Business NetworkIoT & Supply Chain

What is the most popular EDI transaction? 

The power of EDI is clear to see

I’m often asked about the most popular EDI transaction. As OpenText™ Trading Grid is the world’s largest B2B/EDI integration platform handling over 33 billion EDI transactions every year, I contacted our engineering team to find out. The report that was provided to me, proved that visibility into transactions and the supply chain is key for our customers and the 1.1 million trading partners they transact with every day. 

Let’s start by answering the question: What is the most popular EDI transaction?

And the winner is … EDI 997

What is EDI 997?

It may not be the biggest of surprises that EDI 997 is the most popular EDI transaction. EDI 997 is also known as the Functional Acknowledgement. It’s the transaction set used by trading partners to confirm receipt of other EDI documents. For every EDI transaction sent, there’s a potential for an EDI 997 coming in response, especially true for purchase order confirmations. Value-added networks (VANs) and other B2B/EDI solutions may have EDI 997 set up as auto-response, providing an important step in ensuring that organizations maintain a good level of transaction status visibility. 

Visibility is a theme when we consider the next four top EDI transaction types as well: 

What is EDI 850?

As the second most popular EDI transaction, EDI 850 is also known as an electronic purchase order. An EDI 850 is sent to a supplier as the first step in the ordering process. It contains all the details that are relevant when placing an order for goods. 

What is EDI 810?

EDI 810 is the third most popular EDI transaction and serves as a basis for e-Invoicing that can be used across a wide range of order types. An EDI 810 invoice is sent by the seller to a buyer in place of a paper, email, or PDF invoice. 

What is EDI 856?

Next in line as one of the top most popular EDI transactions is the EDI 856, referred to as the EDI Advanced Ship Notice (ASN). The EDI 856 provides the recipient with a head’s up on their next expected shipment and sets out in detail the contents of each shipment, how items will be packed, and of course, delivery dates. 

What is EDI 214?

The EDI 214 transaction rounds off the top 5 most popular EDI transactions and provides another proof point of the importance of maintaining end-to-end visibility. The EDI 214 set represents a Transportation Carrier Shipment Status Message (TCSSM). It is typically used by transportation carriers, such as trucking companies, to a shipper or buyer to let them know the status of their shipment. 

These results show that the main use of EDI is to better enable visibility on the status of transactions. The importance of ASNs and TCSSMs show that EDI is as powerful a tool in the supply chain as it is in finance. 

The road to improved visibility 

In a previous blog, I wrote about a roundtable discussion of CIOs and the discussion around the severe challenges caused by poor visibility in delivering supply chain harmonization. I thought this time that I’d dial it back a bit and just suggest quick ways that exploiting EDI transaction types – like EDI 997 – will help with transaction and, through it, supply chain visibility. 

Here are four straightforward steps that you can take: 

Step 1 Deploy a global any-to-any B2B/EDI integration solution, such as one that uses the OpenText™ Trading Grid platform, that allows you to electronically transact the widest amount of documents with the widest amount of business partners – wherever they are. 

Step 2 Consolidate superfluous VANs and retire legacy EDI solutions into a single solution. Whether a value-added network or a more outsourced approach is preferred, OpenText has a range of B2B/EDI integration solutions for every type and size of business that uses the Trading Grid as a foundation. This allows all transaction data to be viewed from a single source while, reducing the pressure on IT resources responsible for maintaining and ensuring the security of outdated technologies.  

Step 3 Strive for 100% trading partner digitization. The biggest obstacle is finding the right digital solution to match your partners’ technical capabilities (or lack thereof). For example, for businesses willing to take first steps into the realm of EDI, you may suggest OpenText™ Freeway Cloud as a non-technical solution meant for small businesses without prior EDI knowledge. For businesses not ready to move toward EDI, you can digitize those partners’ transactions with OpenText™ Email2EDI or OpenText™ Intelligent Web Forms, instead of giving in to emails and faxes.   

Step 4 Select a solution with a best-in-class visibility tool built in, such as OpenText™ Lens. Lens provides real-time visibility and insights into transaction and supply chain performance of all transaction flows through the Trading Grid. 

With improved visibility, companies can trade more effectively and gain more performance from their supply chain. That’s the power of EDI today. 

Visit our website to learn more about the benefits of OpenText B2B and EDI connectivity solutions

J. Naomi Skinner

As Senior Manager, Product Marketing for OpenText Business Network, Naomi leads product marketing efforts for B2B integration including EDI with OpenText Trading Grid™ Messaging Service and OpenText™ Freeway. With 15 years experience in marketing across various industries, Naomi enjoys translating complex concepts into simple terms.

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