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What is EDI Testing?

In simple words, EDI testing is a process of checking EDI documents flow end-to-end between organizations and internal systems to ensure smooth data exchange before the actual EDI implementation. It’s one of the most important steps in the overall EDI implementation process. It’s a general practice encouraged, followed and mandated by most trading partners to verify that suppliers have the necessary software and hardware to send, receive and translate standardized business documents and make sure there are no hiccups during the production. EDI testing from the trading partner’s side takes places either in-house or is outsourced to a managed EDI provider or a third party tech company. Usually, same is the case with their suppliers too.

Top 5 things to remember during EDI testing:

  1. Testing needs to be done end-to-end which means not only through your EDI portal but to and from your back-end ERP.It is important to ensure there are no hiccups with your internal back-end ERP when you are in production or live with your trading partner

For e.g., if you are testing an EDI 850 (purchase order) and you have an accounting software where you store all your POs/sales orders, you want to make sure that not only comes through your EDI portal but also goes directly into your accounting software.

Similarly, if you are testing an EDI 810 (invoice), the invoice needs to go from your accounting software to your trading partner through your EDI portal.

  1. You will need everyone internally and externally to sign off once a document is processed end-to-end
    • Understand that there are many moving parts in the overall process and this is the stage where you discover any flaws in the data flow and have the opportunity to fix them without getting chargebacks or fines.
      • EDI project team (both internal and external) and account teams have to make sure they communicate properly so that no information is lost regarding the trading partner requirements.
        • Monitoring after testing is complete is absolutely necessary to make sure little surprises can be avoided and immediate reaction and correction of any issues if found.

        Listen to this video to learn more about EDI Testing and its importance:

        Step by Step Process on How to Create an EDI Project or Test Plan

        1. Select the type of EDI Service you want to go with

        Select the EDI software for your business considering your current infrastructure, resources and long-term needs. If you want to learn  how to select the right EDI service partner for your business, we got you covered.

        1. Obtain EDI trading partner contact

        Generally, if you are trading with any big box companies, you will be given a getting started guide or kit which will have all the contacts (phone, email, etc.) to their EDI/Support team who will help you test the EDI documents. If not, you can obtain the contact info from the buyer team you are dealing with

        1. Gather EDI implementation guidelines for EDI Documents to be exchanged

        In the same guide, you should have a web link that will give you access to the EDI documents/codes and their specifications

        1. Gather EDI connectivity information for delivery of EDI documents

        The communication method utilized by your trading partner should also be mentioned in the kit. If not, please get in touch with their EDI contact.

        1. Outline EDI document flow

        It is important you work out how your documents will flow from your ERP, WMS, TMS or accounting software (if you have one) to your EDI portal and to your trading partner and vice versa

        1. Test all Internal document flows

        Before you reach out to your trading partner for setting up a date for testing, test the flow of documents from your ERP to your EDI portal. For e.g. you might have to export a sales order in the CSV format from your accounting software and convert it into an EDI format and then think about sending it to your trading partner through the portal. Similarly, there could be multiple back-end systems you might be using that need to interact with your EDI portal. This is one of the most important stages of testing that most companies miss and are struck with surprises in production that can prove to break your implementation.

        1. Setup, schedule a testing date and test connectivity

        Once you have the above basic requirements figured out, you can get in touch with the trading partner’s EDI and set up a testing date. After that, the first step will be to test the connection.

        1. EDI document processing with internal user testing and trading Partner document approval

        The next step will be to test individual EDI documents one by one between your business and the trading partner simultaneously. The guide will tell you how long the testing process will usually take and what is expected of you as a supplier.

        1. EDI error monitoring

        Verify completed setup after testing and make sure all the issues (if present) are addressed and rectified. Continuous monitoring is required for a few days after testing to make sure you are ready for production/go-live.

        Read next

        Get prepared to setup a new trading partner by following a simple step-by-step process if you are EDI-capable already