The Aurora EDI Alliance Press ~ Volume 3 Issue 1 ~ March 3, 2014

Welcome Note

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2014. In case this is your first newsletter, if you'd like to read previous issues, you can find them on our website here.  The Aurora EDI Alliance Press is a quarterly newsletter dedicated to current issues, events, education and newsworthy items surrounding both EDI technology and the Aurora EDI Alliance. We would welcome any feedback from our readers on how to improve it.  The Aurora EDI Alliance is a tightly knit group of U.S. companies and specializing in the implementation and maintenance of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in a variety of industries.  We are recognized experts in EDI, and can provide consulting, system analysis, design, development and training services as well as software implementation services.

Remittance Advice Available on Easy Trade

It has come to our attention that many of our Easy Trade customers do not realize that you can receive the Remittance Advice (EDI 820) document from CVS Caremark.  This document is sent to you in the same convenient human readable format that other Easy Trade documents are sent.  The Remittance Advice will let you know that CVS Caremark has paid your invoice and will be invaluble to your accounting processes.  Please contact us if you are a domestic supplier and would like to receive this document.  Here is what this document looks like:

Payer:  CVS CVS/PHARMACY 00123456                  Payee:  Any Products Inc.


Payment Method:  CHK     ACH Number:  12345

ACH Date:  2/11/2014             Payment Amount:  $294.84

Associated Invoices:


Invoice Number:  2014-123    Invoice Date:  01/10/2014

Net Amount:  $294.84            PO Vendor Number:  12345

Gross Amount:  $294.84        Store Number:  1234


1 line item 

Total Amount:  $ 294.84

Customer Spotlight

Refresh2Go®, based in Chicago, IL was established in response to the consumer demand for safer, great-tasting water, anytime, anywhere.  Refresh2Go®'s flagship product is a reusable bottle that filters tap water from any drinking fountain or faucet. It filters the water as you drink, resulting in great tasting water whenever and wherever you need it.  A women owned, family company with more than 12 years of experience in the water filtration business, Refresh2Go® is committed to providing consumers with high quality on-the-go filtration products at an affordable price.  Their products are tested and certified by the Water Quality Association to ensure safety and performance.  For more information, check out their website.  Also feel free to find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Who is the Aurora EDI Alliance?

For the next few newsletters, we will be doing short bios on each member of the Alliance.  For this one, we are featuring David McAlister, President of McAna EDI.

describe the image 

David McAlister of McAna EDI never planned to be an EDI integration specialist.  In high school he set out to be a lawyer.  As a member of his high school Explorer's group, he had the opportunity to see Prosecutor Steve Goldsmith speak.  David asked Mr. Goldsmith what degree to earn before law school and Goldsmith advised him to go after the toughest degree available, which was computer science.  David had to take one full year of college math courses as a prerequisite for the computer course he wanted AND had to retake his first programming class.  

By his junior year of college, the early 80s recession was here and David realized he would need some experience to get his foot in the door so he took a manufacturing job at Boehringer Mannhiem.  He proceeded to work his way through different positions to get into the computer department.  

In the process of gaining experience, he spent so much time at the office, he realized he wanted to be his own boss and work from home.  David's entrepreneurial spirit took over and since 1995 he has provided EDI and integration solutions in a variety of industries including healthcare, automotive, retail, transportation, customs brokerage and electric deregulation.  If you ask David what he has a knack for, he will tell you problem solving and figuring things out.  This is why data integration is such a good fit for him as it's largely about problem solving.    

When he is not constructing integration solutions for his clients, David enjoys gardening and spending time with his wife and their Labradoodle, Able. His wife, he says, is his favorite subject. His typical Sunday includes spending time in his garden, walking Able with his wife and enjoying a nice dinner. He still resides in the Indianapolis area, where he grew up.  Another activity he is fond of is volunteering his time with New Castle Skate Park LLC, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to build and maintain a quality skate park in New Castle, IN.

Aurora EDI Alliance Now Offering Data Quality Management Services

The Aurora EDI Alliance has always tried to maintain a well-rounded portfolio of products and solutions.  So when Melissa Data, a data quality management firm out of Southern California, approached us about becoming a partner, we of course said yes.  Since 1985, Melissa Data has been a leading provider of data quality and address management solutions. Melissa Data’s data quality software, Cloud services and data integration components verify, standardize, consolidate, enhance and update U.S., Canadian, and global contact data, including addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for improved communications and ROI. More than 5,000 companies rely on Melissa Data to gain and maintain a single, accurate and trusted view of critical information assets.  If you would like more information about what Melissa Data's products can do for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Blog Highlight:  EDI and Data Integration Resolutions for 2014

It is a new year and as usual there are probably plenty of the things that you had to put off last year to due to budget constraints, time constraints or just plain old procrastination.  We thought we'd start off this year with a list of EDI and data integration projects to get accomplished in 2014.

1. Upgrade that Software -  Two big reasons why it's important to upgrade your software are support and evolving technology.  With respect to more.

Liaison Technologies Unveils Community Manager

Supplier enablement just got a heck of a lot more fun with the unveiling of Liaison Technologies’ Community Manager.  Liaison Technologies, always on the cutting edge of integration and supply chain solutions, has created a tool for hubs to manage their community from one convenient place.  Community Manager uses a Software as a Service (SaaS) approach to allow hubs to monitor and manage their customer/supplier enablement programs.  For the spokes, Liaison's Athena solution is provided as a perfect solution for the smallest companies which would not otherwise pursue an EDI connection to the hub.  Athena can be accessed from any device with an internet browser, including mobile devices.  Modeled after a basic email interface, Athena makes the viewing, creation and exchange of EDI documents virtually effortless.  For the hubs, Community Manager makes the process of outreach, onboarding, data validation, and monitoring much more fluid. Supplier enablement managers can monitor if a spoke is receiving and viewing received transactions without a phone call or e-mail.  One of the most useful features is that you have the authority to move your suppliers from test to production status right within Community Manager.  AND - with a commitment to add a minimum number of suppliers within the first year, this tool comes at no additional cost to the hub!  The maps will need to be written of course, but this is a minimal investment for the impact of having this kind of visibility into your global trading partner community.  As a pair working for you, Community Manager and Athena can help you accomplish that goal.  If you would like to see a demo of either Athena or Community Manager, please do not hesitate to contact us

Technical Terminology Time

Data Silo - This is a term we are hearing more and more within the supply chain and data integration industries.  A data silo is a collection of data that is neither being used nor looked at in meaningfull ways.  If you think of a grain silo, one of these tall cyllindrical structures you see on farms, they are isolated.  The same can be said of "siloed data," as the data is isolated and cannot communicate with other systems in the organization.  In an age where data and how you use it can make or break your business, data silos are not a good thing.  

Spring Fun Facts

 describe the image

- The sun will pass directly over your head if you stand on the equator on the first day of spring.
- An area along the California and Oregon border produces 95% of the world's Easter Lillies.  
- Children actually grow faster during the springtime months.
- Approximately 1,800 bird species migrate south for the winter and return home in the spring to have their babies.