Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the cornerstone of seamless exchange of business data between brands and their trading partners, facilitating faster, more accurate, and efficient communications. But the complexity of EDI can sometimes lead to errors that disrupt these processes. 

Here are the most common EDI errors and how to avoid them.

1. Non-Compliant Data

Problem: One of the most frequent issues in EDI transactions is non-compliant data. This occurs when the data sent does not meet the required standards or specifications agreed upon between trading partners. These errors can result in transaction rejections, processing delays, and the dreaded chargeback.

Solution: To avoid non-compliant data issues, use an EDI provider equipped with robust rules and mapping capabilities. A sophisticated EDI solution should be able to detect preventable data errors before they become a problem while validating data against EDI standards and partner-specific requirements. Make sure that your EDI provider updates these rules regularly to keep up with changing standards and requirements.

2. Late EDI 856

Problem: The EDI 856, also known as the Advance Ship Notice, provides detailed information about the goods being shipped. A late 856 can result in shipment delays, inventory discrepancies and strained relationships with trading partners.

Solution: Timeliness is key in EDI transactions. Following best practices, brands should send the 856 transaction to the trading partner on the same day as the shipment. This not only helps maintain data accuracy but also ensures that the recipient has all the necessary information to process the incoming goods efficiently. Automating the process of sending 856 transactions as soon as goods leave the warehouse can significantly reduce the likelihood of late submissions.

eZCom’s award-winning EDI platform, Lingo, automates the EDI 856 so brands don’t have to worry about sending it late. 

3. Invoice Data Doesn’t Match Advance Ship Notice Data

Problem: Discrepancies between the Invoice (EDI 810) and the Advance Ship Notice (EDI 856) can occur when the information about the shipped goods does not match the billed items. This can lead to disputes, delayed payments and auditing issues.

Solution: Using an EDI provider that integrates the creation of invoices directly from shipment data can significantly reduce these discrepancies. This integration ensures that the invoice data directly reflects what has been shipped, maintaining consistency across documents. This minimizes the potential for errors and streamlines the billing process, making it easier for trading partners to verify and process payments.

Best Practices for Preventing EDI Errors

Beyond addressing specific common errors, adopting certain best practices can enhance the reliability and efficiency of your EDI transactions:

  • Continuous Monitoring and Reporting. Regular monitoring of EDI transactions helps brands identify and rectify errors quickly. Effective reporting tools can help pinpoint trends in errors, allowing for proactive corrective measures.
  • Partner Collaboration. Brands should work closely with their trading partners to understand their specific requirements and adjustments. Collaboration can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure that both parties are aligned in their EDI processes.Talk to your trading partners about scheduling a monthly or quarterly sync. 
  • Regular Training and Updates. EDI standards and technologies evolve. Regular training for your team on the latest EDI protocols and software updates can help prevent errors due to outdated practices.
  • Quality Assurance Testing. Brands should work with their EDI provider to implement rigorous testing of their EDI system – especially when setting up new transaction types or adding new trading partners. This testing should mimic real transaction conditions as closely as possible to catch any potential issues before going live.

EDI Errors Create Headaches… 

… But with the right tools and strategies, they’re preventable. Choosing an EDI provider that offers strong validation rules, timely data transmission capabilities, and integrations that reflect shipping realities in billing documents can make all the difference. 

If you need to streamline and automate your data – reach out and we will be happy to listen and help build the perfect solution for your brand

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