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Edi As A Supply Chain Technology

2295 words - 9 pages

EDI has resulted from the emergence of a few key technologies which have solved the tricky problem of getting different computers with different applications to talk to each other. EDI as a technology is basically very simple. You take some data, encode it into a known and agreed format, squirt it down a telephone line to a trading partner, who then decodes it and uses the data.EDI as a Business Process Redesign EnablerEDI can be used for the automation of existing paper transactions. Indeed, it can yield significant benefits when used in this way e.g. no paper, saved postage, less errors etc., but the real power of EDI lies in its role as a Business Process Redesign (BPR) Enabler. EDI technology makes it possible to introduce revolutionary business practices which the speed and reliability of the paper based systems make difficult.BPR is about questioning the ability of your existing business processes to handle the rapidly changing and increasingly competitive business environment of the 90's. In essence, the BPR approach is one of first thinking smarter (Why do we need to do that at all ?), then slicker (Do we need to do it in that way ?) and finally quicker (Can we automate it ?). The relationship between EDI and BPR is subtle. EDI technology does more than just allow us to automate, it enables us to consider the radical changes in business practice (e.g. self-billing, supplier scheduling) needed to compete in a increasingly competitive and cost focused world market.2.0 OverviewThis document is designed for those interested in the how, what, when and why of EDI. It will introduce you to the basic concepts and applications of EDI, describe how you might go about doing it and hopefully unravel some of EDI's many myths. Included in this primer are three information sections, a question and answer section and an EDI glossary.Section 3 "Basic EDI Concepts" introduces the technology behind EDI. It explains what it is, how it works and then looks at the various elements which collectively make EDI possible.Section 4 "Benefits and Applications" discusses the tangible and intangible benefits of EDI and how it can be used to enable the redesign of business processes. Included is a case study of the XXX DELFOR System, an example application of the use of EDI technology in BPR.Section 5 "Glossary" defines many of the terms and acronyms commonly used when talking about EDI.Appendix A "Cost Benefit Analysis" details an example cost justification for the introduction of EDI technology.3.0 Basic EDI ConceptsTwo key observations:Although virtually all sophisticated businesses produce documents by computer, the paperwork is typically transmitted by courier or mail. The results are a matter of record - mail is lost, late, damaged, mis-delivered or mis-sorted;70% of all business data input is previously generated computer output (conclusion reached by General Electric Information Services GEIS);make it easy to see why somebody should have the idea of connecting...

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