Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is widely used to communicate order and invoicing information between client and suppliers. Front end implementations are required to receive and interpret EDI documents as well as to prepare information for conversion to EDI documents for transmittal back to the client/supplier. Front end implementation is also required at the supplier end to receive invoicing information and integrate it into the supplier Enterprise Resource Planing (ERP) system.
Third parties handle the document transfer of documents but typically do not handle the front end, ie. the merging of EDI information with the in-house ERP (bookkeeping) system. Some ERP systems have EDI integration included in their import process but often some modifications are required either in the EDI document or in the ERP import process to make data integration seamless. Many ERP systems do not have adequate import processes for EDI. For most of these a custom import process can be cost effectively created, it only requires access to the database tables of the ERP.
To fully realize the cost saving advantages of EDI a complete front-end integration is necessary. This is usually implemented by in-house IT staff working with experienced professionals. The result is a customized in-house solution which allows EDI to work smoothly within the ERP. Please refer to the case story to understand how a real life client dealt with the process.