Photo appears courtesy of Mike Mozart. This week’s blog was written by Roger Curtis. Roger is a founding member of the Aurora EDI Alliance and the owner/president of Sitcur: E-Business Solutions with Integrity. Sitcur, located in Los Angeles, has been supporting companies who do EDI with their major customers and trading partners for 25+ years.
The EDI software installed routinely processes a majority of an organization’s business with their customers so it has to run reliably day in and day out as well as be easy to maintain. One of our oldest customers, Nissin International Transport, has been using EDI since 1997 to exchange a variety of freight, invoice and customs documents with customers such as The Gap, Starbucks and Sharp Electronics. Nissin is a major Oracle shop with their core servers being HP UNIX based.
Nissin started out with the old Inovis UNIX EDI translator which originally came from Premenos. They were also using the GEIS (predecessor to GXS and Open Text) VAN. The original implementation was integrated with an Oracle application we custom developed for them to process exports for The Gap. It all worked well for about seven years, but support for the EDI software ended when the product was ‘sunsetted’ (cancelled), and the VAN charges were going through the roof. At the same time Nissin’s requirements were increasing with a need to support more complex translations, XML document transfer and mapping, and ultimately web services. Document maps needed to be more tightly integrated into the complex Oracle and SQL databases running on their servers. In order to help with the changing needs of Nissin and their software, we recommended Softshare’s, now Liaison Technologies', Delta translation and ECS (e-commerce server) software package and VAN service. From the beginning the VAN service alone was able to reduce their transaction costs by about 2/3.
The Delta mapping and translation software has powerful capabilities to query and integrate with just about any database system out there. Even the most complex data manipulation can be handled by Delta. With Delta, you can easily develop maps, query Oracle for any necessary values or conversions, and reliably retrieve or post transactions. Easier maps are developed by in-house staff, while we handle more complex maps working closely with their staff. ECS handles all communications including FTP, AS2, HTTP Post, and file transfer over their network. ECS schedules jobs, passes data to the appropriate maps, e-mails reports and notifications as well as displays all data in the Data Administrator dashboard with automatic archiving and purging.
Nissin recently upgraded to the latest version of the software on new servers to enable more capacity and the ability to take advantage of recently added features such as Web Services. Daily processing is largely hands-off which makes themexponentially more efficient than they were prior to implementing Delta/ECS, and also makes them a very happy client. Click below to see an infographic on how this solution was constructed.
Another great example of a client who successfully switched to Liaison’s Delta/ECS package is DHX (Dependable Hawaiian Express). DHX was originally using the Sterling Gentran Director Desktop product for low scale EDI processing with GE Light Bulbs and some other freight carriers. The process was very cumbersome and time consuming to process the EDI. In 2004 DHX won the business to act as a consolidation facility near the Long Beach port to stock the seven Home Depot stores on the Hawaiian Islands. As a requirement to meet the Home Depot contract they had to implement Oracle J.D. Edwards to manage the shipments and to give Home Depot visibility of the shipments. DHX selected Liaison Delta and ECS to load all of the Home Depot EDI 850 POs into the J.D Edwards, to send the EDI ASN 856 advance ship notices to the stores so they would know what’s coming their way, and to invoice Home Depot with EDI 210 freight invoices. Over 30,000 documents per month were processed. Individual order packages came into the warehouse, were containerized and shipped out at the port to the individual stores. Click below to see an infographic on how this solution was constructed.
These examples are the exact scenarios in which switching to a different EDI package was the right move for an organization. For companies who are using older, unsupported (or under-supported) systems, it is imperative to find a software package that is robust, sophisticated and flexible enough to handle any requirement that comes their way. In both of these cases, Liaison’s Delta/ECS package was the perfect fit for the changing requirements of our two clients. In the current business climate, change is really the only constant and your software must be able to keep up.
Click below to for a case study on how Wayfair, a huge home furnishings and decor company, used Delta/ECS to manage their growing EDI operations.