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Introduction Key benefits  General capabilities Data models Message formats Process example Communication

 

Introduction

EDI aims to speed up the synchronisation of systems, reduce manual workload, cut down on errors, and finally improve service levels.

At its best, EDI will contribute significantly to improved efficiencies in business executions, however there are also pitfalls that may undermine any intended efficiency gains.

These pages provide a condensed guide on how we can assist you with EDI.

With a long history and broad experience in EDI and Business to Business integration, we believe Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics will be able to assist your Business in automating and achieving efficiencies, which will provide mutual benefits.

In order to rapidly and efficiently respond to your EDI requirements, we recommend initiating EDI initiatives with your WWL Sales or Customer Care contact.

 

Key benefits

Globally we see an increasing demand for business process simplification and automation through utilisation of EDI. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics has made significant investment in technical infrastructure and support in order to meet EDI requirements.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics can offer powerful tailored solutions as well as new technology neutral options such as XML which may considerably lower the required investment.

What option to go for depends on your internal solutions and preferences together with expected benefits.

Key benefits:

  • Quicker updates / synchronisation of applications.
  • Visibility and traceability.
  • Improved data quality.
  • Less manual work.
  • Less errors, no "typos".
  • Increased load without increased workload.
  • Management by exception.

 

General capabilities

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics manages the outbound supply chain, in part or in its entirety, for some of the world's leading manufacturers of vehicles and agricultural and construction equipment. Our solutions have demonstrated our ability to:

  • Increase flexibility and reliability
  • Improve visibility
  • Reduce time to market
  • Lower costs

We are your partner for supply chain optimization. Our logistics experts work closely with you to get a clear profile of your service requirements and then design tailor-made solutions with a solid focus on performance management. Integrated systems and state-of-the-art information technology are the foundation for supply chain optimization. 2vu is Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics' state-of-the-art supply chain management system, enabling us to manage complex supply chains through a single, integrated network.

 

Data models

Prior to exploring the details of any message implementation, there is usually a significant benefit in having clarified what data is required to support the business need.

These models may also serve as the medium between business and IT and eliminate sources of misunderstanding. Secondly these models may easily be transferred into machine readable formats like e.g. XML Schemas (XSD files) needed to process regular XML files.

The following "Models" provide an example and / or suggestion to how this may look.

 

Message formats

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics currently processes a wide variety of formats and versions like XML, EDIFACT, X12, VDA and different flat files. In recognition of the need to standardise and build flexible solutions for future, there is a definite preference to utilise XML based solutions in general, and UN/CEFACT Core Component based messages in particular.

To learn more about this UN driven initiative to standardise electronic collaboration, please follow this external link.

Messages are usually specified in a Message Implementation Guide (MIG) defining how the file should look, explaining codes etc. Which format and MIG to settle for will then be a part of the Integration Business Requirements (IBR) formulated jointly.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics have a library of MIG's available, relevant for many logistics supporting tasks, so please refer to the Contact Us section to see how we may assist.

Process example

 When implementing new messages the following process should ideally be followed. This assists in facilitating a successful implementation. In summary:

  • Identify the flow with the highest volumes and or greatest benefit to automate.
  • Both parties identify scope, justification, need and wishes in order to achieve a successful integration.
  • Describe the business flow and rules that must be considered in an EDI context.
  • Agree upon a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that specifies what should be mutually achieved.
  • Collect all the Integration Business Requirements in an (IBR) that both partners agree upon.
  • Technicians formulate an Integration Technical Requirement (ITR) specifying the technical solution design delivering the agreed IBR requirements.
  • Develop according to the specification in the ITR.
  • Agree on a joint testing plan.
  • Implementation and Do Business!

Our aim is to be fast and flexible. We believe in high quality specifications, testing and sample files as they are key factors for a smooth implementation.

Communication

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics support a wide range of communication protocols suitable for both active delivery and pick-up at your convenience.

Samples for the transport layer may be IP over Internet, X25 or ISDN whereas the exchange protocol could be e-mail (SMTP/POP/Mime), FTP, HTTP, OFTP, X400. Security mechanisms like VPN, encryption and seals are determined and applied based on the nature of the transfers.

Both implementation and run-time cost aspects will need consideration, so any concerns in this area should be discussed early in the process.

 


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