What is EDI?

Unique Global Identity for EDI Messages

ISA5 (Sender qualifier)
Select the sender qualifier used (with ISA06, ISA07, and ISA08) to match an incoming interchange to a party.
01 = DUNS number
02 = SCAC (Standard Carrier Alpha Code)
08 = UCC EDI Communications ID (Comm ID)
12 = Phone number
13 = UCS Code (The UCS Code is a Code Used for UCS Transmissions; it includes the Area Code and Telephone Number of a Modem; it Does Not Include Punctuation, Blanks or Access Code)
14 = Duns Number with Suffix
16 = DUNS with 4 character suffix
ZZ = mutually defined.

ISA6 (Sender identifier)
Enter the sender identifier used (with ISA05, ISA07, and ISA08) to match an incoming interchange to a party. This property is alphanumeric, with a minimum of one character and a maximum of 15 characters. This identifier (ISA_06 for the X12 standard) acts much like an e-mail address. It must be unique to guarantee that you -- and only you -- receives documents correctly across multiple networks or VANs. Together with the qualifier, these data elements produce a unique global identity for the sender or recipient. The Interchange ID “ISA06/ ISA08” level of significance is given to the Interchange ID, depending on the value allocated to the qualifier

AIAG and other standards groups recommend the use of Duns number (Dun & Bradstreet) as an existing code system for identification of partners. The Duns numbers are sometimes at such high level, that we need a suffix to determine the exact sender or recipient. The qualifier 14 indicates that Duns number with suffix is used. In the EDI messages we identify partners with other identities, each message type has specific guidelines about the valid codes. How to get a D&B Number to use as your EDI Identifier

Companies supporting global EDI directories include JWH EDI Services and Loren Data

See more about EDI Directories.

See a company promoting global identity for EDI.

Some great Electronic Commerce Sites

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Business-To-Business (B2B) WebSites

Supply Chain Synchronization

The End of ERP

In 2011 we talked a lot about Cloud-based systems using SaaS. Over the past several years there have been numerous articles written on “Is EDI Dead?”. But EDI just “keeps on trucking”. EDI embraced XML, AS2 and the Cloud; to name just a few recent advances. Plus, EDI became the “engine” for E-Commerce.

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See Our Special Section on Social Media

See Our Logistics Section

See Our Electronic Commerce Glossary

Find out about Project and Fair Promise


Getting Started With Supplier Risk Management

Businesses must put more effort into pre-planning for business interruption according to a survey by Zurich Insurance and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). They are concerned about supply chain disruption and term it a "blind spot". We are concerned too. Zurich recommends mapping out your supply chain and quantifying each supplier by financial stability, geopolitical issues, et al. If you have a lot of global suppliers, this could be a tall order. I think Zurich is sitting in an "ivory tower" and not a "SCM Control Tower".

So we started to look at other ways to assess risk and found Dr. David Simchi-Levi of MIT. Dr. Simchi-Levi has developed what he calls a Risk Exposure Index™

Dr Simchi-Levi takes the approach of understanding the nature of various risks, quantifying the supply chain risk and finally by addressing these risks through supplier segmentation. Risks range from the controllable execution problems or "known-unknown" to the uncontrollable natural disasters called "unknown-unknown" (which he refers to as "black swans").

Read more

The Three Types of EDI

A HUB is just one type of EDI customer. Hubs are characterized by high volume, lots of partners, high availability and high accuracy. The concept of the “Hub” is simple. These are the companies who reach out to their trading partners and request those partners to trade electronically. Let's characterize the three types of EDI customers:

(1) Hubs

(2) Spokes (low turnover of trading partners but higher technical requirements)

(3) Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSB) (a “hybrid” with high turnover rate, deal with all implementation guides, and amount to a “Hub of Spokes”). An ECSP is what we previously called VAS (value added services) such as SPS Commerce.

What is wrong with the current approach to EDI implementation? We need a new concept. Everybody wants to be a “Hub” not a “Spoke”, because that is where the money is made. That is also why new EDI implementations have stagnated. Our answer is to turn “Spokes” into “Hubs”. Currently, the “Hub” realizes benefits; the “Spoke” does not. Why can't a Spoke become a Hub and trade electronically with lower-tier suppliers and with their own customers? Only because traditionally they have thought it was too complicated.

Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP) are a “hybrid” with high turnover rate, deal with all implementation guides, and amount to a “Hub of Spokes”). An ECSP is what we previously called VAS (value added services) such as SPS Commerce. Can be referred to as a “VAN2” if it moves EDI messages over the Internet. Let's characterize the three types of EDI customers: Hubs; Spokes; Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP). A “Super Hub” accommodates all three types of customers.

Project Management for EDI and Electronic Commerce

Only a partial list! These are places we have visited and find them to be useful.
Project managers are the dynamic component that converts strategy into action and action into desired outcomes.

12 steps to project management success

Managing a successful EC/EDI project isn't just a technical and organizational issue. It's about managing people. Poor communication, internal politics, poor teamwork, lack of management support and poor planning are the primary reasons people fail.

Step 01: Identify sponsors and stakeholders

The sponsors and stakeholders of your project are the ones who will judge your success and shape your project and it's rarely just one person. Understand their expectations of your project and what issues are most important to them. Determine early on which of your stakeholders are most important in terms of both organizational and political terms and get their support.

Step 02: Get a champion in top management

Without firm support from senior management, no one will take your project seriously and you'll constantly be swimming against the current. Always try diplomacy first, but when that fails you'll need a big motivational stick - and nothing gets the wheels turning like a friendly phone call from senior level management.

Step 03: Clear goals and achievable, objective deliverables

You'll need to be honest with the sponsors and stakeholders about the reality of the project. Everyone wants it better, faster, and cheaper. Work with your sponsors to set realistic project milestones and specific project phases.

Step 04: Own the planning process

Negotiate changes carefully. The ultimate responsibility for the projects success or failure is yours. If you take the time to plan effectively, you'll spend less time putting out fires and making excuses to your sponsors.

Step 05: Establish a methodology

Once you know what your project is, you'll need to establish the best way to implement it. This goes beyond established project management practices and includes technical procedures specific to the project: testing, implementation, best practices, reporting issues, troubleshooting, back-out plans, etc. Don't re-invent the wheel if you don't have to – check the web for existing project plans, management notes, and technical publications for discussions about similar projects. Smart managers learn from other people's mistakes.

Step 06: Be honest about your abilities

Knowing where you fall short can help you fill out your team with people who can complement your abilities and fill in the gaps. As a project manager, it's not your responsibility to do everything. It's your responsibility to get things done.

Step 07: Make sure you have the resources to do the job

Raise a flag if under-funded, under-staffed, and under-supported, and make sure you have the time to get the project done right.

Step 08: Assemble the best team you can

You want people with excellent technical and interpersonal skills, who work well together, and require a minimum of supervision. You should be able to give them clear goals, the tools to do their job, and then get out of their way.

Step 09: Communicate early and often

Communication is 360 degree process. You'll need to keep the stakeholders and sponsors informed regularly of your progress. You'll need to communicate your timeline and expectations to the business units and departments your project will affect. And you need to communicate with your team on a regular basis to make sure they stay on track. Your team should be completely aware of your project plan, key deliverables, project milestones, and timelines. Keep your stakeholders and sponsors up to date as often as they require. You want to make sure you are aware of potential problems before get out of hand. Make sure your team knows that they can come to you with bad news. Make sure your sponsors and stakeholders hear the bad news from you first before it gets distorted and exaggerated by someone else.

Step 10: Establish clear metrics

You can't tell if a project is failing or if performance is improving if you don't set clear goals and have objective measurements. Know the actual numbers and the productivity of every member of your team. Track failures and problems in a database. Provide feedback, set expectations, measure improvements, and look for ways to build on success.

Step 11: Keep your deliverables in mind

If you miss some of your deliverables and project milestones, your sponsors and stakeholders may still deem your project a failure even if it is 90% complete. Always keep your project deliverables in front of you as you proceed, and get your sponsors and stakeholders to sign off on each one as you complete them.

Step 12: Know when to ask for help

If your project is failing, don't wait until it is sunk before asking for assistance. Be upfront with your managers, sponsors, or stakeholders if your overwhelmed, don't have the resources you need, or if you're just not up to the challenge. There is a difference between missing goals and deadlines and allowing a project to spiral out of control and become an expensive disaster.
ACE Project Management Software

ec-bp.com The Forum for Supply Chain Integration

ec-bp was established in 2005 as the advocate for lowering the barriers to the adoption of EDI, and our email newsletter has been published every month since that time. Our focus has expanded beyond EDI to encompas the full gamut of supply chain practices and technologies. In addition, our readership has grown to become the largest of any similarly focused publication, and has expanded to include more than 90,000 professionals involved in nearly every aspect of the supply chain.

Today’s supply chain is more than simple transport of EDI documents. The complexity of maintaining compliance with trading partners, managing the ever increasing amount of data, and analyzing that data to drive constant improvement in processes and service take supply chain professionals far beyond the basics of mapping EDI documents.
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 kenkinlock@gmail.com
affiliate_link 1EDISOURCE: Your source for everything EDI
1EDISource provides unparalleled EDI solutions for businesses of all sizes. Get help with EDI implementation, management, integration and more with our software
Schedule a demo from 1EDISource

Find out about liberty and Fair Promise

Cloud and EDI – The Ideal IT Mélange

Yes, cloud computing is a great “mélange” (mix) with EDI;

We know what EDI is, so what is ”cloud computing”?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Cloud computing is Web-based processing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices (such as smart phones) on demand over the Internet”.

WOW! An on-demand, cloud computing model for EDI/B2B, removes the limitations of IT budgets, IT staffing, EDI expertise and EDI systems. It is a pay-as-you-need-it concept. It takes the system from the in-house business and makes it just a hook-up, not another IT project.

The term "cloud" is used as a “symbol” for the Internet. You remember the “cloud” drawing used to represent the Internet in computer network diagrams? Cloud computing providers deliver common business applications online that are accessed from another Web service or software like a Web browser, while the software and data are stored on servers.

Cloud computing becomes important when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT's existing capabilities.

See the full article on Cloud Computing

See my other blogs

See other blogs about EDI
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What is EDI? - A Definition and a History

Your first thought might be: “I know already or I wouldn't be reading this publication”. Yes, we will give you the “schoolbook” definition. We will even tell you a brief history of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), but our real purpose is to give you the Year 2013 definition of EDI; and back it up with an expert opinion.Developed in the United States in the mid-1960s, the idea of what became known as EDI today originated with a group of railroad companies.
Read more
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Contingent Workers

We used to call them “temps”. Some were remote workers. They didn't usually have very glamorous jobs. They used to do things like maintain “legacy” systems. All this is changing; and it is being pushed by both the companies and the workers.

There are a lot of reasons this is happening. From the contingent workers side, they like the life style. They want to be able to balance work with the rest of their lives. They feel they can better manage their careers by choosing what skill sets they develop. They do not want to “go stale” by staying too long in a “critical” (to the employer) job and ending up with no other skills. Then who is the first to go if this critical job suddenly gets replaced by a new process or technology?

Yes, the contingent worker concept is more popular now because in many cases it is involuntary: a lot of good people cannot find full-time employment. BUT, the fascinating thing is many people are choosing it over traditional employment. A lot of contingent workers “got soured” by bad corporate experiences.

Read more about Contingent Workers


A new term is appearing in the supply chain arena: "Supply Chain Control Tower". Just as an airport control tower coordinates airplanes landing and taking off, a Supply Chain Control Tower coordinates inbound and outbound distribution flows. Sure sounds more professional than a "dashboard". It is all about "knowledge". Air controllers get information on weather, speed, direction, and altitude of aircraft and use that knowledge to keep their air space safe. Companies must know what is happening with their supply chains so they can prevent disasters too. They need to be able to do "what-if" analysis and work their way around events that will cause disruption and risks to the supply chain.
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Golf Courses on Google Earth
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3 Way Matching

I learned about the three-way match way before I ever heard about EDI. It was done in a large office that had many, many clerks with big stacks of paper all over their desks. I first heard of EDI when I was in Finance and got put on a team to study what we could do with EDI. You guessed right if you said our first and most important project should be the three-way match.

What is the three-way match (sometimes called three-way correlation)? For an expert accounting definition, I turned to the Accounting Coach for an explanation:

In accounting, the three-way match refers to a procedure used when processing an invoice received from a vendor or supplier. The purpose of the three-way match is to avoid paying incorrect and perhaps fraudulent invoices.

Three-way refers to the three documents involved:

1. Vendor's invoice which was received and will become part of an organization's accounts payable if approved.

2. Purchase order that was prepared by the organization.

3. Receiving report that was prepared by the organization.

Read more about 3 Way Matching

Deming's 14 Points and the Supply Chain

Quality pioneer W. Edward Deming is best known for the improvements he made in the post World War 2 Japan, but he also worked with many American companies. In his book: "Out of the Crisis", Dr. W. Edwards Deming shows 14 steps toward an improved management. It is not easy in the American Culture to establish such changes. Perhaps that barrier is keeping the American Industry from achieving as impressive results as the ones reached by the Japanese. While he wrote primarily for the “four walls” of traditional manufacturing, his 14 points apply to the extended supply chains that now exist.

Let's take a look at his 14 Points and see how they apply to the Extended Supply Chain:
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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.
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See Penney Vanderbilt BLOG about Golf and Vacations, especially on the French Riviera
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EDI Tool Box What is EDI?
EDI Mapping
Blogs about EDI and eCommerce
Financial EDI
EDI with the Government
Electronic Commerce Communications Providers
EDI and EC Vendors
EDI Project Management
Transportation EDI
History of EDI
Unique Global Identity for EDI Messages
Who wrote all this good stuff?

Have you heard about WAZZ UB


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Nowadays, you have to click and scroll and waste a lot of time to find what you are really looking for. The big search engines, communities and email services collect your data to serve you with tons of unwanted advertising and to sell your data. Your mailbox is full of spam and spyware/malware is always around the corner.

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