OnLine Store Business Processes: Order Cycle

OnLine Store Business Processes: Shipment Cycle

OnLine Store Business Processes: Invoice/Payment Cycle

I have laid out three charts showing a common scenario for an On-Line store (or for an OnLine branch of a “brick & mortar”). The slides are broken down by process: ORDER CYCLE, SHIPMENT CYCLE, INVOICE/PAYMENT CYCLE.

What is EDI? Electronic link between the buyer andthe seller

See Our Special Section on Social Media

See Our Logistics Section

Supply Chain Management (SCM)


B2B WebSites

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Find out about Witnesses and Fair Promise

EDI Glossary

In the eyes of the US Government

Financial EDI

EDI Mapping


Basic Transportation EDI

Electronic Data Interchange: (EDI)

Customer tells you that he only orders over EDI??? What do you do now??? We have been there and can help. Click here or on the calculator to find out what EDI and electronic commerce are all about.

Financial EDI

Interconnects Are The Market

It's fair to say that VANs were responsible for bringing EDI to current volume levels of transactions. It is also fair to say that interconnects between VANs were the path to their success. Traditional VANs and their interconnects built the market, now they are the market for newer technology (VAN2).

Read more about how Interconnects Are The Market

Find out about Challenge and Fair Promise

What is XML?

XML is an acronym which stands for Extensible Markup Language. XML is a markup language for documents containing structured information. Both content (words, pictures, etc.) and some indication of what role the content plays are contained in structured information. Almost all documents have some structure. A markup language is a mechanism to identify structures in a document. XML defines a standard way to ad markup to documents.
XML was created for richly structured documents and stored data to be used over the web within a structure common to all viewing parties. The only viable alternatives, HTML and SGML, are not practical for this purpose. The use of XML is expected to grow rapidly over the next five years, just as the popularity and use of HTML has grown over the last five years.
HTML stands for "Hypertext Markup Language". HTML is the language which allows developers to present electronic media (i.e. web pages, email) in color, bold, and different size text. It allows the OTC Journal to look like a magazine, but definitely has limitations. XML opens a whole new door to the Internet and its capabilities which HTML is incapable of filling.
XML is a standardized simplified language, which allows richly structured documents and legacy data of all kinds to easily understand each other. Two examples of the use of XML are the NASDAQ quote feed and the SEC's EDGAR System.
Dozens of commercial stock quote providers pull their data from the NASDAQ quote feed. The information comes to them in XML. The same is true of EDGAR- all the EDGAR pages are written in XML. This universal language makes it easy for public companies to file their documents in the SEC Electronic Filing System, and thus provide all viewers the ability to review the documentation in a common format.
The development of XML was completed in 1998 by the non-profit World Wide Web Consortium ( Software developers are introducing commercial products, and sales of XML based technologies are beginning to ramp up now.

Find out about EDI Global Identifiers and EDI Directories


EDI System Tune Up

Just like your car, your EDI system requires a periodic “tune up”. You need to step back and see if your system is giving you the “best mileage for your dollar”. Remember, things change over time and something that worked well last year might not now because of external changes in your business process or internal changes in the interfacing systems. Here is what I would recommend:

SCM Control Tower Team Troubles

You are in the process of staffing your SCM Control Tower. This group will be drawn from different areas of your company (different "silos") and different skill sets (for example, a "hazmat" expert). Is your SCM Control Tower going to be a team building melting pot or a boiling cauldron of dis-function. You could draw the brightest and most hard working employees in and outside of your company; but if they don't get along, it could wreck your business.

Jeff Gibson of The Table Group Inc. gave a presentation on 5 team dysfunctions that could spell disaster for any IT department at a recent Gartner Business Intelligence Summit. Substitute "SCM Director" for "CIO" and "supply chain workers" for "IT workers" and these are some really great ideas. Communications can be difficult and must embrace the personal relationship side of the business. If you have an unhealthy organization, it just isn't going to accomplish the mission. Let's look at these five dysfunctions and see how they relate to a healthy team culture.

Evolution of Ecommerce

Many analysts consider e-commerce a logical development with roots tracing to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). In existence since the 1970s, EDI provided a means for enterprises to incorporate electronic communications into supply chain management.
Although EDI improved just-in-time manufacturing and reduced supply chain costs, it also was very expensive and difficult to implement. This was primarily because EDI systems run over private Value Added Networks, the cost of which was borne by participants. Additionally, organizations participating in this buy/sell network had to install proprietary software to ensure compatibility of documents being sent over the network-adding further cost and complication.
Internet-based electronic commerce differs from EDI in two basic ways, both of which address the problems inherent in EDI:
1. Based on Internet technologies, electronic commerce uses a public communications medium-open to anyone with Internet access.
2. Because it is based on Internet technologies, electronic commerce is accessible through common Web browsers-and this is all a user needs for compatibility with virtually all electronic commerce sites. This dramatically drives down costs: An Internet server and public network access are much less expensive than virtual private networks, and everyone can use whichever computer platform they choose without having to be concerned with compatibility issues.
B2B and B2C Internet-based electronic commerce has evolved into two major segments: business to consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). B2B and B2C users have different buying needs. In B2B e-commerce, time is essential. Real-time inventory status, accurate pricing, and current delivery information are among the factors that allow business buyers to respond instantly to customer demand, increasing their efficiency and profitability.
Consumers look for an experience that more closely approximates shopping-the ability to browse at their leisure (through a catalog), put selected items into their cart, then charge their purchase to a credit card.
B2B and B2C consider change differently. In business, where success is often based on leveraging new technologies or processes, there is an imperative to embrace change that drives the investigation and implementation of new technologies.

Outsource Your EDI?

Thinking of moving from your in-house proprietary EDI solution to an outsourced Internet-based or even Webbased infrastructure?

Your company has two strategic implementation options:
• Establish and maintain and in-house EDI solution
• Engage a hosted EDI service provider

Think! Why did your company adopted EDI for B2B commerce in the first place? To reduce costs! Your financial analyst is certainly interested in your ROI and your decision!

Lets talk about the EDI system you have now compared to a hosted solution:

1. Communication/Connectivity Services:
Currently you are linked in directly to your ERP and linked to your trading partners via AS2, VAN or otherwise. Outsource and all this is provided by the Hosting Service except for the single connection to your ERP environment. Note: your ERP might also be migrating to an outsourced Cloud environment too. Plus your provider, if a leading edge outfit, will probably use an Electronic Commerce Messaging System (sometimes referred to as an ECCP or an Electronic Commerce Communications Provider) rather than a traditional VAN and expensive AS2. (Since I tickled your interest, we will follow up with an entire article on these).

2. EDI Translator:
Now you own it. You have to keep upgrading it and paying maintenance contracts on it and putting up with “bugs”. Outsource and all these headaches belong to the Hosting Service.

3. Mapping:
Now this is your baby. Outsource and it is developed and maintained by the Hosting Service.

4. EDI Integration Software:
Now you probably integrate to your ERP with I Docs, mid-ware, COBOL or Voodoo. Outsource and a single standard document interface is required on-site (or on mid-ware in a Cloud environment) to integrate transactions with your ERP system in a native format. This is typically provided and integrated by a consultant specializing in your specific ERP platform.

5. IT Technical Staff:
Outsource and all these costs belong to your provider.

6. EDI Coordinator:
The one resource required on-site providing operational liaison with your trading partners and in-house supply chain stakeholders.

See the full article on Outsource Your EDI?

See my other blogs

See other blogs about EDI

Required Attire for a Remote Workforce

Ever wonder how your telecommuting colleagues really live? Turns out, many of them actually do work in their pajamas. They also tend to love their work-life balance – to the point where they’d take a pay cut to maintain the status quo. This is a “must read” for both remote workers and for their office-bound managers.

Other EC Presentations, Thoughts, Ideas

Sample Company's Conventions: 830 Material Release

Sample Company's Conventions: 850 Purchase Order

Sample Company's Conventions: 856 Shipping Notice/Manifest

Sample Company's Conventions: 861 JIT Receiving Advice

Sample Company's Conventions: 997 Functional Acknowledgement

EC at Whirlpool Corporation

EC Gateway at Visteon

Integrated Supplier Management Process

Other EC Resources

Gentran Integration Suite (GIS) Users Group

Value Added Networks (VAN)

Transportation Glossary

Ryder Transportation Resources

Vantage Point
An independant source for resources and news

EDI University Best Practices

X12 Technical Tutorial

So Who or What is DISA?

So who runs EDIFACT?

New England Electronic Commerce Users Group

Other EC Partners
Help with your EDI system.
There are numerous choices to be made when making a decision how to connect electronically with your Business-To-Business ( B2B) trading partner.

Used to be it HAD to be EDI through a Value-Added Network (VAN); but NO MORE!

EDI Comparisons See some of the choices that are available to you (and some of the good and bad points too).

Then take a look at EDI Costs some of the rough costs for each one.

We have a great, unbiased partner, Business Integration Technology, to help you make the right choice, AND put the right connection in place.
Talk to us about how they (and us) can help you.

History of EDI

TDCC was formed originally by transportation, hence the name Transportation Data Coordinating Committee. Formed in 1968, "it was incorporated with investor, user, freight forwarder, highway carrier, railroad, and water carrier directors to coordinate: (1) standardization of transportation data descriptions and codes; (2) reconstruction of tariff formats; and; (3) systems design to facilitate exchange of appropriate data among shippers, carriers, and others concerned." The man behind the scenes who put it all together, Ed Guilbert, the father of EDI. He had lots of good lieutenants from a wide variety of companies helping him. One of them was Jack Hunter from General Electric who got me involved early on with EDI Standards.

Added to the TDCC at a later date were UCS (retail/grocery industry applications), WINS (warehouse applications) and other applications.

ASC X12 was accredited as an SDO (Standards Development Organization) by ANSI in 1979. Representatives from the transportation, government and computer manufacturer industries created the first formats, which were based on the TDCC structure.

TDCC used the Version/Release/Industry ID code (data element 480). It was based in part on the industry and a 2 digit identification of the publication date and release within that publication date.

The industry codes were as follows:
A - Air Applications
C - Ocean Applications
D - Automotive Industry Applications
F - Freight Claims
G - General Applications
M - Motor Applications
P - Drug Industry Applications
R - Rail Industry Applications
T - Tariff Industry Applications
U - Retail Industry Applications (UCS)
W - Warehouse Applications (WINS)
In 1989 TDCC begin the process of transitioning the published TDCC transaction sets into ASC X12. ASC X12 formed the Industry Transitional Subcommittee. Since the ASC X12 formats were based on the original TDCC structures, and over the years the two organizations used great care to coordinate the two standards, many of the lower level elements of the TDCC structures were already part of ASC X12. What needed to be transitioned in were the transaction set tables, and some missing elements and segments.

Taking On Your Customer's Demands

SURPRISE!!! You've been a supplier for “Big Company” for several years and you get a letter from them: you have to do begin trading with them using EDI or risk losing them as a customer. There are really only two ways you can react: (1) This is a great opportunity to really strengthen my supply chain, take out costs and become more efficient; or (2) Oh! Poor Me!
Supply Chain Control Tower

Supply Chain Management Control Towers

Control towers are used in many industries for different purposes: airports and railroads use them for traffic control; power plants have control rooms to monitor operations; and third party logistics providers use them to track transportation activities. These are places where operations run well. Why not a


in order to monitor and assure your supply? Talk to us, we build them!

So just what is an SCM Control Tower? What are the functions of a Supply Chain Control Tower? Who staffs your Supply Chain Management Control Tower?

If you use an EDI VAN for your business, this message is for you. Move past the ancient VAN technology. JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System will bring your EDI operation into the 21st Century. The power of our global EDI network is available on your server, your cloud platform or your application. AND you cannot beat our prices.
You can connect and communicate with all your customers and trading partners through the JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System - Connect with trading partners around the world on a single Network-as-a-Service platform, get real-time transaction visibility and eliminate those manual network processes. It is a pay as you need model. We track all interchanges from the moment they enter the system, along every step across the network, and through the delivery confirmation.

How can we help you? Contact us: Ken Kinlock at
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