Mar 28, 2014

Ecommerce integration: EDI with ERP systems

In the modern marketplace, effective integration of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is critical in ensuring a company is able to keep track of various internal business operations. EDI with ERP systems is vital in integrating data transfer and values into operations management and is crucial in the growing effort of promoting automaticity and accessibility of internal business operations.

The ERP system designed by Footworks Footwear and Apparel is a complete software platform and package aimed at integrating business management of the footwear and apparel market into itself. Footworks is focused primarily on the footwear, related apparel, and fashion industry as a whole. Highly module and customizable, Footworks centers around the core idea of fast implementation and, if needed, accessible and easily modified modules that can affect the core, internal business operations of a firm involved in this market.


This specific EDI with ERP system uses the following documents to facilitate the data exchange. They are as follows:

1. Inbound EDI 832 – Getting Product Info

2. Inbound EDI 846 – Getting Inventory Info

3. Outbound EDI 850 – Order Information

4. Inbound EDI 856 – Shipping Advice

5. Inbound EDI 870 – Order Status Updates

The advantages of using an ERP system are clear. First and foremost, any business that uses EDI with ERP systems is going to save time, effort, and money with regards to processing time, fees, and other profit-reducing drags on business revenue. By fully integrating various business operations into a single platform, redundancy can be reduced, liabilities and weaknesses exposed, and orders tracked. Moreover, inventory, stock, recurring client purchases, and a host of other common factors can all be consolidated into a single, overarching entity.

In addition to consolidation and centralization of business operations and data, ERP system can also be used to acquire clear and impactful financial metrics, statistical analysis, and even offer increased security by unifying disparate systems into a greater collective. Moreover, by getting rid of the need to wait for different linked systems to sync, which runs the risk of technical errors, dataset parsing errors, and other issues, the entire business operation will be inherently more integrated and streamlined.

Though the advantages of EDI with ERP systems are clear, there are some possible disadvantages that should be noted. Customization, for example, can render inexperienced or disorganized clients somewhat confused when the systems are first implemented. For certain sectors, there can be difficulties in integrating different datasets and functions into a single entity, and the re-engineering costs can be prohibitive for some firms. Moreover, personnel must be trained on the new systems and requiring synchronization and integration of resisting staff can also be an issue. Thankfully, these factors are all heavily outweighed by the incredible organizational benefits that EDI with ERP systems instills in its firms, and clients and users can rest easy knowing that the step towards ERP systems is one that will be incredibly rewarding.

In terms of function, Footworks focuses on integrating product information, inventory information, order information, shipping information, and live, real-time order status updates. Getting product information is a result of the EDI 832 document, which is used to request product information such as price and location. The 832 also provides information such as the contact information of the seller, any important or related sales terms per the agreement, the actual status of the physical item and associated descriptors, item pricing, and an overall description of what the item itself actually is. Taken altogether, the 832 EDI transaction set offers online retailers the ability to present their product information in a clear and concise manner as easily as possible.

The 832 EDI, then, can be simply called a sales catalogue. This EDI and its ERP system is an important element in what Footworks offers.

EDI 846, likewise, is used to direct the flow of information regarding the status of inventory between sellers, supplies, resellers, and manufacturers. Put simply, EDI 846 allows merchants to obtain information regarding the availability of items in inventories all along the supply-distribution chain. Moreover, sellers can also use EDI 846 to communicate with their sister stores in other locations to determine item availability nearby, and even request shipping of a needed good directly to the client for pickup.

 EDI 850, which is an outbound document aimed at order information, is a critical aspect of EDI in ERP systems. This is a purchase order, which comes from the sales order source of the firm involved. EDI 850 includes information such as the item name, price, and number of items ordered. In addition, any and all relevant shipping details, payment agreements, contracts, and compensation are included. Moreover, EDI 850 operates in tandem with EDI 856, which offers information regarding a description of contents shipped and their packing condition. EDI 856 consists of shipping advice, which can be essentially stated to the condition and method of packing.

Inbound EDI 870, used as a type of EDI in ERP systems, is used to track, report, and update the status of a client’s order. EDI 870 creates a live status report at all appropriate times or upon request in order to directly show the current status of an order. If shipped, EDI 870 references the modules available and offers a direct indication of where the order was last scanned and verified. In addition, EDI 870 can be used to check on the status of an existing purchase, future orders, and even report on the relative success or failure of item requisitions. Not only is it extraordinarily versatile, but it functions in order to allow for the use of modified delivery times, shipment dates, and even changes during shipment.

Footworks Footwear and Apparel is built around the idea of integrating EDI into ERP systems in a clear, effective manner. The shoe and fashion industry has unique requirements to it that necessitates the use of a dedicated software platform that can accommodate seasonal changes and modifications, and Footworks is the ultimate in software platforms for this purpose.


Posted in: eCommerce Integration

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