Automate business processes and reduce costs by »EDI«

What is EDI?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the electronic exchange of structured data via standardized message formats from one application to another with minimum manual intervention. An EDI System sends data from an internal system within seconds to the system of a trading partner.

Every day tons of paper documents like Orders, Invoices, Item Catalogues, Market Data etc. are captured manually and exchanged using traditional methods (Mail, Fax, e-mail).These traditional methods of communications (manual creation, printing, enveloping, sending via mail, and manual capturing at the recipient) offer enormous potential for improvements. In these traditional ways, the information passes many interfaces and people, going from company A to company B. Looking at this process in detail, you can identify that the exchange of unstructured data is creating lots of manual efforts and is also very risky and error-prone.

A piece of software –called EDI Converter – converts the data from the internal application into a standardized message format, so that it can be sent to Trading Partners. Inbound messages in standardized formats are converted by the EDI Converter into the Inhouse format and processed by the internal application. Small or medium sized companies can communicate with any business partner in this way as well. By automating the information exchange, manual exchange or creation processes are avoided, reducing time and costs.

The EDI-Components

1. The message

In order for business partners to operate via EDI, it’s necessary to agree on a so-called message standard. SEEBURGER supports all popular standards such as EDIFACT (a global validated norm, which is continuously updated by the responsible UNO-committee), ANSI X.12, ODETTE etc.:  

EDIFACTVDA ANSI X.12ODETTE
XMLGALIAEANCOMRosettaNet
SWIFTebXMLELEMICA TRADACOMS


2. The EDI-Software

It consists of connectors and a converter. The converter is the heart of EDI software that is translating data (messages) from an internal format in one company into an EDI standard and vice versa. SEEBURGER offers converter and connectors as well as standard mappings and assignments for many Partners/ERP-Systems such as:

SAPQAD ORACLEBaan
NavisonIFSabasBrain
IntentiainformJ.D.Edwardsetc.


3. The communication

After the data (message) has been converted from the internal format into a standard format by the EDI software, it needs to be sent to the desired recipient. SEEBURGER supports transport routes for e.g., Value Added Networks (VANs), ISDN, X.25, analog point-to-point connection, intranet and mostly trade-specific extranet like ANX/ENX (the extranet of the automotive industry).

VANsInternetPoint-to-Point
 X.400  FTP TCP/IP
 IBM  HTTPs OFTP
 GEIS  IMAP4 Modem
 ENX SMTP AS2
 Atlas POP X.25
 AT&T ISDN
 Telebox 400  OFTP2

Trading Partner with EDI

Company A – Transmitter of data/messages

Step 1:
The internal application in company A, also called ERP (enterprise resource planning) is creating a file/message in the internal format (in-house message)
Step 2:
The internal application is passing the in-house message via one of the connectors to the EDI system (System Integration)
Step 3:
The converter is taking the in-house message and is creating a message in the agreed upon standard format, e.g. EDIFACT (Conversion)
Step 4:
The standard message (EDI message) is transferred to the EDI partner (Communications)

Company B – Receiver of the data/messages

Step 1:
Based on the communication protocol the recipient is confirming the receipt of the EDI message
Step 2:
The converter in company B is converting the EDI message into the relevant in-house format
Step 3:
The in-house message is transferred to the ERP system via the connectors for further processing

SEEBURGER offers an integrated approach that includes designing, consulting and implementing approved EDI solutions. Our customers can very quickly achieve full business process automation for all their business partners, large or small. We also offer a comprehensive range of pre-existing content – consisting of master data on business partners and their business processes (message mapping), all lending to a fast and efficient roll-out.

This allows our customers to take full advantage of cost savings by eliminating manual processing steps, ensuring error-free data and processes, and making processes faster, more transparent and easy to understand.

Advantages of using the SEEBURGER EDI Solution

EDI connects suppliers, buyers and potentially customers of a product electronically and can be used in any industry or business. In properly configured EDI systems the data exchange is fully automatic – meaning without any manual interventions – from the ERP, converted into a standard message format and sent to the relevant trading partner or vice versa.

While competition is increasing, the implementation of EDI is becoming more and more important, because it can result in an advantage for companies whose competitors are not doing EDI. In addition it can improve the image with customers and suppliers as well as the relationship.

The main advantages of EDI in a glance:

  • Data exchange within seconds (just-in-time)
  • Improved turnaround time
  • Reduced costs
  • Avoid transmission errors
  • Improve partner relationship
  • Reduce stock levels
  • Decrease routine jobs by removal of checks, fault diagnostics, wrong delivery or communications costs
  • Reduction in personnel efforts

Case Studies