JetTruckWhen buying organizations negotiate business terms and conditions with their suppliers, one of the areas discussed is the coordination, ownership and payment of freight. There are varying types of freight terms such as Collect, Prepaid, Prepaid and Chargeback or Collect and Allowed. The Collect part of the Freight terms indicates that the buyer is responsible for the coordination and payment of the shipping charges for the merchandise. Prepaid indicates that the seller is responsible.

ad-hoc-illustrationI have been off on a logistics assignment for a few weeks without too much EDI involved. In truth, there was no EDI involved, so that got me to thinking "why not?" We are "trading" with a couple of major companies: a leading truck-by-the-day rental company and a leading temporary help agency. What were we doing? We had a contract from a hospital chain to remove old furniture and move it elsewhere. It is a temporary thing: when it is done, it is done. Nobody wants to spend time on an ad hoc project of short duration (low ROI).

logisticsIn every EDI application, knowledge of the business needs and functions is of paramount importance. If you don't understand a "purchase order" or a "load tender" or a "health care claim or encounter" you'll never be able to map the ANSI or EDIFACT EDI data format for these transactions. In my experience, logistics is the toughest because of the many, many unrelated (by ownership) parties who need to be in the loop.

logistic2Let's say we just got some good news: A client has just given us the assignment to plan a logistics system for a large food distribution contract they are bidding on. WOW! Where do we start? Lets start by planning how we are going to plan!