If you’re a consultant who works with supply chain issues, it’s likely that you often have your hands in EDI-related projects. Even with the move to XML, countless businesses still use Electronic Data Interchange to handle transactions.

Earlier this year, for example, we ran the results of a weekly Quick Poll showing that 20 percent of the respondents used EDI in their e-commerce applications, and 27 percent used both EDI and XML, as shown in Figure A.


Figure A

With this situation in mind, the IT Consultant Republic has recently published a three-part series on EDI best practices. Written by IT consultant Scott Robinson, a frequent TechRepublic contributor, these articles detail a case study. Here’s a look at each article:

  • “EDI can’t ignore supply-chain relationships”—When the grocery industry sought to use EDI to better communicate pricing and promotional information, inherent weaknesses among manufacturers, retailers, sales reps, and brokers became apparent.
  • “Reductive design facilitates EDI partnerships”—As part of the Universal Character Set II initiative, which was intended to increase automation in pricing and promotional communications in the grocery industry, three EDI documents were proposed. Choosing the one that would work best meant eliminating redundancy and understanding the needs of the supply chain partners.
  • “Wise partner politics in EDI”—Consultants who help clients implement EDI solutions already know how complicated such projects can be. Consider the six tips here when working with your EDI clients and their supply chain partners.

Are you working with EDI?

What issues are you facing in relation to EDI? Tell us about them, and we’ll work to feature your issues in upcoming articles.