Vendor EDI Compliance: Three step testing process

Any change to a supply chain operation, big or small, can be extremely disruptive. A supplier runs the operation on a process, and any change to that process can have unforeseen consequences without compliance testing new vendors. Here is a basic rundown of how to design a testing and certification process for EDI compliance.

Step one – The first step is to develop a program to implement the EDI system at each vendor or supplier. The program should consist of a strategy to roll out the system across all locations. There should be a clear escalation process for reporting issues. Establish proper channels for communications with the supplier so that problems are resolved quickly. Also, provide the supplier with a structured training program for use with the new system.

Step two – Once the vendor implementations are complete, the next step is to plan out the requirements and testing for each vendor. Most requirements fall into three categories: EDI rules, business rules, and communication. Every vendor has unique business rules to follow, establishing those rules early will speed up the implementation and testing process. The EDI rules will determine how the data fields translate between the two systems.

Step three – Lastly, register test accounts for each vendor and ask them to send all EDI documents to ensure compliance. The advantage of this approach is that with testing accounts, you can check the compliance of all documents such as purchase orders, shipping notices, etc. without disrupting the actual supply chain.

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA. An EDI service bureau where each analyst is an expert in service and EDI compliance.