Building Your EDI Foundation

Taking the First Step to Integration

EDI too often is an afterthought during the ERP conversion or comes up suddenly as an “on demand” project requested by a key customer that needs to be completed yesterday. In both scenarios, you are forced to piece together a workable solution. This is something that you must do well and ensure that best business practices are followed, since future development is built on this foundation.

Integration is a significant task. The set-up can be complex and difficult to tackle because access to the data within your ERP or WMS system requires use of an integration module or gateway.

There are three components of reliable and economical EDI:

  • ERP gateway – provides an intermediate file or table, plus the necessary business rules for each document
  • EDI system – reformats the data from the standard to the intermediate file or table, plus secure Internet data transmission
  • Process control – alerts users to errors and lost documents by email at occurrence.

Here are the necessary deliverables you must provide:


  • Identify key resources and opportunities in your and the user’s departments.
  • Develop the project plan with all of its appropriate components (including training).
  • Set-up your development and test EDI systems.

EDI Development

  • Create a comprehensive map for each key Transaction Set, e.g. INbound Purchase Order (850).
  • Customize the comprehensive map for each customer.
  • Set-up and test communications between the ERP – EDI system – firewall.
  • Set-up and test data transmission between the firewall and the customer.
  • Archive off the old EDI system and data.

ERP Development

  • Set-up the tables required to receive/send files (Port set-up, Partner Cross-References, Partner Profiles, etc.).
  • Set-up the gateway (the integration module) to allow data transfer in and out of your ERP and WMS for database connectivity, table formats, and file names.
  • Work with the end users to learn of customer specific challenges.


  • Install and test the finished maps and setup.
  • Train users (Customer Service, Accounts Receivable, and more).
  • Train I.T. (daily operations and mapping).
  • Have help available for support if needed.


Let DCS EDI Consultants help build your EDI foundation or add more process automation. Since integration is not trivial, we recommend DCS NEXT LEVEL™ Conversion service. Your integration will be thorough, quick, and economical due to our many years of EDI experience in your industry. Having DCS develop the first few Trading Partners and data transmission allows you to more easily integrate subsequent customers, lowering the cost of implementation and quickens raises the ROI.

Here are the reasons DCS EDI Consultants can help:

  • Most of the US companies requiring X12, EDIFACT, or GS1 (standardized XML) are well known to DCS.
  • We have experience with cross-industry EDI transaction sets, not only Inbound PO’s (850), Outbound ASN’s (856), Outbound Invoices (810), but also 3PL (94x series) transactions and Transportation (21x series) transactions.
  • Data Transmission set-up is a specialty of DCS. Connections using EDI INT AS2 (HTTPS in batch mode) reduce cost by elimination of pricey VANs.
  • Documentation and Training are necessary when implementing any EDI program. DCS can provide both.

Finally, our experience is with the EDI/E-C Gateway: we do not seek non-EDI work. With experienced professionals, you can avoid common pitfalls when implementing EDI with your business application. Your first step is easy just email DCS for your free assessment.