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What is EDI? Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners.

By moving from a paper-based exchange of business document to one that is electronic, businesses enjoy major benefits such as reduced cost, increased processing speed, reduced errors and improved relationships with business partners.
Computer-to-computer - EDI replaces postal mail, fax and email. While email is also an electronic approach, the documents exchanged via email must still be handled by people rather than computers. Having people involved slows down the processing of the documents and introduces errors. Instead, EDI documents can flow straight through to the appropriate application on the receiver's computer (e.g., the Order Management System) and processing can begin immediately. A typical manual process looks like this, with lots of paper and people involvement:

The EDI process looks like this - no paper, no people involved:

  • Business documents -
  • These are any of the documents that are typically exchanged between businesses. The most common documents exchanged via EDI are purchase orders, invoices and advance ship notices. But there are many, many others such as bill of lading, customs documents, inventory documents, shipping status documents and payment documents.

  • Standard format -
  • Because EDI documents must be processed by computers rather than humans, a standard format must be used so that the computer will be able to read and understand the documents. A standard format describes what each piece of information is and in what format (e.g., integer, decimal, mmddyy). Without a standard format, each company would send documents using its company-specific format and, much as an English-speaking person probably doesn't understand Japanese, the receiver's computer system doesn't understand the company-specific format of the sender's format.

    There are several EDI standards in use today, including ANSI, EDIFACT, TRADACOMS and ebXML. And, for each standard there are many different versions, e.g., ANSI 5010 or EDIFACT version D12, Release A. When two businesses decide to exchange EDI documents, they must agree on the specific EDI standard and version.

    Businesses typically use an EDI translator - either as in-house software or via an EDI service provider - to translate the EDI format so the data can be used by their internal applications and thus enable straight through processing of documents.

  • Business partners -
  • The exchange of EDI documents is typically between two different companies, referred to as business partners or trading partners. For example, Company A may buy goods from Company B. Company A sends orders to Company B. Company A and Company B are business partners.

    Oris APPs EDI Process.

    EDI is a Process, not a Package

    With Oris APPs EDI managed services, you gain the benefits of first-rate EDI and skip the traditional overhead. Everything you need is delivered without buying additional software and hardware or adding staff. Oris APPs takes responsibility for your EDI success - every transaction, with every trading partner, every day - beginning with setup and testing of your trading relationships.

    Oris APPs Manages EDI, You Grow Your Business

    With thousands of trading partners and suppliers already on board, Oris APPs has the know-how to provide comprehensive EDI managed services fast, and for far less than you ever thought possible. Oris APPs supports all EDI transactions with no EDI software hassles.

    Oris APPs GDS

    Data Synchronization for Today’s Supply Chain Global Data Synchronization (GDS) allows organizations to share the latest item, location and price data with each other, preventing costly mistakes and delays. In addition to satisfying buyers’ requirements, there are many benefits for suppliers to adopt Global Data Synchronization:

    • Increase speed-to-shelf for new items
    • Decrease invoice deductions
    • Reduce time spent researching and resolving item data and other discrepancies
    • Lower transportation costs by improving outbound logistics processes

    Personal Attention, Expert Planning, and Flawless Execution

    When you partner with Oris APPs, you have your own personal team of dedicated EDI professionals all working together to deliver great service to you and ensure that all EDI transactions flow properly between you and your EDI customers. Our service delivery processes are based on our experience with over ten thousand EDI implementation projects. Here's a step by step explanation of how it works.

    Friendly Oris APPs service & You - An Ongoing, Team-Based Approach

    At Oris APPs, we do not look at helping you with your EDI service needs as a one time project. We view our work with you as an on-going service that delivers the best possible results.

    Our goal is to keep all of our clients for life. That is why we offer our service on a month-to-month basis rather than asking our clients to sign a long-term contract. We believe that by providing great service each month you will stay with Oris APPs for as long as you need EDI. Oris APPs is passionate about providing service that constantly exceeds your expectations and takes care of the hundreds of details required to support EDI transactions. To provide the sort of on-going personal support and attention that sets Oris APPs apart from the competition, we assign a Client Service Manager to you.

    Your Client Service Manager is your point of contact for all your service needs to make sure your EDI customers are taken care of and that you have all the assistance you need, when you need it.

    After getting to know you, your Client Service Manager sees to it that your company is quickly set up in our system and your EDI customer's system. And as we work together, you can feel confident that you have a friend who will be available to answer any questions you have throughout the process and in the future as you exchange EDI transactions with your customers. The bottom line is that we feel totally comfortable standing behind our service with a money back guarantee because your Client Service Manager will ensure your needs are met.

    Your Own Oris APPs Client Service Manager

    Your Client Services Manager is responsible for overseeing the set up, testing (if necessary), EDI customer coordination and communication, user training, and move to production of your EDI service.

    Your Client Service Manager ensures his or her team of EDI programmers is properly implementing and maintaining your EDI service, and exceeding your expectations. Your Client Service Manager is the ultimate authority in ensuring that you are provided with outstanding, industry leading results. You may reach your Client Service Manager at any time. Most of the time your Client Service Manager will answer the phone. If you leave a voice mail message or send an e-mail you can expect follow-up, or a return call, within 3 hours. Note: Every member of our company is dedicated to your success.

    Set Up

    Your Client Service Manager will provide you with a simple one page form to fill out that will request some basic information about your company for EDI identification purposes. After you fill out the form and return it via e-mail or fax, your customer will be contacted, VAN communication will be established and test transactions (if required) will be requested.

    Your Oris APPs EDI specialists will set up your company in our system and your EDI customer will set you up in their system.


    Test transactions will be received from you EDI customer and test transactions will be sent. Any issues or errors will be fixed and retested. Testing will continue until all transactions are processed perfectly. EDI does not allow any room for anything less than perfect test results.

    EDI Customer Communication & Coordination

    Throughout the set-up and testing process your Client Service Manager will coordinate with your EDI customer and be responsible for overall communication as well as keeping you informed of progress on a regular basis. You are welcome to contact us at anytime with any questions you may have.

    Move to Production Status

    Your EDI service will be moved to production status after testing is completed. Some EDI customers do not require testing because we have already tested with them for other clients. Moving those EDI customers to production status occurs as soon as you are set up in their system and our system.

    We understand that our clients consider their EDI relationship with their EDI customer an important business relationship. Our implementation process will proceed as quickly as possible.

    Each client is tracked in our real-time client relationship data base so that every member of your Oris APPs team is aware of your status, progress and next steps. Your team will be able to effectively communicate with you and your EDI customer based on up-to-date information with regular Follow-Up and Communication.

    EDI capability involves either buying or outsourcing the following components:

    1. Software for communications, mail boxing of EDI transactions, mapping and translation.

    2. VAN, ASYNC, BISYNC, and Internet communications as required by various partners.

    3. Hardware including a server or PC, communication devices and peripherals

    4. Secured office space and monitored security

    5. Data backups and redundant power for reliability

    6. Additional software will be needed if integration of the EDI transactions with back office systems is desired.

    7. A VAN will need to be contracted for ongoing EDI transmissions.

    8. Personnel must be trained in how to use the software and communication devices.

    9. Maps will need to be developed for each EDI document type to be exchanged with each partner. Maps translate the encoded EDI record into a useable format.

    Trading Partner Requirements

    Each trading partner has unique EDI requirements that address their specific industry, region or standards. These requirements will include the specific kinds of EDI documents to be processed, such as the 850 purchase order used in the example above, 856 advance ship notices and 810 invoices.

    Almost any business document that one company wants to exchange with another company can be sent via EDI. However each EDI document must be exchanged with the partner in exactly the format they specify.

    Many partners will have an EDI implementation guide or kit that explains their specific requirements. Maps are required to translate the EDI documents from the trading partner's format into the format that is usable by the receiving party. Meeting all of a trading partner's EDI requirements is referred to as being EDI compliant.

    What you need to be EDI compliant

    EDI compliance involves either buying or outsourcing the following components:

    1. Software for communications

    2. VAN service for EDI transmission

    3. Mailboxing of EDI transactions

    4. Mapping and translation software

    5. Installing upgrades to software as needed

    6. Mapping labor

    7. Testing with EDI trading partners

    8. Upgrades for new versions required by trading partners

    EDI VAN, FTP, or AS/2 Internet communications will be required by various partners.

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