Edi, Xml And Supply Chains

4 April 2004

There is a genuine need in the marketplace for a comprehensive supply chain solution between very small companies and their major retail customers. If your business does less than $5 million per year in sales, but a third of that comes from one or more of the major retailers, you have no doubt been asked to comply with EDI requirements.

Getting information and transactions out of your own accounting software is only part of the battle. You must then format that data or those transactions into proper EDI transactions that comply with the customer’s requirements.

There are web-based services for handling this in lower volumes. There are costly software packages that can be used, but they require a great deal of tailoring to meet the specific functionality required.

I recently scanned the support forum archives of one of the popular accounting applications. I found several EDI applications mentioned that date all the way back to 1999. Here’s the list:

Recently, a client had learned from other sources that they should be using one of two web services:

By far the most mentioned tool in this particular support forum was True Commerce. It seems that a business prepares itself best for the inevitable changes and new requirements that might come from EDI processing by using a tool such as True Commerce.

At this time it appears that no packaged accounting software provides the complete functionality required to handle EDI transactions with the major retailers.

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  1. George Piotrowski    7 July 2004, 12:36    #