“What’s old is new again” – a phrase usually applied to fashion or music trends, but in this case can definitely be applied to technology as well!
By it’s very nature, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is a B2B protocol for the exchange of vital business documents (PO’s, invoices, etc.).
But in today’s market where B2C ecommerce is ubiquitous, those transactions take place directly with the customer and you might think – what is the role here for EDI?
This is especially true when many brands and manufacturers have their own APIs that retailers can use to power their stores.
At the same time, EDI has been around for so long that is is entrenched in international supply chains and is such a reliable and predictable protocol that it has proven resilient through so much change in business technology.
Plus, there is information and insight that can be shared via EDI related to fulfillment, shipping and inventory that would be difficult to make available via API.
Add to that the ecosystem of EDI translators that can help post that valuable data into back-office ERPs and you have an “oldie but goodie” that’s not going anywhere any time soon!
So where does that leave ecommerce merchants who are receiving EDI data from their suppliers and need to integrate it with their store?
That’s where Surpass Solutions comes in!
Global Sourcing Group sources and manufacturers products from all over the world. They are used to EDI — and so are their partners!
So when they wanted to deploy a branded ecommerce portal for their customers to order products easily and conveniently, they needed to integrate and publish inventory data directly from EDI to their WordPress/WooCommerce storefront.
Fortunately, they reached out to Surpass Solutions and we were able to design, scope, and build a solution for them.
The first thing we had to do was build a function within the website (PHP) to retrieve the EDI 846 inventory document from the MFT (Managed File Transfer) service that the trading partner was using.
Once the file was retrieved, we then had to parse the EDI file, and execute some mapping in C# to make the data elements available.
From there, we leveraged the WooCommerce REST API to map the data directly to products within the catalog (again using PHP).
The solution is scheduled to run each time a file is sent and received, or it can be manually synced using the latest file in case new products are added in the meantime.
We are happy to report that it is running smoothly in production and Global Sourcing Group is very happy with the service they received at Surpass:
“Surpass is our go-to for all things software. With our most recent project they not only displayed great technical abilities EDI files/integrations, but also a very professional and effective way of communicating with external partners that were involved with the integration. Surpass is very easy to work with and the people are trustworthy, reliable, knowledgeable, and effective communicators.”
We are now keen to take on Phase II: passing ecommerce orders to 850 PO’s.
Blended solutions like this are right in the Surpass wheelhouse. If you are looking to improve internal or external processes through integration or automation, we would love to work with you…
Contact us today!