Al Mac had some excellent insight on how the trading partner can be your worst enemy in the EDI process, and I'll add only one thing to his remarks: Typically, EDI is driven by the larger trading partner. When General Electric says "You will use EDI" then you use EDI. When General Electric decides to use the Contact Name field to store the Purchase Order Number, you're not likely to tell them to pound salt no matter how much the urge strikes you. The number one difficulty I had with EDI was NOT setting up the translation tables (Premenos running on AS/400). The main issue was _integrating_ EDI into our daily operations. When GE sent in a PO, it had to be translated into our customer numbers, our part numbers and input into our order entry system. There's no existing function to do that in O/E, so we had to write that. GE wanted an acknowledgement, verifying quantities and prices. Another new function. GE wanted a shipping manifest. Another new function. Work payments into the picture and you can see that there are potentially quite a few places your existing system needs to expose an interface to the outside world. Unless you simply detail somebody to hand-key the stuff into the existing applications... --buck
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