Advanced Ship Notice (ASN), Vendor EDI, Supply Chain EDI, EDI, ERP

In many businesses, EDI processing is like the circulatory system in the human body, and the ERP system is the heart of the business. In other words, EDI is important! Many industries have leveraged EDI’s impact on efficiency to scale operations in a manner and cost structure that would be impossible without it.  The ability to automate repetitive office tasks to integrated EDI is transformational.   

Many enterprises rank their suppliers using a scorecard model that rewards better performing suppliers and punishes those that are difficult to do business with. Unsurprisingly, EDI is a significant factor on supplier scorecards, since mistakes and delays can hamper the ability to execute business.shutterstock_204413116_scorecards

A good example of how a supplier can undermine a customer is Advanced Ship Notices (ASN). ASN’s tell the recipient what they will be receiving, and often in significant detail, so that the receiving of the goods can be handled through a simple scanning process. Distribution centers often operate at high rates of speed, and ASN-related mistakes can cause costly operating inefficiencies and overtime. Imagine a truck arrives with one supplier’s goods. When a proper and timely ASN is received, the work of the warehouse team is quite simple – scan and put away or crossdock the goods to the final destination(s)

Now imagine a second supplier’s truck arrives, but the ASN has not been received by the warehouse. The scans will not work as there is no information to receive the goods and they have to be moved to another location or rejected and sent back to the supplier. This is an ugly situation that costs money, renders valuable shelf space empty, and results in lost sales. 

Additionally, the supplier with the late ASN will be penalized on their scorecard, which in turn opens the door to competitors and reduces the supplier’s sales. 

If you're looking for an EDI vendor, review our checklist to help you select the right solution for your business needs.

There are a lot of other factors by which vendor performance can be quantified over time, and they are driven by rules outlined in vendor agreements. These rules are for the benefit of both parties so that the business activities mesh more smoothly. Rules communicate expectations, e.g: Orders are to be acknowledged within 4 hours, a ship notice should arrive before the shipment, shipment notices must be sent when the truck leaves the facility, and invoices should arrive within 24 hours of the shipment.   

Such specific rules enable a good application to identify when these rules are not being met and generate escalations to the responsible parties at the supplier so that corrective action can be taken before the scorecard is impacted.   

For companies that want to implement a scorecard system of their own, the first step is to set the rules and benchmarks for excellence in the supplier base. The rules can govern everything from timeliness and accuracy, to product quality. 

For example, an organization that requires vendors to perform drop ship activities could look at the time to ship by analyzing the days between sending a PO and receiving the ASN and Proof of Delivery. Analyzing such information helps to determine which vendors are conforming to estimated ship times provided to customers – an important KPI that reflects the consumer’s experience. 

After investing the time and effort into implementing a fully integrated EDI system, gaining this extra insight into the performance of your vendors will be beneficial. A vendor scorecard program makes it possible to proactively manage trends early on and help identify which suppliers are delivering the best value versus least cost.   

Looking for an EDI vendor? We can help. Download our checklist to make this task simpler, and find the right vendor for your needs.

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EDI Expert Insights, Supply Chain EDI, EDI Articles, EDI and ecommerce, Blockchain

Blockchain technology is poised to have a revolutionary impact on the way we transact business, particularly the exchange of business document transactions commonly referred to as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

Traditional accounts receivable processes result in vendors and customers having their own set of truths about the transactions that occurred. Reconciling those transactions from two independent ledgers does not always lead both parties to the same conclusion.

This is where blockchain technology, also referred to as "the block," comes in. Mistakes, misunderstandings and other problems that commonly require weeks and months to unwind are detected during the insertion of the transaction into the Block. Sounds great, doesn't it?

There are nuances to the technology but understanding its strengths, weaknesses and interoperability with EDI and ERP solutions is key.

Read "Blockchain Technology Impact on EDI and ERP Systems" to better understand this groundbreaking technology, why its the future of error-free transaction processing and how you may be able to leverage it.

Download the Blockchain for EDI Brief

Highlighted Customers, Manufacturing, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration, Dynamics AX EDI Customers, Supply Chain EDI

Algood Food, Dynamics AX customer, shares the business advantages of working with Data Masons.

Louisville, KY based, Algood Food understands the importance of a good EDI partnership. Manufacturing peanut butter, jams and preserves since 1995, this family-owned business first implemented web EDI in the 2000s. Kelly Kane, MIS Manager says that was a big deal back then, but it also came with some challenges.

Kelly shares, "Data Masons has really helped me bridge that [technology] gap and...help[s] us get data in an efficient manner. I can just pick up the phone and I am talking to Nick or Steve or one of the guys on the support team and they are helping me through the issues, right then and there!"

In this short video Kane shares that they have seen a great return on their Data Masons investment and that they look "forward to our continued work together as a team".

Highlighted Customers, Manufacturing, Exact Software Integration, Exact Software EDI Customers, Supply Chain EDI

Macola Customer, Tolco, Fuels Growth With EDI:

Tolco Corporation, a Macola customer and family-owned molded plastics business has prided themselves on serving small companies for more than 50 years. With growth on their mind, they knew they had to foster new relationships with larger trading partners but they’d have to bring on a Macola EDI integration expert in order to do that — a scary undertaking considering they knew nothing about EDI.

They enlisted the help of Data Masons’ and their EDI solution, Vantage Point, who guided the once gun-shy Tolco, through the process with relative ease. In the four years since, Tolco has experienced so much growth from new business with large trading partners that they are building a new, expanded warehouse space.

James Reising, Tolco’s Data Information Manager, shares “The experience has been great. It’s been well worth the effort that we put into it. It has paid us back many, many times over.”

Watch this video for the full story.

Highlighted Customers, Manufacturing, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration, Dynamics AX EDI Customers, Supply Chain EDI, Managed Services

Dynamics AX customer Stack-On finds increased cash flow, smoother invoicing and improved efficiencies with Vantage Point EDI - VIDEO

Vantage Point EDI and Dynamics AX customer, Stack-On, a commercial and residential manufacturer of storage solutions, has been using Vantage Point EDI with tremendous success. Watch the short video to learn how Stack-On went from being flooded with orders and challenged with trying to manually keep up, to having a system which offers:

  • an increase in efficiency
  • smoother invoicing
  • increased cash flow
  • significant reduction in errors
  • a surprisingly easy implementation
  • and is a very easy and intuitive program to learn and use, just ask Jim Sanders!

 Watch the video...

EDI Expert Insights, Dynamics NAV EDI, Supply Chain EDI

Avoid EDI Risks By Leveraging the Native Capabilities of NAV

Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers have options when it comes to EDI or XML integration solutions. Understanding those options and how to leverage the native capabilities of Dynamics can help avoid expensive and complicated projects that can put your business at risk. 

EDI Made Simple for NAV-1.jpg

 

On-Demand Webinar Available: EDI Made Simple® for NAV

Learn how to avoid these risks by watching the On-Demand Webinar "EDI Made Simple® for Dynamics NAV" where you will:

  • Learn how to integrate your supply chain with Dynamics NAV without using custom code;
  • Gain an understanding of external solutions that eliminate invasive customizations;
  • Learn the cost of ownership in SaaS, on premise perpetual and transaction based models; and
  • Come away with actionable information that can turn EDI for Dynamics into a strategic advantage at your organization.

For immediate answers to your Dynamics EDI software questions, download the executive brief, "EDI Made Simple® - A New Approach to EDI." 

 Watch the webinar at your convenience, then let's discuss your move to Dynamics 365 and how we can help simplify the impact on your EDI application.

Highlighted Customers, Dynamics AX EDI, Apparel and Footwear, Dynamics ERP Integration, Dynamics AX EDI Customers, Supply Chain EDI

DVF-retail-650x300.png
Case study showcases Diane von Furstenberg’s decision to implement a new EDI solution during its Microsoft Dynamics AX upgrade and the benefits of moving to a fully-automated EDI solution. 

[September 21, 2016] Data Masons Software, LLC., a leading provider of Integrated EDI and XML solutions for Microsoft Dynamics customers, announces the availability of a case study for Data Masons and Microsoft Dynamics AX customer, Dian von Furstenberg (DVF). Founded in 1972 by the legendary Diane Von Furstenberg, DVF is a global lifestyle brand and one of the premier names in American fashion with a global distribution network in over 55 countries and 1500 points of sale. In this case study, the company discusses its decision to engage a new EDI solution to support its growing eCommerce initiatives. 

The customer-facing side of DVF’s eCommerce business provides an easy and fun experience for consumers, but to be successful and prepare for future growth, DVF understood that the systems on its supplier-side need to work in unison in order to get orders processed, packaged and shipped on time. Once decided on Microsoft Dynamics AX for its ERP platform, DVF selected Vantage Point EDI for Microsoft Dynamics AX from Data Masons to deliver the level of automation they required to have a competitive eCommerce business. 

Predicting explosive growth of the company’s eCommerce business, Josie Edouard, EDI Business Analyst at DVF, stated, “I’m glad that DVF is using Vantage Point EDI. I find it to be extremely easy to use, very user friendly.” Edouard added, “It’s easy for me to maneuver, especially when troubleshooting problem orders..."

Read the Complete Press Release and Case Study

 

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics GP EDI, Dynamics NAV EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration, Supply Chain EDI

supplier_side_edi.jpgWhile many businesses are leveraging EDI with customers, organizations that also use EDI to trade with suppliers, 3rd party warehouse, carriers, etc. may have an advantage over competitors.

Automating procedure-to-pay processes such as PO, PO Acknowledgments, ASNS, invoices, and payment remittance will streamline processes and communication, improving accuracy between your business and key suppliers. 

While many SMBs are aware of the ability to implement EDI with suppliers, many figure if no one is forcing them to do it, then why should they... Read the Full Article

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics GP EDI, Exact Software Integration, Dynamics NAV EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration, Vendor EDI, Supply Chain EDI, EDI Articles

trucking_supplier_side_EDI_smWhen most SMBs think about implementing EDI with suppliers there is a common belief that you need to be forced into EDI by enterprise customers or other changes to business requirements.  However, EDI is gaining momentum in becoming a non-mandated technology, delivering significant ROI for both customers and suppliers.

Implementing EDI with suppliers will minimize error-related costs.  By opting to transact electronically with suppliers, carriers or public warehouses, SMBs can eliminate unnecessary labor and paperwork. Take for example ASN management and integration: vendors can send you an ASN at the time of shipment that is integrated into your purchasing, inventory and billing applications.

Large enterprises often mandate their suppliers to do EDI because it saves money, which goes straight to the bottom line.  The same can be said for SMBs and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Continue reading this article

EDI Expert Insights, Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics GP EDI, Dynamics NAV EDI, Microsoft Dynamics Community, Dynamics ERP Integration, Vendor EDI, Supply Chain EDI, EDI Articles

Top10EDIMistakes_thumbnail

When a company is about to embark on an EDI project, whether it’s to implement a new EDI solution or improving an existing one, the effort can be riddled with complex and expensive errors. Get a quick snapshot of the most common EDI mistakes in this infographic and read the full executive brief for an in-depth discussion on how these mistakes can impact your business.

 

Read the full executive brief for details on each mistake and how they could impact your EDI project.

Get the "Top 10 Mistakes When   Selecting an EDI Solution" Brief

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics GP EDI, Dynamics NAV EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration, Supply Chain EDI

supply-chainToday you may be leveraging EDI with your customers, but did you know it can also be used to trade with suppliers, 3rd party warehouse, carriers, etc.? Beyond customers, supplier EDI is the 2nd most requested automation for Vantage Point.  Automation of the procedure-to-pay process such as PO, PO Acknowledgments, ASNS, invoices, and payment remittance can streamline your processes as well as improve communication, accuracy with key suppliers. 

When most small and medium sized companies talk about implementing EDI with suppliers, the first reaction often sounds like, “No one’s forcing us to do that so why would we want to?” The simplest answer is: it saves money, which goes straight to the bottom line, and is the same reason large enterprises mandate their suppliers to do EDI. If you think about EDI as a requirement, something your company must implement if you want to do business with larger organizations, consider the monolithic, error-prone way data gets into your ERP solution – typically via keyboard.

Of course you may be doing business with smaller organizations that may not have EDI capabilities. Did you know that they can be EDI-enabled at a low cost to them and zero cost to you? They can provide you with all of the information needed to integrate common business transactions into your system without data entry personnel on your end. At the same time you can improve communication between you and your suppliers by receiving detailed order confirmations and shipment notifications so you know when goods have left their facility and in transit to yours.

Learn how to leverage EDI and simplify your business processes with our white paper, EDI Made Simple.

Not only can your company improve the accuracy and speed of communication with suppliers, but many companies are leveraging EDI outside of any requirements because it affords them the opportunity to push their own supply chain costs back downstream. By passing these costs along to their suppliers, they reap the benefits on their bottom lines.

Like these companies, you can minimize error-related costs by opting to transact electronically with suppliers, carriers and/or public warehouses, eliminating unnecessary labor and paperwork. Take for example ASN management and integration: vendors can send you an ASN at the time of shipment that is integrated into your purchasing, inventory and billing applications. When the goods arrive, a single barcode scan can receive the entire shipment, including serial number and lot number registration – fully-automated integration with no manual intervention.

ASNs are one example, but combined with purchase orders and invoice documents, you can see a measurable cost savings across your supply chain. And while the common belief is that you need to be forced into EDI, EDI is gaining momentum in becoming a non-mandated technology option that delivers significant ROI, both on the customer and supplier side. One investment in the right EDI technology can satisfy your customers’ requirements and open the door of opportunity for you to implement more accurate and cost-saving processes.

Learn more about EDI and ERP integration through our white paper, EDI Made Simple.

Executive Brief: EDI Made Simple: A New Approach

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics GP EDI, Manufacturing, Dynamics NAV EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration, Supply Chain EDI, EDI Articles

Direct of Van Based EDI

Which is best for your company?

As a professional who has helped over 1,000 companies during my career implement EDI with Dynamics as their back office, I often get asked “What method of EDI communication is best for MY company?” Since there are only two main methods of communications; an EDI Value added network (VAN) provider or Direct EDI, my response is typically the same. 20 years ago VAN’s were the only choice; however, most major trading partners support direct communications. Fortunately, the decision for most companies can be straightforward and should be based entirely on business requirements, such as volume of documents, IT support, and services being provided by your EDI provider.

Differentiating Direct vs VAN

Direct EDI, such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or standards such as AS2, establishes a secure line between two business partners. With minimal software and an internet connection, companies can now connect to their trading partner base with no per document fees. Certain industries or partners may require or highly suggest this form of communication such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, Cardinal Health, etc. because it is closer to real time communications, and avoids costly per document fees for both parties.  

An EDI VAN is a secure outsourced network where EDI documents can be exchanged between business partners. Your company is provided with a ‘mailbox’ from which EDI documents are sent and received, similar to traditional paper based mail (snail mail). The “value added” part of the mailbox are often services like mail notifications, inspect, authentication, and validating the message.  Messages are tracked and recorded for auditing purposes, as well as other services available through VANs, such as backup and recovery, mapping, compliance, and more.

Learn more about how simple EDI can be with the right partner. Download our white paper.

Deciding Which Method is Best for Your Company

A Direct EDI connection may be best if:

  • You are trading a higher volume of EDI documents, frequently (typically more than 500 per month)
  • Your trading partners have varying requirements, particularly with communications protocols (AS2, FTPS, SFTPS, etc.).
  • You have an internal IT resources to setup and maintain the direct connections OR your EDI provider offers assistance in this setup and support. 

A VAN may be better if:

  • Your business partners do not support a direct EDI communications and/or you anticipate having a lower count of trading partners.
  • You are trading a low volume of EDI documents (typically less than 500 documents per month).
  • You want to outsource communications.
  • You have limited IT resources.

When selecting the option which would make the most sense for you, there are a few questions you need to ask:

1)      Does my trading partner support direct EDI?

2)      What type of EDI traffic do I anticipate?

3)      What IT resources will be required?

4)      What support/assistance will my EDI provider give me related to communications?

One of the biggest factors in communication choice, in addition to what options your partners support, is your anticipated volume. You want to keep in mind that certain transactions will equal other transactions. So if you receive in 100 POs per month, and now need to send out PO Acknowledgments, shipment notifications, Invoices—those 100 POs often result in 400+ documents per month, when you factor in at least a one to one relationship (and don’t forget about resends, or partial shipments!). There may also be supporting transactions such as PO changes, Inventory Levels, payment remittance advises that need to be counted as well. 

Monthly Cost of VANs

 

                   ****Cost Per Document *****

**Doc Count**

0.25

0.50

0.75

1.00

100

 $        25.00

 $        50.00

 $        75.00

 $        100.00

500

 $     125.00

 $     250.00

 $     375.00

 $        500.00

1,000

 $     250.00

 $     500.00

 $     750.00

 $    1,000.00

5,000

 $  1,250.00

 $  2,500.00

 $  3,750.00

 $    5,000.00

10,000

 $  2,500.00

 $  5,000.00

 $  7,500.00

 $  10,000.00

NOTE--Does not include mailbox fee or other services.

You also want to factor in how your volume will change over time. For instance, do you expect to add new customers? Will you increase your volume of orders? Will you change your shipping patterns? For example, shipping to a distribution center tends to be low PO count but high product count, whereas ship to stores are middle volume, and ship to consumer is often many small orders.

The decision to go with a VAN provider vs (or in addition to) Direct EDI is an important discussion based on budget, resources, and trading partner requirements. When selecting an EDI provider, it’s important to make sure they can support multiple methods and choice in communication, beyond other areas that are critical (good technical support, deep knowledge of the ERP, integration of the documents you need to process, etc.).  

To learn more about which EDI solution is right for you, and how we can support your EDI efforts with EDI Made Simple®, read our white paper.

Executive Brief: EDI Made Simple: A New Approach