Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

EDI Automation

  • 1.  EDI Automation

    Posted Jan 17, 2019 10:51 AM

    We currently have a high volume of orders coming in from our customers through EDI, which we have to pull from their EDI system manually to process. Sending out the invoice is a manual process as well, which is becoming more time consuming as more customers make the switch to EDI. Does anyone know of a easy solution to transmit PO's and invoices into and out of GP to the EDI systems without actually switching over to an EDI system ourselves? 

    Thank you!

    Randy Seed
    Lakeville MN

  • 2.  RE: EDI Automation

    Posted Jan 17, 2019 11:38 AM
    Randy, there are quite a few ISV's out there who offer EDI for GP, I can't make a specific recommendation but can provide you with a few who are part of the community:
    (Redtail is now part of Truecommerce)

    Rob Klaproth
    Dynamics Certified Professional
    (GP Install & Configure)
    Sr. GP Consultant
    Armanino, LLP
    San Diego, CA

  • 3.  RE: EDI Automation

    Posted Jan 17, 2019 01:30 PM
    We use Data Masons Vantage Point and handle a few hundred documents a day through it, one being a fairly complex trading partner requiring drop-ships directly to a 3rd party customer. Data Masons was able to automate it beyond just importing/exporting documents, but it's able to send ship notices (856) as soon as a tracking number is posted into the GP salesorder (which we pull in from UPS Worldship using a Scribe Insight Job I wrote). You don't have to click anything, we have our system set to import orders to GP several times a day, and export Ship notices and invoices at the end of day (5PMish). Basically you work in GP, and it handles the rest.

    Vantage Point is easy-to-use, and the automation is handled very well. It also runs outside of GP, which allows clean updates/upgrades. It uses econnect and sql directly to pull/push data back and forth.

    We used a another vendors cloud solution for a few years, it was slow (as most cloud solutions seem to be),  a constant headache of errors and downtime, and required quite a bit of manual "automation" (button clicking) work, and cost wise, it seems cheaper at first (setup, etc), but the yearly fees are much (MUCH!) higher. By year 3, the VP setup is paid for, and we're saving thousands of dollars over the former solution, that also was tied to GP to the point that updates were hard to do. (And required downtime and expensive professional services) With Data Masons' Vantage Point a GP upgrade is nothing more than changing a couple pull down options and restarting.)

    Paul Dyer
    IT Director
    Hoffman Technologies (Dba: Item Grabber)

  • 4.  RE: EDI Automation

    Posted Jan 18, 2019 10:03 AM
    ​Our company has been using EDI with Dynamics GP for more than ten years.  We started out with a manual/hacked solution that sounds very much like what you describe consisting of manual FTP file downloads from the EDI VAN, a parser built in Excel (seriously), and an integration into GP - just to get the orders.  Then reverse the process to generate the outgoing invoice file.  We'll just say that it wasn't efficient and our VAN of the time didn't have a better solution.

    About five years ago we went looking for a solution that integrated with Dynamics GP and found Accellos - now Highjump.  Their GP Plugin (vSync) does all the heavy lifting at the click of a button for both import of orders and export of invoices.  There is still some wrangling to get customers set up (because despite EDI being standard, everyone effectively does their own thing.  Sigh.) but once things are running, it's very rare that we run into problems.  And Highjump's support staff are a short call away.  I'm typically on hold only a few minutes and problem is resolved in usually less than 30.  Biggest issues we've had have been with the VAN - not Highjump (though I understand that Highjump can act as a VAN as well).

    There were probably a half dozen vendors of EDI solutions that would tie into Dynamics GP at Summit this year.  I'd recommend that you preview each one.  Some things I would consider are the following:

    1) Connection setup time.  How long does it take to "onboard" a new customer and get them working vs what you need for your business?
    2) SLA.  I guarantee you are going to have issues.  Most of our headaches are caused by corporate mergers in the retail industry - and they wreak havoc on EDI.  Find out how their helpdesk system works and what their average response time is, if they have a telephone support desk (and what hours), and what their average resolution time is (hours? days? weeks?).  If you have a VAN separate from your EDI plugin provider, ask them what processes they have for working together to solve problems.
    3) Do any of your customers have existing connections to the major VAN's.  Keep in mind that EDI providers charge both sides for transactions and your business partners have to justify the costs of EDI.  If you can select a VAN they already work with, they will be much happier with you.
    4) Cost.  Does the solution charge per transaction?  Per connection?  EDI can get expensive really fast.  Do your homework on the costs and know your break-even before you start.
    5) Interface.  I put this one last not because it is least important, but actually because it is probably the most important.  If the interface isn't easy to use, your users aren't going to want to use it.  We previewed one other solution and though technically it was a decent solution, it took way too many clicks to do business and most of them were simple "click-throughs" to get to the next screen.  Make sure when you do your technical preview that an end-user is in on those discussions.

    Good luck!

    Blair Christensen
    Database Administrator
    Oppenheimer Companies, Inc.
    Boise ID

If you've found this thread useful, dive deeper into User Group community content by role