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How to best utilize edi translation software

Learn how to perfect make the most of edi translation instrument

EDI remains the de-facto standard for B2B data exchanges, no matter the industry. Within today’s ecosystem-driven business environment, companies need the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently with their trading partners, customers, suppliers, and vendors. But traditional EDI methods are no longer an ideal way to keep up with the pace of change.

Companies need EDI platforms that include translation that can accept and transform EDI (not to mention other formats, including XML and flat files) before moving that data to other systems and applications. A central integration platform provides that flexibility. In 2021, it’s simply the cost of doing business, and maintaining those relationships is crucial to a thriving ecosystem.

What is an EDI Translator?

In the simplest form, an EDI translator is software that processes EDI data to and from a format that is compatible with specific software to regulated EDI formats that are known as EDI standards. An EDI translator allows companies to take one document that was customized in-house and convert it to an EDI standard to then send to another business who will convert the EDI standard into the format that is necessary for their enterprise.

The process for EDI translation is generally as follows:

  • Extract data from the original software to conduct an EDI conversion
  • Create an outbound EDI message
  • Format the message to the proper EDI standard
  • The EDI transaction is sent to the trading partner (receiver)

Below, you can see EDI transactions being translated from internal formats to EDI transactions:

Benefits of Using EDI Translation Software

There are many different styles and formats an EDI translator can come in – whether you assign a developer to create one for you or purchase one through a vendor. No matter the operating system, there will be an EDI system translator available to meet an enterprise’s needs. There are many benefits that organizations receive when using an EDI translator. Those include:

1. Simplicity

Those companies without a proper EDI translator in place often find that it is quite complex to conduct accurate and timely data exchanges with many companies. This is especially true for companies in different countries and industries, which is why EDI’s simplicity and ability to convert data from different customized formats to standardized formats is so critical.

2. Reduced Costs

There are many ways that EDI capability can lead to reduced overhead and cost savings that benefit an enterprise. Using EDI reduces data errors which often lead to chargebacks, a fee that a supplier receives from a customer for common manual mistakes, such as late or partial shipments. EDI visibility also drastically quickens the time it takes for order-to-shipment.

3. Speed

Enterprises cannot afford to sit around and wait for transactions to complete for long periods of time. That’s perhaps the single biggest benefit to EDI and EDI providers that have translation software built into their platform: Enterprises can cut processing time through automation and speed up business cycles. The difference can often be drastic; a transaction that ordinarily took as long as days or weeks is reduced to a matter of minutes.

4. Security

Today’s modern EDI software is designed to secure an enterprise by limiting access to those users who are actually authorized and equipped with archive tracking and audit trail capabilities. There are also protocols in place for companies to securely transfer data between other companies that are set to maintain EDI compliance and standards across multiple industries and countries.

How to Get Started

So, if EDI integration is so critical to meeting customer demands, improving employee efficiency, and streamlining the delivery of goods and services, why wouldn’t an enterprise use it? And how is a business supposed to decide which integration solution is the right fit for its needs?

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