Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)


EDI Consulting / Business Processes / Mapping / Support / Application Integration

If your company is not using EDI than you are costing your company money! EDI is no longer an option for doing business, it is a necessity. Almost every industry, public and private, uses some form of Electronic Integration. If you are working with any of the top 10 companies from any industry you need to have EDI in place or at least a project scheduled.

RSA has technological expertise as well as the business savvy for seamlessly integrating EDI translation software. From recommending hardware and software, Communication protocols, Business Process Modeling, Document Mapping, EDI Mapping, Testing to client onboarding and go live RSA will work with your team or be your team through out the entire process. Gentran Server, Gentran Server Windows, Gentran Server UNIX, Gentran EDI, Gentran Integration Suite, Sterling Integrator, Liaison, TrustedLink, Inovis,GSX, SPS Commerce are just a few of the translators and providers we have integrated and supported.

Given the complexity of the EDI process, it is possible for less experienced integrators to miss one or more crucial components in the installation and implementation process. An incomplete set-up can cause necessary elements to be omitted or processed incorrectly. Modifying databases to handle fields or columns that were not it the original design will need to be added. This also contributes to the incorrect or missing data being sent to your partners which could result in Charge Back fines (see below).

What is Electronic Data Interchange?

Simple put EDI is the communication of data, electronically, in a common format that trading partner's agree upon. Most trading partners utilizes EDI standard ANSI X12 documents which have specific requirements for their respective industries. The conventional paper process requires someone to handle a printed computer generated form and mail it. Then, the recipient re-keys the data back into another computer for their internal processing. The EDI process is a computer transmitting the information directly to another computer, eliminating the paperwork and human intervention. EDI in its most efficient form flows directly out of a sender’s computer system directly into a receiver’s computer system without any human intervention. It is estimated that 80% of the data that is keyed into computers is output from other computers!


Trading partners agree on the type of communications that will be utilized for the transferring of documents. Third Party service providers, or VANS, will rent space (Mailboxes) on their servers where the partners leave and or pickup documents 24/7. Although still widely utilized, mission-critical business-to-business (B2B) transactions have steadily moved from proprietary networks (VANs) to Internet-based protocols free from the recurring monthly charges and data transfer fees. EDIINT or EDI over the INTernet protocols AS1 SMTP protocol ,AS2 HTTP protocol,AS3 FTP protocol,AS4 Web Services and SOA are being utilized. With AS1 phased out AS2 currently is the go to choice thanks to Wal-Mart. As Wal-Mart goes so goes EDI.

Typical EDI transaction process

In this scenario, we will use a mailbox provided by a Third Party network and transfer an 850 Purchase Order document. We will need to make some assumptions as well. The process starts with an entry of a purchase order in one partner's system. The entry of the purchase order creates the data required for the 850 X12 EDI document. A scheduled process retrieves the data from the Accounting(ERP) system translates(edi mapping) that data in to the 850 X12 format. The document(s) are transmitted to the partner's mailbox on the VAN. On the receivers side an automated process runs at defined intervals to retrieve the 850 Purchase Order from their mailbox, send a 997 Acknowledgement back to the senders mailbox as a receipt. The received 850 document is then converted (edi mapping) to required fields in the receivers system and directly imported into an ERP system as a sales order and verified. Once the order is picked and packed UCC128 labels are generated and applied to the packages. This package detail provides the data required for the 856 Advanced Ship Notice (ASN). The process then works in reverse. The 856 ASN is then transmitted to the originating partner. When the originating partner retrieves the 856 ASN from their mailbox they generate a 997 ACK and it is sent the partner. The ASN, in some applications, is translated (edi mapping) and then used for an expected arrival receipt which helps verify, via scanning the UCC128 labels on the cartons, the items on the order.

Fines or Charge Backs

Major trading partners, Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Sears and others will impose fines or charge backs. Some charge a fee for every paper document, if carton labels do not match the contents of the cartons, if received product quantities do not match the product quantities sent on the PO (PO qty does not match Shipped qty), wrong item shipped, label not readable and more. This, for some partners, has become a profit center. Our experience in setting up systems that interact correctly with required and accurate data almost eliminates these fees. As long as the information in the system is correct and the EDI mapping is correct, then fines will be non existent.

EDI Benefits

  • Faster buy-sell cycle time.
  • Faster cash flow.
  • Reduced order lead time.
  • Reduced inventories.
  • Ability to conduct just-in-time manufacturing.
  • Improved trading partner relationships.

Applications Integrated

  • Acumatica,SAP, SAP B1, Sage, Intuit, Infor, JDE, Royal 4
  • Davinci, Accellos, ADP, Epicor, PeopleSoft
  • Macola, Oracle, Dynamics, Navision
  • Custom in-house systems for legacy or proprietary software
  • EDI Mapping to a variety of standard and non-standard databases
  • MultiValue EDI integration, Sterling B2B Integrator, Gentran Server, TrustedLink, Liason
  • BizTalk, and non-standard databases

Trading Partners Integrated

Wal-Mart Navarro Orgil Kroger Kerr Sears Ford Amerisource Bergen
Costco CVS Owens Minor ACE  Hardware MSC FoodLion Mercedes GreenWay Medical
BJ's Walgreens Big Lots BellCo Amazon Wegmans Audi VW Eckerd
Target Certco Dollar General Fresh & Easy Jay Imports Rite Aide JayFanco
Sam's Club Cardinal Jetord Toys R Us Kmart Publix WinnDixie Associated Wholesale Grocers
Home Depot McKesson Dicks Bed Bath HEB Chrysler Weis Associated Retailers
Lowes Dodge Sports Authority GlaxoSmithKline Safeway BMW Piggly Wiggle Prestige Brands
MicroMD McLane Academy Sports HD Smith Wakefern GMC Modell's AAFES
Champion Nike Hallmark RPG Papyrus Barnes & Noble US Foods Jardine Legacy