ELECTRONIC COMMERCE (EC) GROUP

 

Electronic Data Interchange (E.D.I.)

EDI PRODUCTS

ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS SERIES (EDS)
EDS is designed to be both a stand-alone as well as a networkable, integratible, and extensible EDI middleware software solution.

For Microsoft Windows (95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP)
EDS runs in a multi-user/department/division/company environment on the Windows platform.  The operationally-friendly Windows user-interface allows you to conduct your EDI without any technical expertise.

EDS for Windows "Minimum" Requirements:

  • System: IBM compatible 80386 or higher processor. Pentium-based systems recommended for Container Content (carton) related operations (e.g. Bar Codes)..

  • Memory: 16MB for non-ASN/Bar-code related operations. 32MB otherwise and recommended.

  • Hard Disk: 64MB. Recommended 128MB+ for Container Content (ASN) modules.

  • Platform: Windows95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP environments.

  • Printer: Any printer capable of printing 80-columns for reports. H.P. LaserJet compatible or thermal printers required for bar code printing.  Contact us regarding printer compatibility if you have a specific make/model in mind.

BASE PACKAGE
The basic EDS for Windows package includes the following single-user functionality (multi-user option available separately):

  • Maintain trading partner specific cross reference tables in the absence of 3rd party application data sources.

  • Import EDI Purchase Orders.

  • Data Entry feature to enter new or update existing orders/picking tickets/packing slips/invoices

  • Print all imported EDI Purchase Orders in multiple user-friendly formats of your choice..

  • Complete EDI document UCC-128 container (carton) number assignment and management. UCC-128 container (carton) numbers are assigned by our unique AutoPack logic based on predefined packing rules. Scan & Pack option available.

  • Integrate with optional bar code engine to enable seemlessly operations from document creation to completion.

  • Global document maintainance function to change multiple items across multiple documents easily.

  • Multi-step batching operation to allow the same documents to be processed in a single request.

  • Generates Outgoing EDI Advance Ship Notice (ASN) Files in Pick & Pack format (95%+ trading partners accept this format).  Standard Carton ASNs option also available.

  • Generates Outgoing EDI Invoice Files.

 

For Macintosh/Linux/Unix
Via terminal services technology, our EDI products integrateode with EDI networks and your application to streamline your business process, freeing you from the need to learn the alphabets of EDI..

For MS-DOS
As an integrated EDI software solution, it allows 3rd party software to import/export data files both in batch or in optional real-time mode for EDI processing -- freeing software application developers from the need to develop/maintain EDI standards/mapping in their product line.

EDS for DOS "Minimum" Requirements:

  • System: IBM compatible 80386 or higher processor. Pentium-based systems recommended for UCC-128 carton related operations.

  • Memory: 4MB for non-ASN/Bar-code related operations. 8MB otherwise and recommended.

  • Hard Disk: 16MB. Recommended 32MB for carton ASN modules.

  • Platform: DOS 5.x and above. Successfully installed and run under various Windows 3.x, Windows95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP, as well as OS/2 environments as a DOS application.

  • Printer: Any printer capable of printing 80-columns for reports. H.P. LaserJet compatible or thermal printers required for bar code printing.  Contact us regarding printer compatibility if you have a specific make/model in mind.

BASE PACKAGE
The basic EDS for DOS package includes the following single-user functionality (multi-user option available separately):

  • Maintains trading partner specific cross reference tables in the absence of 3rd party application data sources.

  • Imports EDI Purchase Orders in both STX and standard ASCII formats.

  • Data Entry feature to enter new or update existing orders/picking tickets/packing slips/invoices

  • Prints all imported EDI purchase orders in a single, ease-to-understand format (97C15)

  • Complete EDI document UCC-128 carton number assignment and management. UCC-128 carton numbers are assigned by our AutoPack logic based on predefined packing rules. Scan & Pack option available.

  • Generates Outgoing EDI Advance Ship Notice (ASN) Files in both STX and xbase formats for non-UCC-128 ASNs. UCC-128 ASN options available.

  • Generates Outgoing EDI Invoice Files in both STX and xbase formats (v97C15)

  • Generates Shipment Manifests

 

ADDITIONAL EDS for DOS SOFTWARE MODULES
To make the base EDS software package affordable, additional functionality not necessarily required by the majority of users are sold as separate add-on modules.   Due to the mandates of EDI trading partners, the list of modules are being revised and expanded regularly.  For updated information please contact our office directly.

  • 3rd Party Application Interface Modules
    Adds the capability to directly import/export data files from various popular software packages including but not limited to ACS and AIMS. Our "open-systems" policy has enabled us to work with other software developers to deliver simple turn-key interface solutions. Please contact our office for more information.

 

EDI IMPLEMENTATIONS & CONSULTING

We offer EDI consultation and in-house implementation services. We have a variety of interfaces written to minimize the need to rekey incoming purchase orders and outgoing ASNs/invoices so that you can benefit immediately from your EDI installation.  Contact us for more information.

 

EDI SERVICE BUREAU

eLinkDirect offers the following services:

 

eLinkDirect PROGRAM OFFERINGS

We offer a variety of cost-effective programs catering to businesses of ALL sizes.  There are also programs that waive setup charges as well as offer "automatic" volume discounts. For more info, contact us at the above locations.

UCC-128 Carton Labels and Matching Carton-level Advanced Ship Notice (856) Documents

You can order labels from us with fast turnaround time. If you have an IBM compatible PC running DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT, or OS/2, and an H.P.-compatible laser printer or one of the supported thermal bar code printers, you can even print labels directly without the need to purchase any additional software.

EDI Service Bureau Pros & Cons

The advantages of using an EDI service bureau...

  1. CERTIFIED SOLUTIONS
    We are certified solutions provider with major EDI trading partners so you can be up and running within a matter of days.

  2. OFF-LOAD DIFFICULT EDI TASKS
    Contrary to what many believe, EDI functions do not have to be an ALL or NONE choice.  For example, if your system cannot handle EDI 753 (Request for Routing Instructions) documents, we have the infrastructure to take just that document from you and help you to do corresponding EDI 754 (Routing Instructions) document.  This can be done so the other EDI procedures you have remain intact and unchanged.

  3. CONSOLIDATE EDI $$$ EXPENSES
    You do not have to sign up with more than one EDI network if you deal with trading partners that "insist" on using different networks. Each network you sign up with on your own will cost you additional monthly fees.

  4. LEVERAGE EDI VOLUME DISCOUNTS
    Our EDI volume enables it to receive more substantial discounts on transactions. While this may not directly translate to savings on a per-document basis, it is competitive to what you will normally expect to pay for EDI activities from your own network.

  5. NO $$$ CAPITAL INVESTMENT
    You do not have to "buy" expensive EDI software that requires special "trading partner mapping" for each trading partner you do business with, or pay "annual" software maintenance fees that alone, often equal or surpass the cost of the monthly service fee of an outside service.

  6. FASTER IMPLEMENTATION
    Because of our experience, initial set up of EDI is generally quicker, since you do not need to sign up for your own network (unless you have a special need to) and perform related software installation and testing. This is especially important if you may not have enough time to implement EDI to meet a deadline.

  7. PROVEN EDI EXPERTISE
    Your internal techincal staff has to cope with much more than EDI: application maintenance, end-user support, new development, platform migration. But as EDI becomes the critical interface for transactions with your trading partners, it needs the expert attention of experienced specialists.

  8. TRANSITIONAL SERVICE
    If your company, like most, is in the process of (or planning) a migration to a new computing environment, (i.e. client/server technology), then outsourcing the EDI function will ensure that your electronic transaction platform remains stable throughout the migration process.

  9. REDUCE NON-CORE FUNCTIONS
    Outsourcing allows you to focus your attention, your people, and your resources on your business, not on support services. EDI is an ideal example of a critical support service which can be performed more efficiently by an outside firm which specializes in that area.

Now, the additional advantages of using the eLinkDirect services.

  1. NO MONTHLY FEE ON MONTHS WITH NO ACTIVITY
    You automatically will not see an invoice from us for months that you have no activity. This is not true if you have your own network mailbox. A few of the other services will also waive inactive months, but only if you advise them ahead of time
    .

  2. SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT
    If you are on our mailbox, you have a single point of contact when you need help with EDI, rather than having to call several different places to get your questions answered.

  3. FREE EDI SOFTWARE
    If you are on our modem program, you automatically get the basic EDS software package and periodic updates as part of the service without any additional maintenance charge.

  4. ADVANCED EDI SERVER PROTECTION
    We use only state-of-the-art technology backed by stringent backup/redundant server systems to assure you that your EDI will run as reliably as that of the Fortune 500's computer systems.

  5. 50% CREDIT-BACK TOWARDS PURCHASE
    We will apply up to 50% of your total paid EDI service monthly fee towards the purchase of new EDI software products when you are ready to switch to in-house operations.

  6. COST-EFFECTIVE
    While we do not believe that "price" is everything in a service-oriented business, you do need to know that we believe
    we have some of the most competitive prices in the business. If you ever find a lower price for the same service offering that we can verify, let us know. Chance are we can customize a program to fit both your requirements and budget!

Finally, the disadvantage, of using a service bureau....

  1. LESS CONTROL
    You do not have as much control over your EDI processing as if you have the EDI software. For example, you may have to rely on the service bureau to resend you your EDI data in some exceptional situations. With us, the degree of control you receive depends on which level of service you subscribe to. If you subscribe to our modem/computer service, then we give you software that offer you more than enough control of your EDI on a day-to-day basis. Unless you have an in-house staff knowledgeable in EDI or are willing to pay for the software maintenance/consulting fees to assist you when you need "help" with all the extra controls you get -- control might not be worth the headache in this case.

    One way we suggest people to look at EDI service bureaus is to compare them to payroll services. EDI processing is no less complex than payroll processing with its own set of rules (trading partner requirements). Looking at it from this perspective may help you to see why more and more people are finding service bureaus better alternatives to in-house solutions -- provided that a cost-effective/control/reliability balance can be achieved.

  2. WORKING WITH A MIDDLE MAN
    Yes, it is possible that by adding an additional "middle" man, your EDI is subject to more shuffling and is potentially in jeopardy of being "mishandled." But as you will find out with us, the right technology, knowledge, and implementation do make a difference.

Please note that we did not include COST as a disadvantage of using a service bureau, because it is NOT necessarily more expensive to use our service bureau, even at high-volumes of transactions.

 

EDI SERVICE BUREAU FAQs (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)

Q: How long will it take to set up a trading partner?
A: It depends on the trading partner. Some trading partners have a comprehensive testing procedure that MUST BE completed in a prescribed time frame, while others that we are already certified with can be set up within a matter of days. However, we strongly discourage "waiting until the last available minute" approach, as there are other variables in the setup -- for example, delays from the network provider and the trading partner being backed up.

Q: What kind of assurance will I have if I use your service bureau?
A: While no one can ever guarantee a "problem-free" EDI experience, we assure our customers with a money-back guarantee: If you are new to our service bureau, you have 30-days to decide if our service is right for you. And if you ever get chargedback by your customer for a fault originating from us (whether it be data entry or technical) at any time, we will refund your service fee in accordance to our service agreement.

Q: We need to send ASNs to our trading partners. How quickly can you process and forward them?
A: We put the highest priority on outgoing ASNs when we receive them. Customers that fax ASNs to us for processing will have their ASNs processed the same day as long as all required documents are received before 5pm Eastern Time. Modem customers will have their ASNs processed at regular intervals throughout the day as they are received by our system. If you have a special situation that requires different arrangement, we will work with you to accommodate your needs.

Q: We need UCC-128 Carton Labels for matching ASNs at the detail (carton container) level on our shipments. How can we handle this requirement through your service bureau without buying additional hardware and/or software?
A: Depending on what equipment you currently have, your timing, and your packing requirements we will either:

a) key the ASNs for you and send you preprinted labels from your shipment estimates based inventory and packing requirements;
b) give you the software to generate the request for UCC-128 bar codes from your computer based on information you supply; and send you the labels via modem or by mail; or,
c) have you rent the software on a month-to-month basis to print any number of labels you needs.

 

SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS

ATTENTION SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS: Contact our office for technical information as well as co-marketing opportunities on our EDI products and services!

 

Internet

INTERNET IMPLEMENTATIONS & CONSULTING

Web Site Implementation/Web Page Design
We can help you with professional web site organization and/or web page design.

Distributed Internet Access
If your business is in need of offering Internet access to employees to communicate with vendors, customers, and/or its sales force, we can assist you in planning and implementing a system that can easily expand without compromising security.

In-House Web Hosting
We will review with you your business requirements and put together a live and secure web site at your location. A live web-site will enable your company to connect your existing network (Novell, Windows NT Server, Mac) or other hosts (System/3x, AS/400, RS/6000, HP/3000) and distribute/share information with remote users connecting from anywhere around the world. Combined with our resources in the Information Systems Group, we will be able to custom program data access frontends to meet your needs today, whether it be access to inventory availability, pricing, and/or on-line order taking.

 

E-Mail

E-MAIL IMPLEMENTATIONS & CONSULTING

Local Area Network
We offer a variety of expertise in the area of local area network e-mail implementations from Lotus cc:Mail to Microsoft Mail.

Wide Area Network
If your need for e-mail extends outside your business, then you will appreciate our experience in implementing e-mail "gateways" for packages such as cc:Mail.and Microsoft Exchange Server and connect seamlessly to the outside world via Internet protocols such as UUCP, SMTP, POP3, and X.400.

INTERNET E-MAIL SERVICE BUREAU
We currently support gateway services for the following e-mail systems:

Our gateway services allow your LAN and mobile-based e-mail systems to interconnect with the Internet inexpensively without the need for complicated, dedicated/full-time gateway hardware and software. All that is needed is a "router" or mobile-capable client to access our e-mail post office.

E-Mail Service Bureau Program Offering


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