There are at least eight steps—and thus, eight major headaches—in the process of building an EDI integration with a trading partner. Here’s how the right cloud EDI solution can help you streamline or automate each of these steps.
1. Gathering requirements.
Make sure the solution you choose is already connected to hundreds of trading partners, thus eliminating the need for you to do all the coding work necessary in meeting their requirements. With a partner like that, all you’ll have to do is connect to the platform and start trading.
2. Studying your ERP system.
Your EDI vendor should also provide standard ERP integration pipes to the leading ERP and accounting solutions. Using one of these pipes eliminates the need for you to know the intimate details of how your ERP system structures and exports data.
3. Setting triggers.
This is one step in the process that’s going to require your input no matter what. You need to tell your EDI solution what kinds of business events should trigger the transmission of a document. Just make sure your EDI platform makes this as easy as possible (look for point-and-click simplicity, rather than writing code).
4. Extracting your data.
If you’ve chosen a cloud EDI solution with a standard integration pipe, your solution will simply extract the data when the time comes. You and your staff can rest assured that you’re giving your trading partner the data they need.
5. Mapping your data.
Here’s another area where the right cloud EDI solution can make your job much easier. Make sure you choose a platform that can consume XML or JSON output and automatically map it to the required EDI format. This will eliminate another “To Do” item from your staff’s list.
6. Notifying your trading partner about testing.
You know how you have to drop your trading partners a line to tell them that you’re going to be sending test EDI transmissions and they should be on the lookout? With the right cloud solution, you can use an API service to validate your data before you even send it to your trading partner.
7. Beginning testing.
Your testing process should happen on your own time. The right cloud EDI platform will let you self-service test against your trading partner’s requirements and get instant feedback on whether the test transmission was successful. Your team can then iterate and re-test.
8. Scheduling a go-live date.
Once you’ve built a functional EDI integration and successfully tested it, you shouldn’t have to call your trading partner and schedule a go-live date—you should just start trading. This is easy to do when your platform lives in the cloud.