Why You Need a Flexible Approach to EDI Mapping 


February 5, 2024

Author: Greg Bellis

Technology is prevalent in today’s business environment, and IT departments are tasked with keeping companies connected and secure, all while maintaining the functionality of daily operations. Frequently, IT teams are expected to manage the various aspects of the technological infrastructure with limited resources.  

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a fundamental element of modern business operations, facilitating seamless communication between trading partners.  EDI mapping is a vital component for streamlining the EDI process, and it’s important to have flexibility within your EDI mapping to meet companies’ varying needs and business requirements. 

What is EDI Mapping? 

EDI mapping involves the transformation of data between two trading partners. This transformation is necessary for both parties’ systems to understand and process the information being exchanged and may involve reformatting data, translating codes, or converting file types. It is essential to ensure that data exchanged between trading partners is compatible and accurate. 

Developing and updating EDI maps is a complex and tedious task, but it is important that it is completed properly to ensure that you’re meeting the unique supply chain and business requirements of each partner. Since EDI maps vary across trading partners, building and maintaining a different EDI map for each transaction can be challenging. When retailers or providers update and change their EDI requirements, it can result in hundreds of EDI map changes! 

Your EDI integration must incorporate tools for EDI translation mapping. These tools can convert incoming EDI documents from your supply chain partners into formats compatible with your ERP and present them in a human-readable manner. Your integration should possess the ability to translate outgoing data from your ERP into a standardized EDI transaction format like ANSI X12 or EDIFACT. 

Flexible Mapping to Meet Unique Business Needs 

Companies have unique needs when it comes to EDI mapping. Some prefer a decentralized approach, where business units take ownership of mapping to enhance agility. In contrast, others opt for centralized control to maintain consistency and compliance. TrueCommerce’s mapping solution offers the flexibility to cater to both scenarios: 

For companies aiming to shift mapping responsibility to the business unit, TrueCommerce’s solution empowers non-technical users to perform mapping tasks easily, freeing up IT resources for other critical tasks. 

TrueCommerce’s EDI mapping software also supports manual mapping if the company’s IT department prefers to retain control over the process, while providing tools for efficient collaboration between IT and business units. 

Why Flexibility Matters 

It may seem like a no-brainer, but having a flexible approach to EDI mapping, where the business units and IT teams work in conjunction with one another, offers you significant benefits such as: 

  • Faster Implementation: Flexible EDI mapping expedites the onboarding of new trading partners and facilitates quick adjustments to existing connections. 
  • Real-time Responsiveness: As business requirements evolve, adjustments can be made promptly to accommodate changing needs. 
  • Efficient Issue Resolution: In the case of data exchange issues, joint efforts lead to quicker diagnosis and resolution. 
  • Knowledge Transfer and Continuity: Collaboration facilitates knowledge sharing. This cross-functional understanding ensures business resilience and continuity even during personnel transitions. 

Achieving Flexible EDI Mapping with TrueCommerce 

A flexible approach to EDI mapping is essential to adapt to the diverse needs of different companies. Whether enabling business units to take ownership or maintaining centralized control, the right mapping solution enhances efficiency, responsiveness, and overall business resilience. TrueCommerce offers a hybrid approach that combines the best of both EDI mapping strategies to empower organizations with user-friendly tools while enabling IT to intervene manually if necessary, accommodating the various organizational preferences, ensuring seamless data exchange, and fostering collaboration. 

Contact one of our EDI mapping specialists to learn more and see how a flexible mapping approach can help streamline your EDI processes today! 

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