Supply Chain Management

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What Is EDI? Our EDI Tool Box        More about What EDI is all about

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Supply Chain Definitions

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Financial EDI

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Supply Chain Synchronization

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EDI System Tune Up

Just like your car, your EDI system requires a periodic “tune up”. You need to step back and see if your system is giving you the “best mileage for your dollar”. Remember, things change over time and something that worked well last year might not now because of external changes in your business process or internal changes in the interfacing systems. Here is what I would recommend

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AS2 for EDI

AS2 (Applicability Statement 2) is a specification for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between businesses using the Internet’s Web page protocol, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The specification is an extension of the earlier version, Applicability Statement 1 (AS1). Both specifications were created by EDI over the Internet (EDIINT), a working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that develops secure and reliable business communications standards. The AS2 standard provides Secure Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) and uses HTTP or a more secure version, HTTPS, to transmit data over the Internet. AS1 uses a slower protocol, SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). The use of HTTP or HTTPS allows communication in real time rather than through e-mail delivery. Security, authentication, message integrity, and privacy are assured by the use of encryption and digital signatures. Another important feature, nonrepudiation, makes it impossible for the intended recipient of a message to deny having received it.

The AS2 standard allows businesses to use a common, single communications solution. This eliminates the complications and costs involved when different businesses in a network use different transfer protocols. A Web server, an EDI transfer engine, and digital certificates are required for data exchange using AS2. Almost any type of data can be transmitted.

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Supply Chain Management Control Towers

Control towers are used in many industries for different purposes: airports and railroads use them for traffic control; power plants have control rooms to monitor operations; and third party logistics providers use them to track transportation activities. These are places where operations run well. Why not a

“SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT CONTROL TOWER”

in order to monitor and assure your supply? Talk to us, we build them!

So just what is an SCM Control Tower? What are the functions of a Supply Chain Control Tower? Who staffs your Supply Chain Management Control Tower?

If you use an EDI VAN for your business, this message is for you. Move past the ancient VAN technology. JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System will bring your EDI operation into the 21st Century. The power of our global EDI network is available on your server, your cloud platform or your application. AND you cannot beat our prices.
You can connect and communicate with all your customers and trading partners through the JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System – Connect with trading partners around the world on a single Network-as-a-Service platform, get real-time transaction visibility and eliminate those manual network processes. It is a pay as you need model. We track all interchanges from the moment they enter the system, along every step across the network, and through the delivery confirmation.

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What is a VAN?

The EDI experts can create an involved answer but lots of people like business managers, for instance) are not quite sure what it is. Maybe if I liken it to something not Information Technology, I could better explain it.

It is like the U.S. Freight rail system. Both take your product; pack it in their own container (envelopes/files; box cars); move it to the recipient by a network of rails or phone:data lines (both built by private companies); switch from one to the other (no single VAN or railroad covers the whole country….yet); and finally deliver to the recipient (rail siding or VAN mailbox).

A VAN lets you complete all your transactions in one transmission. A train lets you send all your shipments at once.

The VAN is essentially a giant virtual switchboard where data is shunted from one participating company to another. The rail system is essentially a giant virtual switchboard where freight is shunted from a participating shipper to a customer.

A VAN is a company offering the communications skills, expertise, and equipment needed to communicate electronically. In an EDI context, a VAN acts like an electronic post office by receiving, storing, and forwarding electronic messages. A company and its trading partners have “mailboxes” on the VAN where EDI transactions can be stored. A railroad is a company offering the transportation skills, expertise, and equipment needed to move your products. At one point, railroads moved most of the mail for the post office.

Both VANs and railroads use “Service Messages” to track “shipments”. Ironically, railroads use a series of EDI transmissions to do the tracking.

The term mailbox is used to refer to a unique identified area of information storage within a computer, a point of private user access and data consolidation to which EDI transmissions are sent and held until retrieved by the individual EDI VAN customer. Each VAN participant can retrieve documents from its assigned mailbox whenever convenient to it’s own operations. Well, that is like a railroad siding. The customer can open the door and unload when he is ready.

The file is sent to either a VAN mailbox, FTP site, or directly to AS2 recipients to be picked up.

Railroads are in the 21st Century too: ever hear of a UNIT TRAIN?

Yes, sometimes we go outside the system. Internet EDI goes over the “Internet” (who owns or built the Internet?). Non-rail truck traffic goes over the highway system (guess who pays for our highways).

Now for a ridiculous story or two. Several years ago the NY Central Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad merged into the Penn Central Railroad. Many shippers box cars got lost going between stations on the Penn Central. The year INOVIS and GXS merged. Many customers lost data going between these two entities.

See the full article on What is a VAN?

See my other blogs

See other blogs about EDI

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The JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System

may be a right for you if you already have an EDI translator, EDI personnel, or do your own mapping and only need EDI VAN communication. The power of our global EDI network is available on your server, your cloud platform or your application. JWH EDI Services is an “ECCP” (Electronic Commerce Communications Provider)

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Outsourcing could be your answer!

Move past the ancient VAN technology. JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System will bring your EDI operation into the 21st Century. Read More

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Have network and current VAN concerns? Recent mergers bothering you? Join us and stop following the herd! Read More

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A new term is appearing in the supply chain arena: “Supply Chain Control Tower”.

Just as an airport control tower coordinates airplanes landing and taking off, a Supply Chain Control Tower coordinates inbound and outbound distribution flows. Sure sounds more professional than a “dashboard”.

 

Now, who is going to staff the control tower?

Logistics was conceived by the military to get the right amount of supplies to the troops at the right time. Supply chain management takes a bigger approach of looking further back into the life of a product to its manufacture and even product design while integrating what were once thought to be unrelated disciplines: marketing and customer service.

 

Our Supply Chain Control Tower is up and running. Yes, the idea makes a lot of sense, but what are the benefits?


How do we make full use of our resources? What else do we need to add to it? If you take a look at an airport control tower, it usually is a boring place. Yes, they work around the clock but all you see is a super smooth operation. Operators viewing screens and talking calmly into headsets. When it is not “boring”, they usually throw visitors out. Our goal with our SCM Control Tower is to be a “boring” place.

 

We have been talking a lot about Supply Chain Management Control Towers. Yes, transportation (usually under logistics) is included in the control tower.


In many companies, transportation is outsourced to a 3PL, 4PL or 5PL provider. This provider is an expert at hooking your company up to any required transportation resources. Your provider already has some excellent tools available. A popular concept since the 1990’s has been the “Load Control Center” (LCC). We are looking at outsourcing, but yes, excellent software is available if you do it yourself.

 

Supply Chain Intelligence: Using Your Visibility


We know that supply chain visibility is a requirement for any company competing in today’s global marketplace. You must be able to see something if you want to manage it. It is the key to Supply Chain Management. We have talked about the Supply Chain Control Tower and who sits in the tower, now we are going to talk about what should be going on in the Supply Chain Control Tower and what it can do for you.

Our Electronic Commerce and Supply Chain Glossary

B2B

B2B – Business To Business: A type of commerce transaction that exists between businesses, such as those involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer. Business to business refers to business that is conducted between companies, rather than between a company and individual consumers. This is in contrast to business to consumer (B2C) and business to government (B2G).

CRM Contact Center

CRM contact center (customer service, call center, etc) – is a computer-based system that provides call and contact routing for high-volume telephony transactions, with specialist answering “agent” stations and a sophisticated real-time contact management system. The definition includes all contact center systems that provide inbound contact handling capabilities and automatic contact distribution, combined with a high degree of sophistication in terms of dynamic contact traffic management.

eCommerce

(electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet, especially the World Wide Web. In practice, this term and a newer term, e-business, are often used interchangably. For online retail selling, the term e-tailing is sometimes used.

Infotainment

Broadcast material which is intended both to entertain and to inform.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes a future where everyday physical objects will be connected to the Internet and be able to identify themselves to other devices. The term is closely identified with RFID as the method of communication, although it also may include other sensor technologies, wireless technologies or QR codes. See more about IoT

OEM

An original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, refers to a company that makes a final product for the consumer marketplace. For example, Ford and General Motors are OEM companies that manufacture cars, and Apple is a computer OEM.

Omni-channel

A seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available shopping channels, i.e. mobile internet devices, computers, bricks-and-mortar, television, catalog and so on’. What it means for you, the consumer, is that you’re really calling the shots. What it means for the ‘supply chain you’ is that you better have your act truly together. For you ecommerce & IT professionals, integration, speed, and transparency are must-haves. You need to take care of those demanding consumers!

Telematics

The branch of information technology which deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information.

Tier-1 Supplier

direct suppliers to OEMs. The term is especially common in the automobile industry and refers to major suppliers of parts (actually full-blown “systems”) to OEMs.

VAN2

An Electronic Commerce Communications Provider who moves EDI messages over the Internet (usually using AS2). Interconnected with all of customer’s trading partners.

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Our HAND TOOL WebSite is intended in aiding you to locate HAND TOOL suppliers. You may search by product or by manufacturer. We add both products and manufacturers, so keep checking back. In addition we are a full service MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operational Supplies) supplier. If you are in the construction or farming business, we are your source.

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We Need A Network of Networks To Make Supply Chain Control Towers Work

We Call That THE CLOUD

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