EDI service provider onboarding: what beginners need to know | Transalis Blog


After selecting an EDI solution, you need to know what you must communicate with your EDI service provider so they can commence setup.

This is essential for any business to ensure their project is completed efficiently with an acceptable go-live date. However, this process can be difficult and it’s normal to need guidance. In this blog, we cover everything you should expect from the purchase and onboarding process with Transalis eDI™, but much of this information holds true for many providers.

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Our ultimate beginner's guide to EDI provides all the information you need to make the right choice for your business, from start to finish.

What information do I need to give to my EDI service provider?

Organisations need to share critical pieces of information with their EDI service provider so that their solution is set up properly. Sharing this information ensures that the provider can map out the endpoints between trading parties, enable the correct message formats and follow the right protocols, as well as test the solution before pushing live. Thus, here are some examples of the most common information you may need…

Global Location Number

First up is a GLN, or Global Location Number. By definition, these are numbers used as reference keys to computer files that hold information about an organisation or specific location.

Additionally, GLNs are uniquely identifiable worldwide for any legal, physical and functional location. Hence, your organisation will need to share your own GLN with your EDI service provider. This ensures that the provider can route EDI messages and data to the correct client endpoints.

If you are unsure of what your GLN is or if you need to generate one, then you can do this via GS1’s website.

Supplier Number

When you have arranged with your trading partner to use EDI for transactions, they will assign your organisation a Supplier Number.

To elaborate, this number is another unique identifier for the trading partner (e.g. a retailer) to be able to accurately identify their supplier across EDI messages. Therefore the retail partner can correctly process purchase orders, manage inventory, and issue invoices to the right supplier.

Similarly, the assigned Supplier Number will also need to be shared with your chosen EDI service provider.

Trading partner contact details

Moreover, to maintain a smooth onboarding process, it is best to share the contact details of your trading partner with your EDI service provider.

Through communication with the trading partner contact, the EDI service provider can gain access to the MIG (if not already provided). As well as correctly configure, test, and validate the EDI connection before going live. Having direct communication with the trading partner also bolsters the ongoing support your EDI provider can offer, as troubleshooting can be performed efficiently if any issues arise.

What should I expect after I purchase from Transalis?

Once you have purchased an EDI solution with Transalis we are completely on hand to assist with any enquiries, and inform you of the progression of implementing your setup.

Our key to success when onboarding any client is the framework we follow:

Stage 1. Recruitment

Firstly, it is critical to identify the delivery team and define the roles in the process. To expand, this extends to all parties including the EDI vendor, the supplier, and the trading partner(s).

Stage 2. Engagement

Following is the outlining of the plan with all parties. This provides an opportunity to;

  • Confirm the project scope

  • Highlight potential roadblocks

  • Set the timeline

This is also a good point to run a Proof Of Concept (POC) to establish strengths and weaknesses within the onboarding plan.

Stage 3. Enablement

Next, once the project plan has been signed off by all parties, the onboarding can start. For large projects with multiple connections to push live, the main objective is to run multiple work streams for rapid configuration and testing.

Stage 4. Handover

Finally, once all connections are live, Transalis Operations team hands over to Technical Support and Customer Experience (CX). They will handle the ongoing management and service.

As you know, Transalis believes in transparency.

You can rest assured that you will be kept up-to-date with any developments through our various avenues of communication.

Here are some of the ways we keep you informed;

  • Welcome contact – confirmation of the project and key contact details if you have any questions

  • Account Manager – your direct point of contact from project initiation onwards

  • Production team – meeting to confirm the project scope and clarify any technical details

  • Progress updates – notifications as each stage of the project is completed

  • Support – if technical queries arise, you can submit support tickets with our dedicated team

Can I make changes to my EDI solution after it has been set up?

It is no surprise to us that as time moves on so do business needs change.

Having an EDI service provider that understands the need for flexibility and agility is necessary for success. They need to be able to support you; as you scale, your trading partners change, or you identify a need for additional EDI requirements. Accommodating for these inevitable changes is what we do best – creating agility and flexibility for our clients.

Understandably, most changes to your EDI software solution will incur a cost (additional trading partner, new integration, extra message types) unless it applies to changing the endpoints of an existing connection (e.g. new mailbox ID or different GLN). With Transalis, all change requests will be properly scoped and transparently quoted.

Overall, we recommend taking on an EDI solution that allows some flexibility over time. In fact, with eDI Instant, you can purchase additional trading partner connections with the 2 standard message types, as and when you need them. Plus, you can even request extra message types such as Advance Shipping Notices (ASNs).

There we have it! You now know the essential information you need for a successful EDI setup process – now, there’s only one thing left to do… Sign up for a free demo of eDI Instant today! Or enquire with our team about any of our other EDI products.

eDI Software

Gain hands-on experience with EDI with our free demo account of eDI Instant. Or brush up on your EDI knowledge with our ultimate beginner’s guide to EDI. For any further EDI requirements queries, you can schedule a meeting with one of our friendly team. Or alternatively, contact us directly at 0845 123 3746 (UK callers) or +44 1978 369 343 (international callers), and email sales@transalis.com.

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