EDI for logistics operators: A solution adapted to Global Trade

EDI for Logistics Operators

In countries where economically unstable conditions exist, exports are a way of escape and opportunity for many companies that manage to maintain active businesses and sometimes even allow them to grow. However, in order to export goods it is sometimes necessary to adapt to and prepare necessary logistical and communication flows. For companies that export large volumes of products, the most important challenges to adapt to are those posed by the international market.

Participating in logistics at the international level requires more complex processes, specialized software, facilities and transportation. It is difficult for companies to manage all of these processes. That’s why they have the support of a logistics operator. The logistics operator is in charge of designing and implementing the processes of one or various stages of the supply chain.

One of the challenges logistics operators face is speeding up the exchange of information among supply chain actors. For this reason, EDI has become a standardized and sectorial solution, which allows companies to have automated and universal systems for exchanging information. Logistics operators that must send and receive information instantly with a multitude of collaborators from all over the world find EDI to be a great ally that allows them to face any technological barrier, and it also makes companies more competitive.

How to adapt to EDI flows globally?

It should be noted that EDI’s expansion varies from region to region. In the United States and Europe, it is widespread and in continuous demand while in regions like Latin America and Asia, its use is growing little by little since large multinationals are starting to demand it from their suppliers.

Logistics operators must have an EDI service provider capable of adapting to any requirement and need on a global level.

EDICOM’s platform meets these four requirements that guarantee interoperability with any global partner:

  • Multi-standard solution. In the United States, the main standard is X12 and in Europe it’s EDIFACT. However, some standards are specific to some sectors such as ODETTE for the automotive sector. It is important that the platform have a mapping module capable of transforming any structure to the standard language required by the partner.
  • Data integration. EDICOM’s solution integrates with the ERP or internal management system of the company. In this way it becomes possible to maintain internal work processes.
  • Secure connectivity. Commercial communications contain confidential information, and it’s important to ensure that this information reaches the recipient safely. That’s why it’s convenient to use a value added communication network that guarantees security and confidentiality.
  • Global trade opens the door to increasing business with multiple countries and regions. Our solution will adapt to the requirements of any region, not only at the EDI level but also through other value added B2B solutions such as electronic invoicing platforms.

EDI solutions designed by EDICOM, the global leader in electronic data interchange, guarantee connectivity with any partner or business, regardless of the standard utilized or communication process used. To find out more about them, consult our team of experts through the contact form.

The digital transformation of warehouse logistics: EDI and AS2 Connections

almacenes logísticos

Digital society demands more and more immediacy, product availability and shorter delivery times.  For this to happen, supply processes and the movement of goods in business logistics must be optimized with standardized and electronic models that allow them to connect and send commercial information in seconds to any trade partner in the world.

In the logistics chain, warehouses play a fundamental role, facing the challenge of finding the balance between distribution and supply. All the stages of the logistics chain should have perfect communication and be connected for optimum warehouse management and control of merchandise movement.

For instant communication between warehouses and suppliers and distributors, there is an increasing demand to use EDI technology in order to save time, reduce costs, and increase security and traceability. Through standardized and automatic communication, warehouses are able to interchange a multitude of commercial documents, providing a large amount of information to the rest of the entities in the supply chain. For example, sales reports, stock reports, shipping notices, shipping instructions, etc. Using these messages automates the supply chain’s communication flow and decreases the amount of errors.

In addition to establishing these electronic communication flows in the sector, customers demand that AS2 servers make the connections. Through this standard of communication one can exchange all types of documents in a secure way using https protocol with encryption and digital signatures. This ensures the integrity, privacy and authentication of the data. A fundamental requirement of these connections is that both the sending and receiving of messages must occur between AS2 servers. For this reason, most companies decide to outsource the service to a provider like EDICOM that is always ready to send or receive any document. This means that with a specialized solution it is no longer necessary for members in a business relationship be connected at the same time to exchange data. This makes it possible to maximize the advantages of this system.

The final objective is to provide the best service to consumers, but for logistic warehouses this involves obtaining a work plan that meets delivery times and conditions. Both requirements can be achieved simply and automatically using EDI processes that respond to the needs of each entity in the supply chain.

How can you start using EDI in this sector?

EDICOM has developed different technological solutions designed for logistics such as the B2B communications infrastructure  EDICOMNet, the VMI tool or Vendor Management Inventory and the possibility of exchanging communications through AS2 servers with any partner that requires it. Thanks to them, the large companies in this sector at the international level have simplified and improved their day-to-day management.

Seaborne exporters must check the weight of containers from July 1

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“The SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement” document drafted by the World Shipping Council includes the weight checking requirements for export containers.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved amendments to the SOLAS convention on Safety of Life at Sea, including the mandatory requirement to check the weight of each container to be exported before loading it onto their vessel.

This is a legally binding requirement in force as of July 2016, affecting all parties involved in international container transport in the European Union, including carriers, loaders, parcel companies and shipping lines.

This new requirement calls for all parties affected to adopt measures to check the gross container mass with the weight of the full container, or from the weight of all packages and cargo items. Either way, they must accredit the use of a certified method validated by the competent authority of the country in which the cargo stowage was completed.

Notification of this new requirement may be done using the “VERMAS” (Verified Gross Mass) message, whose guide is available for issuing in EDIFACT and XML format.

At EDICOM we can help you integrate this new data schema for declaring the gross mass of export containers electronically.

Contact your sales consultant for more information on this new requirement.

We will be glad to take care of you.

Partner relationship key to supply management

Every company aims to provide an efficient response to consumers, with good service and a wide range of products. However, sometimes this gives rise to surpluses or, on the contrary, a shortfall of goods, which means making the customer wait. Both situations entail high economic costs for businesses. This makes accurate planning crucial in each stage of the supply chain, calling for fluid communication between trading partners.

Nowadays, CRP/VMI (Continuous Replenishment Planning/Vendor Managed Inventory) technology helps achieve this total synchronization between supply and demand throughout the entire supply chain. To do so, it not only applies electronic data interchange, but also submits all the information shared between the parties to complex mathematical analyses. This way, it manages to accurately estimate demand in line with real needs. In general, we can talk about three key factors to improve relations between partners and, consequently, supply management through CRP/VMI technology:

  • Implementing EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), which enables the different profiles to exchange messages in standardized format, securely and integrated with the information from the ERP.
  • The use of specific tools to analyse and process all data exchanged between the parties by programming mathematical algorithms that customize the demand forecast .
  • Automatically transferring requests, shipping notices, despatch advices and purchase orders to increase efficiency and so meet deadlines.

What are the outcomes?

Adopting a CRP/VMI system based on these three cornerstones means saving on economic costs and more efficient service. Suppliers know in advance what the forecast demand is and can suitably adjust their production plans and delivery schedules. This way, they can optimize available resources and cut down the number of incidents with orders.

In turn, distributors and retailers can maintain optimum stock levels, something particularly important in the case of perishable goods. As a result, wastage is avoided and it is possible to guarantee on-time delivery.

If you have any questions about this supply management system and its benefits, you can check out the FAQs here.

Which EDI message types are used in the logistics sector?

In the supply chain, fluid communication between all those involved is essential if the product is to reach the end customer in good time. However, one of the most significant parts in this process is undoubtedly the logistics. Operators and carriers have to make an extra effort to achieve an optimum exchange of information with suppliers, distributors, customs authorities, final recipients of goods, etc. And they need to do it in record time and without any errors occurring. This explains EDI technology’s high penetration in the sector.

In this post we discussed the different types of messages that make it possible to use this system in the logistics world and explained how each of them is composed.

 

  1. ORDERS

This message is issued by the client and the manufacturer is the recipient. It is used to place an order for goods.

  1. INSDES

The manufacturer issues this message to make the request to prepare a new order and sends it to the logistics operator, so that they can get ready in advance.

  1. DESADV

This is the most widely used message in the logistics sector. On one hand, it is used by logistic operators to send the despatch advice notifying the customer that the goods are ready to be shipped. On the other, the manufacturer may send it to the logistics operator to give notice of procurement in store.

  1. OSTRPT

With this message, the logistics operator reports the order status to the manufacturer. As a result, it is possible to have a real-time record of the phase the process is in and estimate times in the supply chain of products to the final customer. In other words, traceability is guaranteed.

  1. INVOIC

This designates the e-message used by the manufacturer to send the bill to the customer. Including this message in our B2B communications significantly shortens payment collection times.

  1. PRICAT

This message lets the manufacturer inform the operator of their product catalogue in real time: references, product features, logistics information … all relevant data are kept updated. This way, alignment of the master product is achieved.

  1. INVRPT

The aim of the Inventory Report is to provide the manufacturer with information on the quantity of the product in stock available from the warehouse.

  1. RECADV

Along with the DESADV message, this is one of the most widely used in this area. The logistics operator uses it to confirm to the manufacturer that the order has been received. This avoids the bill being rejected later.

The use of these messages automates communication flow in the supply chain and reduces the number of errors. In addition, transactions are optimized, thanks to the traceability provided by EDI technology and the option of implementing validation processes.

 

How can I adopt EDI in this sector?

EDICOM has developed different technological solution specifically designed for logistics, such as the EDICOMNet B2B communications infrastructure, the CRP Flow tool or the EDICOMData electronic catalogue. Thanks to these, large companies in this sector worldwide have simplified and enhanced their day-to-day management. This is the case, for example, of DHL, Logista, Grupo Carreras, FCC or Kuehne & Nagel.