Many small or middle sized businesses are now using SAP software and integrating it with EDI to make their business grow and continue to be profitable. If this is something you are looking at introducing to your business you will probably want to know exactly what is involved in SAP EDI Integration and how it will work for your business.

Using SAP Software

SAP is a software system that integrates internal and external management information across an entire company. It includes manufacturing, sales and service.  SAP automates these activities with an integrated software application and the main purpose of SAP software is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders.

What does EDI mean?

EDI or Electronic Data Interchange, is the transfer of data from one computer system to another by standardized message formatting and it permits multiple companies to exchange documents electronically. Data can be exchanged through serial links and peer to peer networks, although most exchanges rely on the internet for connectivity. EDI applies to documents such as purchase orders, invoices, shipping notices and commission sales reports, as well as other important or classified information. Using EDI systems eliminates the need to print, file, store, post and retrieve paper documents so that information is processed and read easily.

Integrating SAP Software and EDI

SAP does not work directly with EDI structures; SAP has its own messages called Idocs. These Idocs are similar to EDI messages, but they have their own structures. Usually these SAP Idocs work in XML for data interchange and it already considers XML as its primary standard for data interchange. Therefore, to integrate EDI into SAP, a “EDI – SAP Idoc” or “SAP Idoc – EDI” conversion must take place. Through SAP you can communicate, transform and integrate any type of EDI message in SAP via Idocs without the need for any external supplier. This will reduce errors and costs to the greatest extent possible, in addition to greatly increasing the speed of communication with clients and suppliers. Another option for performing the transformation between EDI messages and SAP Idocs is to do it through external providers who handle the communication between both systems and the conversion of formats. Once the integration is complete, SAP has numerous tools for monitoring, alerts and message reprocessing. These tools allow you to view the entire flow of messages from the source to the destination, monitoring by client/supplier, viewing documents created in SAP such as orders, deliveries or invoices.

Considering the SAP and EDI Integration would be a great addition to your business because it will mean that you will be saving on costs, saving on time and also making information easily available and accessible to all members of your team. If this is something that you can bring in to your business, less paper work and faster communications then your business will be sure to see growth and profitability.