Automation and EDI Integration
Precise automation can often achieve significant improvements in the efficiency and speed of internal business workflows, eventually paired with cost reduction and service quality enhancements, in various different areas in businesses. By using flexible and intelligent interfaces and business logic, with active messaging, data can be exchanged by the involved different systems and functions faster, more reliably and more efficiently. This will also reduce the manual and personal tasks significantly, if these interfaces and functions are set up to communicate actively with the IT-service desks.
EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the often-used word in this context. But the exchange of data between different systems can be done in various different ways, either based on proven and internationally defined industry standard formats or even corporate specific formats and methods, depending on the specific need and the environment of operation.
iFD has been integrating interfaces for more the 20 years into a variety of different systems, not only in Microsoft Dynamics™ NAV (Navision) and its Navision retail and wholesale Add-On iFD navRETAIL. Based on this comprehensive experience, iFD is building interface logic for the continuous and highly reliable data import by using automated processes with logging, messaging and monitoring, often based on database and messaging technologies, also including enhanced topics like the monitoring whether expected data is correctly arriving with defined time frame and actively messaging in case of non-arrival, so that the service desks can act in time.
Document types for imports
We implement and integrate interface for different types of data import and export, based either on industry standards or individual interfaces, like:
- EDI Standard
- Orders e.g. ORDERS 96A
- Dispatch advices e.g. DESADV
- Invoices e.g. INVOICE 96A
- Catalogs e.g. PRICAT
- Specific interfaces
- Delivery notes
- Article data formats
- Suppliers orders
- Logistics- and tour data
- Pallet data and details
- POS data import and export
- Inventory data details
- Online-Shop data
Our interface design is based on the one hand site on our standards, imbedded in our products for integration in our products as enhancements to Navision and on the other side on the specific customer individual standards and requirements of different formats like EDI, XML, text files, web services and specific formats.
Automating data often achieves the advantage that arriving data is imported immediately and this means that necessary user interaction are minimized. This will enhance the workflow efficiency and reduce the response times. In case of an import problem due to incorrect data or details, import records are placed into an import buffer function to allow manual data changes of the fields with invalid data, then manually initiating the corrected data to be imported for further processing. The experience has shown that active managing of such data import problems can significantly improve the workflows and service quality in these processes.
Logging and Messaging
Using automated imports, the manual administration effort can be reduced, especially when data can be imported without any data problems. Also in case of successful imports, messages as emails should be send to the responsible customer account administrators, so that these are aware of the new documents or of new cases that have been added into the system, so that they can review these and act in the defined way immediately. In most cases we include a messaging setting, allowing the users to either enable or disable these active informative messaging.
In case of import problems of data, the messages of course have different severity level so that they have to be transmitted to either IT administration or the responsable departments within the organization to correct any errors they find.
The combination of automated data import functionality and active messaging for different systems e.g. Microsoft Dynamics™ NAV (Navision) leads to an efficient, optimized and cost reduced environment of these workflows with a higher degree of service quality in these automated processes.
Data conversion and distribiution
Smaller and midsize volumes of data exchange / imports can be often also handled by the ERP system in use, even by using separate server systems for driving these interfaces. In contrast to that, bigger volumes and quantities of incoming and outgoing data and documents often need a dedicated environment of data conversion and distribution for these tasks.
For enhanced scenarios, we recommend the solution Microsoft BizTalk™ Server with its variety of different powerful functionality of processing larger volumes of data conversion and distribution in an organization.
Information about Microsoft BizTalk™ Server
|Microsoft BizTalk™ Server Details|
Individual consulting regarding interface technologies
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