What is EDI

 What is EDI?

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is a set of definitions that determine how computers can exchange documents electronically without the need to have printed copies of such documents. The goal is to make the exchange of information more efficient, less prone to error and minimize human interaction. In a nutshell, EDI replaces the faxing and mailing of paper documents such as purchase orders, sales orders, shipping confirmation, invoices, medical documents, etc.

EDI documents use specific formats based on widely accepted standards. However, there is flexibility in the standards and each company can use this flexibility in a unique way to fit their business needs.

EDI is applicable to a wide range of businesses, large businesses use it because it saves them money and some small businesses have no choice but to use it because larger trading partners require it. In some cases a business is forced to pay a processing fee if they insist on not using EDI.

A typical EDI process goes like this:

A purchase order is entered in a buyer’s computer, the order gets translated into an EDI document called an 850 (purchased order). The document gets transmitted electronically to the supplier.

The supplier’s computer receives the document, processes it and converts it into a Sales Order.

If everything is correct and the merchandize is in stock, the order gets sent to the warehouse, it gets picked and made ready for shipping. The warehouse personnel create a shipping record and the computer system creates an Advanced Shipping Notification (ASN) which is known as form 856.

 Once the merchandize leaves the seller’s facility, the system automatically produces an invoice, commonly known as form 810 which is then transmitted electronically via EDI, the invoice is received by the purchaser’s computer system and the cycle is completed.

Contrary to widespread belief, EDI is not very expensive to implement; there are many ways to comply with EDI requirements that do not entail a large investment in computer resources, at CompTech Westwe specialize in helping companies setup EDI in the most efficient and cost effective way.

To wire or not…. that is a good question

We often get asked whether to install “hard-wired” network cabling or setup a wireless network. The short answer in my opinion is hard-wired is always better. Please keep in mind that I am an old technician from the pre-dinosaur computer era, wireless networking has come a long way in recent years; in the early days wireless was slow and prone to interference which led to random disconnections and many headaches such as data corruption.

Fast forward a few years, wireless today is very reliable and fairly fast. If your network is small, let’s say less than 5 computers, in a small area with not too many walls in between the router and the computers, wireless is a very viable inexpensive option. However if hard-wiring the office space is feasible, I would always go with the hard-wired option; other than New York mice that like to eat network cabling instead of good cheese (I am serious) your network will be more reliable.

Regardless of which option you go with, you should have a wireless component in your network, laptops and other devices such as smart phones, tablets, etc. will benefit from having access to the Internet through your wireless router.

Good day.





Google Chrome to get a face lift

The Google Chrome team threw Web developers for a loop in announcing it is dumping WebKit in favor of a new browser engine dubbed Blink. The announcement came in near lockstep with Mozilla’s declaration that it had teamed up with Samsung to create a new browser engine called Servo, built on Rust. Opera, meanwhile, announced it too would shift to Blink (rather than WebKit).

Read more here InfoWorld Tech Watch