The EDI Series Chap 2

The EDI gsa

Specific EDI capabilities

In my previous blog we found out about what the electronic data interchange is and how surrounds us like a mycelium network that connects all of our lives. Some of the advantages of electronic data interchanges (EDI) has over the traditional methods of an order life cycle are obvious, but others not so much, we’re going to delve into the how we can help you leverage an EDI solution.

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Client expectations are at an all time high and one of the results of this, is a higher demand for data integration technologies. Vendors are having to step their game up and modernize their operations by investing in digital solutions that empower them to have the data they need and tools they require to deliver an exceptional & personalized experience. 

The GSA Global Supply’s preferred method for conducting business transactions is via EDI and utilizes the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) X-12 family of transaction sets to electronically communicate both “Inbound” and “Outbound” transaction sets and has specific EDI requirements.

Price Reporter has these specific GSA EDI capabilities and leveraged in two main ways:

Both incorporate electronic data interchange services and add great value and time efficiency savings to our customer but I’m not here to talk about that, I’ll save that for a later post or click on the links to find out more.

EDI requirements

EDI or to give you it’s full name EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport) is a set of protocols that is internationally accepted as a standard for companies who wish to trade globally. Click here for EDI Transaction Technical Specifications.

An analogy for this is when you go to a restaurant you follow an accepted order of sequenced events.

  1. You sit at a table, you receive a menu.
  2. you order from the menu.
  3. your waiter reads the order back.
  4. your order gets deliver to the kitchen for preparation.
  5. and so on. 

EDI works in a similar way.

EDI Transaction Technical Specifications

For every part of an order lifecycle there is a subsection to the standard:

  • The Order: A client wants to buy a portable hand drill from their chosen platform:
    • “EDI 850 Purchase Order” An EDI Purchase Order document is created and sent to the vendor (This could be “EDI 850 Purchase Order 4010 v1.5 or EDI 850 Purchase Order 5010 v1.4).
  • Receipt of Order: The vendor then wants to acknowledge receipt of said order to the client:

The EDI Series Chap 2

  • “EDI 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgment v4010 V1.1” EDI document is created and sent back to the webpage and presented as an message saying “We have your order”.
  • Order Change: The client wants to change his order and add 3 items instead of 1… no prob!
    • “EDI 860 Purchase Order Change Request – Buyer Initiated” EDI document is created and sent to the vendor.
  • Shipping: Shipping and tracking details can also be sent over by EDI using “EDI 856 Advance Ship Notice/Manifest v4010 v1.5” and fed back into the order management system. 
  • The Acknowledgement:  “EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement” is sent to confirm that a document has been received error free (almost like the waiter reading your order back to you).
  • Invoicing: We have now received/shipped the item, an “OMS EDI 810 Invoice v4010 v1.2” i.e. an invoice is sent to the customer.

As an example a “997 Functional Acknowledgement” of a catalog that has been accepted by GSA Advantage looks like this:

ISA*00*          *00*          *ZZ*GSAADV         *ZZ*PRICERP        *220331*0718*U*00401*000365202*0*T*<










Uploading your catalog for GSA Advantage is quick and easy using EDI (if you have the right tools!).  In recent days Price Reporter uploaded several catalogs including one full upload of 800,000 line items and another for 180,000 in less time it’s taken to write this blog! The client with 180,000 items is evaluating our platform and are looking at the self service platform for SIP replacement, their mod was uploaded to us in  4 min and uploaded to the GSA for CO’s final approval within 30 min.

If you haven’t already seen what the capabilities of EDI are and how easy we make it, ping me an email and lets show you what you’re missing out on.

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