One of the most common automated processes offered by an EDI solution, is the exchange of POs (purchase orders) and invoices. This process is usually executed as follows:
The buyer prepares the purchase order in the system. In particular, the buyer collects and organizes the data, so that they can be seamlessly used with EDI. For example, instead of printing a PO, the system generates an electronic file with all the necessary information to prepare the EDI document.
So, how can you be sure that your documents are properly prepared? There are many approaches to this effect, including the following:
– Exporting computer-based data from spreadsheets or databases
– Formatting electronic reports into data files
– Using apps to create output files suitable for standard EDI translation
– Utilizing an EDI service that can convert the documents in your system into EDI files
– Human data entry.
Ideally, your system should minimize manual entries as much as possible to save time and prevent errors that literally cost.
Connecting and transmitting EDI documents
After translating your PO to the appropriate format, it is ready to be transmitted to your vendor. There are a few ways to connect with your partner:
– Direct EDI point-to-point connection through a secure Internet protocol, such as AS2
– Connecting with the EDI provider, also known as Value Added Network (VAN) provider
– Combining EDI and VAN, depending on the involved partners and the transaction volume
In the case of EDI provider, you’re using your preferred communication protocol for ensuring a reliable and secure EDI transmission, and then the provider connects with your partner using their own preferred protocol, to make sure that they will receive the PO.
Data security and control during transmission are achieved with passwords, user authentication and encryption. Both the customer’s and the EDI provider’s applications automatically process and check the documents to make sure they are accurate, and thus prevent any errors.