Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Deringer offers full systems integration for Customs brokerage and warehousing and distribution services.
An Introduction to EDI
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the method by which Deringer can remove manual processes from any transaction, reducing labor costs and replacing them with electronic means to greatly improve efficiency and accuracy. EDI is a two-way street. We receive your data, process it, and send the appropriate acknowledgement(s) and responses to you and/or a third party (such as a government agency).
The ultimate goal of any EDI process is “lights out” processing. This refers to any integration between Deringer and our trading partners’ systems that is so well constructed that no manual intervention is required at any point from beginning to end of the transactions. Of course, this 100% integration isn’t always realistic or appropriate for all trading partners. For any partner, no matter what systems they use, EDI can provide solutions to increase efficiency and accuracy. Each keystroke and mouse click avoided is a step in the right direction.
How to Get Started
Whether you store your transactional data in Excel spreadsheets, a large-scale ERP system, or even in your own proprietary software, you are already creating files that can be readily used for EDI. If you have a way to send your files to us, be it FTP, AS2, HTTP, VAN, web, or even a simple email with an attachment, you’re in a position to start integrating your system with ours. EDI is notorious for its acronyms, so there could be a few in our capabilities list with which you’re unfamiliar. No worries. Deringer’s EDI Coordinators can answer any questions you may have. It’s also a pretty good rule of thumb that if you’ve never heard of it, it probably doesn’t apply to your particular situation. If you’re interested in starting a conversation on EDI with Deringer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work with you to find the right solution for your company.
Deringer accepts most standard file formats (X12 EDI, XML, positional, and CSV to name a few) and has a wide range of communication types available to trading partners for use. For those partners who are able to conform to them, Deringer offers format standards that greatly reduce the duration and cost of the onboarding process.
- What is EDI?
A: EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business data (e.g., Purchase Order, Invoice) between companies using networks. It replaces the faxing and mailing of paper documents. EDI documents use specific computer record formats (e.g., segments and elements) that are based on widely accepted standards. However, each company may use the flexibility allowed by the standards in a unique way that fits their business needs.
- What are the advantages of EDI?
A: Using EDI as a method of data exchange between companies represents a faster, more secure and reliable method of information exchange compared to exchanging paper documents via fax. The computer-to-computer exchange of business data through EDI is much less expensive than the manual handling of paper documents. Businesses are finding that they can reduce costs by automating B2B (business-to-business) processes with EDI. Money is saved through improving the speed and accuracy of electronic documents they exchange with their customers.
- How do we implement EDI?
A: EDI can be implemented by two parties agreeing on the data and layout that will be exchanged. Steps include set up to send and receive the agreed upon layout, testing, and then parallel processing. For more information, please contact one of our EDI Project Coordinators at 802-524-8110 or send an email to email@example.com.
- How much does EDI cost?
A: Cost depends if you are setting up an in-house EDI department or outsourcing EDI to a third-party service provider. In general, outsourcing is a better alternative if there is a lack of IT resources, EDI software, and infrastructure. However, setting up an in-house EDI department could be more cost-effective for large corporations.
- As a new trading partner, we understand that your company prefers the use of EDI to exchange shipment information. Where do we begin?
A: Deringer prefers to accept transactions via EDI because of cost and time savings, which can be passed on to clients with lower transaction costs. Once you are ready to begin your partnership with Deringer, submit the New Partner Package form for Brokerage or the New Partner Package form for Warehousing and Distribution and we will manage all requests based on business requirements. After we setup your trading profiles and establish a communication connection, we will contact your company.
- We are not EDI ready yet. What should we do?
A: If EDI is not a viable option for your company right now, other available options include eShipPartner® Invoice and customized solutions. Customers using Deringer for distribution services can enter orders through eShipPartner® Warehouse Manager.
- What communication protocols does Deringer support?
A: Deringer supports most common communication protocols: AS2 (Application Statement 2), HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol over SSL), VAN (Value Added Network), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure), SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol), and SMTP (Email).
- What is a VAN?
A: VAN stands for Value Added Network. A VAN is responsible for the secure and reliable communication of EDI documents over the networks. VAN will interconnect with your business partner’s VAN to exchange business data. Data can be tracked, resent, or deleted. Deringer uses a variety of communication methods such as VAN, FTP, AS2, and HTTP to exchange transaction data.
- What VAN do you recommend for us to exchange EDI documents with Deringer?
A: Deringer connects to Inovis VAN to exchange EDI documents with other VANs or EDI providers. We are able to exchange EDI documents directly through VANs such as Inovis, Sterling Commerce, and GXS. If you are currently using a different VAN, or your service provider uses a different VAN, you will need to request that your VAN or provider sets up an interconnection to one of these providers.
- Does Deringer support XML data? Does Deringer support Flat File data?
A: Yes, Deringer supports XML and flat file data. We accept flat file data in several formats such as Microsoft Excel CSV format, Microsoft Access format, or proprietary formats. If you are interested in using one of Deringer’s XML layouts, please contact one of the EDI Project Coordinators by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 802-524-8110.
- Does Deringer support EDIINT (EDI over the Internet - AS1 and AS2)?
A: Deringer recognizes the potential cost-savings inherent to EDIINT. In fact, our preferred communication method is through the EDIINT (AS2). We support both AS1 and AS2 standards.
- How do we test exchanging transactions with Deringer?
A: Deringer employs a strict testing regimen to ensure the EDI process is working before deploying to production. Deringer performs Unit and Integration testing before providing the business teams with transaction sets to validate the data. Once the testing is complete, it is followed by a two week parallel processing (conditional live) period. Once the parallel is satisfactory, it is ready to go live.
- Where and how do we obtain Deringer's requirements or specifications? Who should we contact regarding Deringer’s mapping requirements?
A: Please send a request for specifications or a request for Deringer’s mapping requirements to one of the EDI Project Coordinators by email at email@example.com.
- How do we begin the mapping process?
A: Deringer provides implementation guides that specify the EDI requirements and Deringer’s business requirements. These guides indicate which segments and elements are mandatory, optional, or conditional. In addition, they also specify the acceptable codelist values to send depending on the transaction type. Each guide also includes sample data for your reference. Use these implementation guides to create mapping specifications before starting the mapping process.
- Does Deringer provide mapping services if we decide to set up EDI in-house?
A: Deringer’s primary focus is to forward processed data accurately and promptly to US Customs and Border Protection, as well as its warehouse management system. Therefore, Deringer does not provide specific consulting to partners on EDI. However, Deringer can refer you to a service provider that specializes in providing support on mapping. In addition, your VAN or EDI service provider can also provide support on mapping.
- Does Deringer provide EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement or functional acknowledgements for other EDI formats?
A: Yes, Deringer is able to acknowledge all EDI documents received from partners by responding with an EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement per partner request on EDI transactions. Deringer can also send acknowledgements from other EDI formats.
- We did not receive a Functional Acknowledgement for the EDI document we sent. What should we do and who do we contact?
A: Transmission of EDI transactions will be acknowledged by an EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement. Other EDI transactions will be acknowledged with the agreed upon document. It is the sender’s responsibility to verify that Deringer has acknowledged the transmissions and has taken appropriate action if the expected acknowledgments have not been received within the time specified by both sender and receiver. Please check your EDI system, contact your EDI VAN, or provider to investigate if the EDI document was transferred to Deringer’s mailbox before contacting Deringer EDI team members.
- If we send transaction data that contains errors, how can they be corrected?
A: If the transmitted data contains errors, inform a Deringer EDI team member immediately and email or fax the corrected data to the proper branch contact.
- What are the business hours of EDI?
A: EDI transactions can be sent 7 days a week 24 hours a day. Changes to this schedule are published when needed.
- If I send information using EDI, do I still need to provide paper copies?
A: Once the testing and parallel testing are complete, paper copies would no longer need to be sent. The timing of this would be discussed and reviewed during the project.
- How are duplicate transmissions handled?
A: Duplicate transmissions would be rejected. Changes to the original submission would need to be handled on a case by case basis. Warehouse orders are handled in a different fashion than CHB transactions.