EDI, TPR and what it all means….

In another online source for EDI bits of information, a question was posed about how to interpret a particular segment of a particular document and how the quantities were expressed – it was an 860 – Buyer Initiated PO Change – and how the question poster should interpret it….

Most of the responses to the post all suggested that he copy and post all of the segments and data from the document… others tried to guess at what the sender was requesting…. Then there was a lone voice that asked “ask the sender”… and I agreed.

One of the things that I’ve noticed in My years of EDI – both online – with groups and boards and discussion groups – and off – with My trading partners and vendors – is that most people tend to fall into one of two groups – Communication or No Communication. Some people seem to think that, with the advent of EDI communication, that we no longer need to communicate with our partners with “other” forms of communications – the phone call, e-mail, etc..

Sometimes it seems like people – EDI people – seem to forget what the P in TPR – Trading PARTNER Relationship – means.


In any kind of PARTNERSHIP – be it romantic, economic, business, school project, whatever – if you forget that you’re PARTNERS in the issue, then the relationship falls apart. And this ties in with another aspect of the Trading Partner Relationship – the RELATIONSHIP…..

There is a RELATION between the partners involved. I send out a PO to company A for product. They receive that PO and fill My order – maybe even generating their own POs for the “ingredients” to the product I’ve ordered – allowing them to sell off product (or, as mentioned, manufacture it) and makes money for them and keeps them in business. By receiving their products and selling it (I’m in the retail industry), it allow Me to make money and stay in business…. We benefit each other and help each other along.

But by sending those documents and transactions via EDI, it’s not eliminating the need to communicate – to have relations – between us – but it’s just another tool to help us in better communications and bettering our relationships….

What’s the slogan that Home Depot (or was it Lowes?) used to use:

“You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.”… or something like that…?

I say the same thing – if you have questions regarding a document I send you via EDI, please, ask…. I’ll see what I can do to find out the answer for you….

The other day, I got a call from one of our vendors – one of My trading partners – about a PO that they received via EDI and how a faxed revision – we can’t send revisions via EDI because of our internal systems – had a lower quantity. The vendor had created the shipment and sent the ASN from the original PO, but with the revised quantities, as the revision (via fax) had shown. But he had a question about what to do about the PO that was still in his system (he uses a web-based EDI solution) because his EDI system will still show the order as OPEN (based upon the original vs. shipped quantities) and what do to….

In his situation, I suggested he call the EDI provider and find out how to “close” the PO with the partial shipment. But, what he did, though, was CALL Me and ask Me questions about the order. He called the TRADING PARTNER and asked what he should do. And that’s what we all need to remember to do – COMMUNICATE with our Partners…

Without our partners, we fail.

Author: Craig Dunham – EDI Coordinator
Read more about Craig here: http://editalk.com/contributors/

Are you missing an opportunity with EDI?

Just came across the blog post over on the Inovis blog.

EDI has been around for quite a long time and has historically been viewed as an afterthought in most organizations. It’s like your phone service; you just expect it to be there and always on. I mean, a phone is good for one thing…letting you communicate with others, right? Well, not exactly. These days your phone is so much more. I mean, you can email, access the internet, watch TV, pay for things…I can go on and on, but you get the idea. The phone is a common device that has been leveraged to provide so much more value than we might have ever imagined.

Check out the full post here: http://blogs.inovis.com/2008/02/20/are-you-missing-an-opportunity-with-edi/

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