Utilizing DEACOM’s EDI Solution to Streamline Your Supply Chain

What is EDI?

Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) is a process that involves using computers to complete transactions between two organizations, called "Trading Partners". For many companies EDI is no longer a choice – it has become a requirement for doing business. However, the benefits of EDI are tremendous including lower operational costs, higher efficiency, better supply chain visibility and improved accuracy.

EDI Standards

In the United States organizations traditionally follow ASI standards (ANSI ASC X12_) for EDI document formats. Outside the United States, the international EDI standard is EDIFACT. DEACOM provides a configurable setup to allow companies to tailor their EDI setup to support the two major EDI standards.

Although there are global standards, the EDI setup in DEACOM still needs to be configured for individual companies based on their business processing rules. Often times, trading partners or their VANs only partially conform to the standards, use custom formats or conform to the standards but have special bits of pieces of information that must be communicated. The flexibility of the configurable setup in DEACOM facilitates every EDI file format the company has seen to date.


A Value Added Network (VAN) is the middle man between trading partners that facilitates the communication of an EDI file. VANs help trading partners streamline the development of their EDI file by providing addition translation of files from trading partners into files that can be read by their internal systems. Some trading partners do allow trading partners to send them files directly but most require a VAN to facilitate the transaction for security and configuration purposes.



DEACOM provides a highly flexible and configurable solution allowing companies to maximize the value of implementing EDI transactions. A list of some of the traditional setups are listed below along with their common identifier and if they are pulling data into (inbound) or out (outbound) of the ERP system:

Transaction Common ID Inbound / Outbound
Invoice 810 Outbound
Purchase Order 850 Inbound
Purchase Order Acknowledgement 855 Outbound
Advanced Shipment Notice 856 Outbound
Warehouse Shipping Advice 945 Inbound
Functional Acknowledgment 997 Inbound / Outbound

Inbound EDI transactions are mapped via the flexible EDI designer within DEACOM. Outbound EDI transactions are configured via triggers in DEACOM. The flexibility of the trigger functionality allows for any outbound EDI functionality to be supported.

Document Formatting Structures

EDI documents can be formatted in a variety of ways based on the industry, trading partner and VAN. DEACOM supports a number of different formatting structures:

  • Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet
  • XML
  • CSV
  • Fixed Length
  • Field Delimited (comma, pipe, tab, space, other)

Communication Methods

EDI transactions can be completed via a number of different communication protocols or methods. DEACOM supports the following protocols for communication via a VAN or directly to the trading partner:

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)

Selecting a VAN

DEACOM works with any VAN. However, there is a relationship in place with SPS Commerce. The Deacom team has configured many EDIs with SPS Commerce and companies can take advantage of this to streamline their EDI mapping processes.


Implementing EDI in DEACOM

Implementing EDI in DEACOM does not require a developer to complete the mappings but does require a working knowledge of the configuration tool. The process is typically done in two steps:

  1. Configuring the EDI mapping. The configuration of an EDI transaction is based on the data format provided by a trading partner or VAN. Typically the trading partner or VAN will provide a sample file to work with during the initial configuration.
  2. Testing the EDI transaction. The testing step consists of sending transactions between the trading partners’ testing environments. Once the communication is confirmed, the setup can be pushed to the production environment to be used in live.

Learning EDI Mapping in DEACOM

EDI mapping in Deacom does not require a sophisticated developer to complete but it does require a working knowledge of the tools of the trade. Training on the process is available in the following forms with DEACOM:

  • Implementation Training: During the implementation the Deacom team will teach key team members how to configure and test EDI transactions.
  • Help Documentation: There is plenty of documentation and mapping examples available via the DEACOM help system.
  • DEACOM University: Deacom hosts classes on the EDI process at their main training facility in Chesterbrook, PA.
  • Consulting: The Deacom team is available to complete the transactions or assist a customer team with the setup as necessary.