EDI Integration without an ERP System – A Cool Solution to Manage Volumes of EDI Data

We recently completed an EDI integration project using our TRG EDI Connector software which normally wouldn’t be a big deal as we do many implementations each year.

This one was different, however, as the client didn’t have a backend ERP system for us to work our integration magic.

The big problem for our client, as it is for many who receive volumes of EDI data, was how to manage production schedules that have continual updates/changes without doing it all manually. The client uses the Athena web portal to access their EDI and currently prints it all out and manually updates a master spreadsheet once/week. It’s a tedious process, taking hours per week of non-value-added time.   With this process, there also was no easy way to identify changes being made by their customer. They were juggling data for around 100 parts shipping to numerous locations, each with many weeks worth of requirements.

After discussions and some research, we designed a solution using our TRG EDI Connector software as the EDI “engine” for crunching all of the EDI data into the formats they needed for their analysis. The Athena web portal has an option to save the EDI data so our client just logs on and saves any new EDI schedules onto their local PC in a location where the TRG EDI Connector picks it up automatically and processes it.

The end result is that, at any time, they can run 2 reports that were customized for them, which will reflect the most current data from their customer:

  • The first report is a Net Change report much like the Net Change report in our standard TRG EDI Connector software, however, this version can be run on-demand and can be run for selected items, locations and for X weeks out from the current date.
  • The second report is an Excel-friendly report that is used to populate the current Excel master spreadsheet that they use – in addition to the information they were manually keying in before, they also get an indicator for each release if a change has been made to the release since the last time the part was updated (and what type of change was made).

This process, for which I give them a lot of credit for working with us on a creative solution, should significantly reduce the time they spend each week just getting their production data ready to review and should allow them to spend more time managing their business.

This is a great example of a business that was able to turn EDI into a strategic advantage instead of being overwhelmed and buried by mountains of EDI data.