Monday, November 05, 2012
This article also is available on info.algorithminc.com where 1 EDI Source appeared as a guest blogger.
Manual electronic data interchange (EDI) data entry is a painstaking and time-consuming process for many companies today. Upon implementation of an EDI solution, it’s beneficial to find a user-friendly and powerful EDI mapping tool. Today, we’ll highlight a few important components of an EDI solution and mapping tool to ensure proper data formatting and full system integration.
Data mapping is the act of properly converting a user’s application data into an EDI file format and vice versa. Both inbound and outbound EDI data must be properly arranged and formatted to both EDI standards as well as the requirements of your trading partner and business or accounting software.
Mapping outbound data involves proper information placement from your business or accounting software into an EDI file. Once inbound EDI data is converted into an understandable format for your business or accounting system, you can map the EDI data into a variety of destination types including XML, readable documents and more.
Considering these three questions will help you achieve integration and data mapping success by choosing a robust EDI software and data mapping solution.
1. Does my EDI solution include integration capabilities with a variety of business programs?
It’s critical to find an EDI software provider capable of integrating with a variety of back-end software packages, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse and accounting systems. Data mapping is the foundation and catalyst to system integration. You may be starting with one accounting or business program today, but decide to switch programs in the future. An EDI software provider should be able to handle these changes and work with you in juxtaposition to your business goals and system changes.
2. Does our company team/individual have visibility to the EDI data being mapped?
Whether you have a team to work on the EDI data mapping or just one person, a real-time mapping feature provides visibility to the data mapping results. This ultimately saves time due to error reduction and the ability to see the internal format and appropriate external format, side-by-side. Most often, EDI mapping tools require the user to complete the mapping process and upon completion, locate the errors.
3. Is the EDI mapping tool user-friendly, yet still powerful?
Sitting in on a solution demonstration is a must. Map designers vary by provider, and it’s important that the designated team/user feels comfortable with the mapping feature. A “drag and drop” mapper improves user experience, mapping accuracy and efficiency. It also doesn’t require the skills of a developer or programmer to accomplish the EDI data mapping.
You should also check for any updates that the provider is considering implementing regarding the mapping tool. Improved EDI map designer speed, visibility and customizations all prove to be worthwhile EDI solution considerations to benefit your team.