As I sit at my desk for the last time this year ending a very busy year I think back to the late 1980s when I first got into EDI. I had gotten a taste of programming in communications, connecting computers to Telex machines, and companies were clamoring for technicians who could figure out Bisync modems. Walmart was requiring all suppliers to use them to receive orders and send invoices by EDI into the Walmart mainframes.
I guess that’s what really got things rolling for EDI which is still going strong today, thirty years later. Who knew? I was able to figure out the ‘3780’ coding used to get those modems to sing and saw my first EDI 850 PO with fields of data and asterisks of field delimiters. Outside of expanding in every which way to more documents and industries, it’s exciting to see just how interconnected EDI is today with every industry, all over the world.
We’re fortunate to have a well-known credit card reader company as a customer mapping EDI from their retail customers into their ERP system. Right now I’m integrating their systems with who else but Amazon (hey, aren’t they into web-services also?), doing the mapping and online document certification processes. It can be tedious ensuring everything is correct, and getting the 3PL (Third Party Logistics) company’s sample to speak to Amazon, so I take a break and walk down to the Blue Bottle coffee shop a block away to get an afternoon latte. Note to self – are they doing EDI?
That’s when the barista swipes my card and I realize it’s on my customer’s machine, processing my transaction. Can’t get away for a moment, some break. ;)
In our online, interconnected world, EDI has really taken a place at the table of our daily lives.
Happy new year to all…here's to a prosperous 2018!
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