Navigating complex Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) issues without the help of an expert can sometimes feel like plugging a hole in the side of your boat with your finger and hoping that it’s enough to keep the water out. Too often, clients think they have the proper resources, tools, and expertise to keep their boat afloat, but once the hand that’s been blocking the hole starts to get tired, they’re left in a sinking ship of EDI inefficiency issues.

If this sounds like an all-too-common issue in your organization, read on to learn more about how our EDI consulting services can transform and optimize your EDI processes.

How Can EDI Consulting Help You?

Simply put, EDI is not just one of those tools you can simply throw a “bandaid” on and hope for the best.

EDI requires strategic planning and the help of team members that offer the right kind of support for specific needs within your own complex EDI environment. And, when it comes to EDI consulting, you need someone who really (and we mean really) knows their stuff.

Fortunately, our team of expert consultants understands just how important it is to check (and recheck) EDI processes to ensure their client’s business systems are operating efficiently and effectively.

And, no matter how large your company is, how many partnerships you uphold, or how complex your EDI integrations are, our consultants are here to help you.

Setting the Stage

One of our clients, a large manufacturing corporation with multiple facility locations, was in need of an EDI expert.

They needed someone who understood the ins and outs of their EDI landscape, had experience transferring data between systems and organizations, and wasn’t afraid of a challenge. Luckily for them, our consultant checked all the boxes.

After working with the client for the first time in 2013, our consultant surely earned his stripes. He improved the efficiency of the company’s EDI program and processes, assisted with SAP and JDE system integrations, and optimized data transfer and adjustment processes — all while upholding EDI standards every step of the way.

Connecting the Transportation Management Dots

After solving the client’s initial EDI efficiency issues, our consultant was brought on again to help our client navigate their SAP and JDE Transportation Management systems. He used the built-in capabilities of the JDE Transportation Management system (TMS) and efficient EDI transactions to automate routing for trucks throughout the client’s entire organization.

The Issue

The first issue at hand was a lack of internal support for EDI processes and the team in charge of those processes. Because the client has so many partnerships and sources of external support, trying to lead a disconnected internal team through complex EDI integrations and so many moving parts proved to be quite the challenge for our consultant (but, nothing he couldn’t handle, of course).

As for the more technical issue at hand, the client needed additional support in connecting their EDI translator formats and changing maps and message segments to align with major project needs throughout the company.

Our consultant was tasked with finding a way to automate truck routing (including equipment and rates), integrate the SAP ERP system with the JDE Transportation Management solution, and change data formats to bring all necessary information together in one place. The client and its partner company used integration models that didn’t align with one another, making it extremely difficult to use EDI transactions that worked properly within both systems.

The Solution

Although this project required more coordination between systems and complex EDI procedures, our consultant stepped up to the plate and found a way to get the job done.

He helped the client build and maintain truck routes, set up automatic assignments and notifications for tender acceptance (TA) and load acceptance (LA), and reduced the amount of steps needed to carry out EDI transactions between systems.

The client needed a way to change the ANSI X12 860 data map to a format that could be easily transferred to the JDE TMS system. With more effective formatting, our client’s system would be able to understand the information contained in the message segments of inbound 860s, align the format to the data model, and send the corresponding shipment number to the JDE system.

Our consultant used EDI solutions to automate data transfer processes between SAP and JDE systems and built a process that streamlined freight order and transportation management systems for the client and its partner companies:

  1. Partner 1 sends inbound 850.
  2. Partner 2 receives inbound 850 and sends outbound 855 acknowledgement.
  3. Freight order request is triggered in Partner 1’s SAP system.
  4. Partner 1 transmits freight order back to Parter 2.
  5. Freight order information (i.e., carrier swift, date and time of shipment, and necessary equipment) transferred between systems.
  6. Order request is fulfilled and distributed.

With a more streamlined approach to integrations between systems and EDI functions, our client was able to send and receive freight order information more easily and manage the information contained in messages (MSG) and N9 segments. This way, our client could take advantage of previously unreviewed data found in these MSGs and N9 segments.

Noticeable Differences

Not only did our consultant help the client use unreviewed MSG and N9 data to their advantage, but he also built an EDI transfer process that reduced the client’s time to transfer and maintained a high success rate from the first step to the last.

And, by finding a more efficient way to define system requirements and reduce the number of steps required to process and transfer data, employees could now focus more on doing their own jobs, rather than spending their time routing shipments.

Our consultant also created an application used to test EDI solutions within different systems, and that test application is now used in multiple other facilities across the nation. With a more accurate testing environment and aligned EDI and TMS systems, the client reaped the benefits of reduced costs and increased system efficiency.

Partnering with Surety Systems

This is just one of the many examples of success our clients have experienced when working with our team of consultants at Surety Systems.

Consultants, like this one, have proven success in many different organizations and industries, however, one thing remains the same regardless of the size or type of project or company. They will do whatever it takes to build, develop, and implement a solution that solves your EDI issues (the first time).

And, while our consultants are dedicated to their craft of providing technological expertise and valuable advice for clients, Surety Systems is dedicated to its craft of providing high-quality consultants that have the skills and experience to get the job done.

How Can We Help?

Looking to bring on a consultant has the project management experience needed to take your EDI processes to the next level? Our team of senior-level consultants is here to help. Just need help getting started with new EDI projects (or any other JD Edwards projects, for that matter)? They’ve got you covered there too.

Whether you need additional support with complex EDI integrations or just need an extra hand navigating day-to-day EDI operations throughout your organization, our consultants have what it takes to help you.

Want to learn more about the JD Edwards EDI solution? Check out our latest article that breaks down the “nitty-gritty” details of JDE EDI, ““JD Edwards EDI: The Electronic Data Interface You Need”.

Interested in learning more about how our EDI consulting services can help you? Contact us today.