI protocols. An EDI System is often integrated into the back-end system that is used to manage the company's accounting, warehousing and production environments. An EDI System can include communication, translation and mapping functionalities.
Understanding an EDI System
Selecting an EDI System vendor can be a complex and time consuming process. There are a number of factors you should consider when selecting your EDI System: EDI standards supported Ease of use & customization Software maintenance Special features Technical support Vendor experience Hardware requirements
Your EDI system should provide support for as broad a set of standards as possible. At a minimum your EDI system should support the ANSI X12 standard used in the US. If you work with foreign companies your EDI system should also support UN/EDIFACT and possibly the Tradcoms standard. In addition to supporting multiple standards, the EDI system should also be able to support multiple versions of each standard, since different trading partners will often require you to use a different standard version. Your EDI System and Implementation Guides When companies first use an EDI system they are often surprised to learn that different trading partners will require different 'implementations' of EDI. This means that each trading partner has its own unique "spin" on EDI. This uniqueness is addressed with an implementation guide. You will use this to use to customize how your EDI system works with a specific trading partner. The implementation guide will tell your EDI system administrator what optional segments and elements need to be used in