CollaborationWe're starting to see year end results from 2011. Many look promising but others still show struggles. It seems, from  talking with Retailers and Grocers, that they plan to continue implementing the strategies they started mid-2011. As companies continue to look at ways to improve operations to offset lower sales, an area of growing interest is improved partner collaboration. What does that actually mean to collaborate?

loading-docksOver the last several months I've noticed a growing interest in more partners connecting to Grocery Retailers than I have in the past, specifically around NEX/DEX. I'm not sure if these are new partners or if Grocery Retailers are now looking to expand their connections for DSD (Direct Store Delivery) orders through electronic trading but it seems like a good time to educate you on this system. ways that trading can be done, and alternatives to NEX.

Great_integration-thumbOk, before I go anywhere with this post I will admit the title is a bit corny. All I ask is to grant me a little leniency with the obvious cheese simply because it hit me like a “eureka” moment and there was no way I could pass up the opportunity.  Now that the pink elephant has been addressed, I can get into one of the topics that I am most passionate about within the EDI industry – integration of EDI into an organization’s ERP system. In order to truly reap the benefits of EDI, integration is not an option but rather a necessity. Any other configuration relegates an EDI relationship to not much more than an email or fax machine which is in direct opposition to the core purpose of EDI.

adapterWhen Scott gave us a heads-up about this month’s topic- projects involving the connection of EDI translators to ERP systems, I thought I’d have a lot to contribute. However, as I thought about it, I realized there are several variations of that type of project, and that would limit my input since I hadn’t experienced all of them. I can make some generalizations, though based on what we went through.

erp_bigWhat would happen if a mid-size company replaced its ERP system from one brand to another? What are the effects on the EDI system? Yes it does happen, and integration never seems to be a “natural” where EDI and ERP fit together like they had the same mother! SAP IDOC comes the closest unless you find the right “mid-ware”.