When you’re new to EDI, it’s understandable that you may be nervous about some of the challenges you might face by integrating an EDI solution into your business. These worries are valid if you don’t have the correct solution. We’re here to assuage those fears and explain to you how TIE Kinetix can offer you a solution that overcomes the major obstacles you might be anticipating.  

The Need for Interoperability  

What is interoperability? Basically, it’s the ability for your systems or software to exchange information and operate successfully with each other. In other words, it’s key to connectivity between systems.  

When you’re just starting out with EDI, it’s important to make sure that you have interoperability with your trading partners, as well as your own back-end system. Unfortunately, this can feel like a challenge when your trading partners use a different EDI format or if they haven’t started using EDI at all. While this can seem daunting, it’s easy to find a solution that meets these needs with limited interference by you or your company.  

For example, with TIE Kinetix’s FLOW solution, we offer different solutions that adapt to your business needs, as well as the needs of your trading partners. We'll go into more detail on FLOW later in this post. 

Choosing the Correct Type of Integration 

You probably know that there are a few different ways to integrate EDI into your business. One way is indirect EDI connection, and the other is direct EDI connection. EDI integration can be a challenge if you are unsure of what your business needs are.  

Direct EDI Integration

This means that there is a direct (point-to-point) connection between you and your trading partner. When this is the case, you need a map solution to ensure that the data is transmitted correctly and in the right format between your ERP and theirs.  

By the way, if you're looking for full integration, you should look for a solution that provides canonical mapping. Canonical mapping speeds up the process of full EDI integration and allows you to quickly reap these benefits. 

Indirect EDI Integration

This means that you have an indirect connection. If you’re in the US, you may be familiar with a VAN (Value Added-Network)—a private, hosted service to exchange documents. In Europe, however, you’re more likely to use an open network, like Peppol.  

All you need is a service provider (like TIE Kinetix) to connect you to any trading partner. Both indirect connection options replace the direct connection model.  

So, what’s the best way to determine which kind of connection you should implement for your company’s EDI integration? Well, it depends on a few variables, but using a service provider like TIE Kinetix that provides you with many options is a good place to start. Our team of EDI experts can help you make that decision – and we’ll always focus on what makes the most sense for your business. Start the conversation with us today!  

Selecting the Right EDI Solution for Your Company  

If you’ve been researching EDI solutions, you’ve probably noticed that you have many options to choose from. This goes further than choosing between a direct or indirect connection—there are on-premise solutions and SaaS solutions; EDI via AS2 and EDI via FTP/VPN, SFTP, FTPS. It can be very overwhelming! 

Luckily, TIE Kinetix provides some great options for solutions. Our most advanced solutions are part of our FLOW Partner Automation: PDF-2-FLOW, PORTAL-2-FLOW, and EDI-2-FLOW.  

PDF-2-FLOW: If you still like to send and receive PDFs, you can continue to do this (it's just much more secure), and documents are instantly processed into your ERP system. 

Plus, it’s more advanced than a typical OCR (Optical Character Recognition) solution. PDF-2-FLOW uses artificial intelligence & machine learning to convert your documents to the correct electronic file with 100% accuracy, but you’ll hardly notice a difference in your day-to-day operations.  

PDF-2-FLOW is best for small- and medium-sized trading partners.   

PORTAL-2-FLOW: If you’re looking for a web-based EDI solution, PORTAL-2-FLOW is your answer. Even if you have no experience with EDI, you’ll be able to adopt PORTAL-2-FLOW into your digital supply chain right away – it’s that easy! 

If you’re not looking to invest in a full-scale EDI solution, PORTAL-2-FLOW allows your small- and medium-sized trading partners to send their documents through an online portal & TIE Kinetix will take care of the rest.   

PORTAL-2-FLOW is best for companies who only exchange a few documents per month with trading partners but are looking to automate the EDI process.   

EDI-2-FLOW: If you’re looking for full-scale EDI integration, and already have trading partners who use an EDI solution, EDI-2-FLOW is for you. Our EDI-2-FLOW solution is continuously updated and complies with all global standards. This means that you don’t have to spend time worrying about the details – you'll only have to get involved if it’s absolutely necessary.   

With EDI-2-FLOW, we optimize your solution based on your business needs by using canonical mapping to accelerate your transactions. You can be sure that your procure-to-pay or order-to-cash transactions are running smoother than ever, alleviating the burden on your accounting team, and eliminating any room for human error. 

Where Do I Start?  

A good place to start is to identify your business integration needs, as well as your budget and number of trading partners. These factors will be important when it comes time to choose a service provider and solution for EDI in your company. Remember, the more options you have, the more successful your EDI implementation will be.