DropStream supports EDI integrations. However, it is important to note that there are significant differences between EDI Integrations and the standard eCommerce Integrations that DropStream provides. This article gives a background on EDI and how DropStream automates EDI integrations.
EDI Background. EDI was the first standardized way to get orders from brick-and-mortar retail stores to the warehouses that shipped the goods. It became an entrenched standard that remains today, and is almost always required if you want to automate retail sales orders. For a full background on EDI, check out this EDI 101 article.
EDI Value-Added Networks (EDI VANs). EDI VANs (aka EDI Providers, EDI Networks) specialize in streamlining EDI workflows. The two largest and most popular EDI VANs are SPS Commerce and CommerceHub and there are many other competitors as well. DropStream currently support integrations to SPS Commerce and CommerceHub, although in order to finalize the integration setup work is required.
Manual Fulfillment of EDI Orders. Most large retailers offer a web portal where the merchant can log-in and manually download orders and upload shipment and tracking information. The web portals are usually free to use for the merchant. In addition to the retailer web portals, SPS and CommerceHub offer Master Web Portals that can be used to give the merchant access to the orders from all of their retailers in one place. These web portals are inexpensive, usually $99/month.
Automated Fulfillment of EDI Orders. DropStream provides automated EDI integrations. Unlike typical eCommerce integrations that can be added in the DropStream User Interface, in order to setup an EDI integration DropStream needs to work with the EDI VAN to confirm the EDI requirements, validate the documents, and run test scenarios. This process includes working group email chains and typically takes 4-6 weeks to complete.
Costs of Automating EDI. There are significant costs involved with setting up an automated EDI integration. To support automated EDI, the EDI VANs charge per-document fees and setup fees. DropStream also charges a one-time setup fee to complete the setup. Given the upfront costs involved, it is recommended that you verify with your merchant that they have the sales to support the endeavor.
Merchant Questions. To begin the process, gather some information from your merchant:
Are you working with an EDI VAN like SPS or CH?
If yes, who is your contact there?
How many retailers are you selling through?
How many orders do you average per month?
Next Steps. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know you are interested in setting up an EDI integration. We will work with you to get started.