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You mean I can integrate EDI orders with my QuickBooks!?

  
  
  
  
  

This article is written by guest blogger Yvette Santos, DiCentral's customer development director.

You may not have thought about how much time you are spending manually keying in information into QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Enterprise software. It is probably more time than you think—especially with EDI orders that require a return of other document sets. Let’s take a second to focus on integrating EDI Purchase Order and Invoice data to your QuickBooks software.

Quick background: DiCentral knows EDI and has been on the leading edge of supply chain software and services for over 14 years. We have a web portal called DiWeb which gives you the required compliance with trading partners and offers functions-abilities-visibility for the vendor/user to process orders. We built robust software to complement the DiWeb portal for processing orders called DiIntegrator R11. This is a more advanced integration solution and is cost-effective and provides the ability to mass process orders efficiently and effectively. DiIntegrator R11 can help process Purchase Orders, Advance Ship Notices, TMS documents and Invoices. With this powerful software, there are reports galore: packing reports, item reports, packing slips, picking slips, etc. There are many versions of DiIntegrator R11, such as Single User, Multi-User, Multi-Tenant and versions that provide integration to other ERPs (DiCentral also provides hosting services, but that is for another time). DiWeb will be used to process other documents that will not be processed in DiIntegrator, and will also provide unique visibility and will still give you access to “chargeback killers.”

DiCentral DiIntegrator EDI integration with QuickBooksBack to integration with QuickBooks: The DiCentral software version that I’d like to discuss is DiIntegrator R11 with QuickBooks Export. Along with all the other DiIntegrator R11 features, it has the ability to export Purchase Orders to QuickBooks that will show up as Sales Orders. You will be able to create/send ASNs and print your labels and then create Invoices and send them to your trading partners. You will also have the ability to export the EDI invoices to QuickBooks. When the Invoices are exported to QuickBooks, it will close out the Sales Order as well as update the invoice section inside the QuickBooks software. Additionally, DiIntegrator has other options for you to format the invoice numbers the way you need them.

Achieving integration using DiIntegrator for QuickBooks export is an effective way to reduce/remove the time you spend keying in information into your QuickBooks software, leaving you the ability to focus on your core competencies and grow profits for your business.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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DiCentral Is Hitting the Road Next Week — LA, NJ, CA, & FL

  
  
  
  
  

The DiCentral team will be hitting the road and attending some great events next week!

Yvonne Espino, sales director for DiCentral, is speaking at the Texas Louisiana OAUG meeting this Monday (May 4) in Kenner, Louisiana. If you are attending the meeting, you won’t want to miss her presentation on the key to streamlining your Oracle data.  

We are attending the RVCF Spring Conference on May 3-6 in New Jersey. Our managed services team will be on hand to offer insight on retail supply chain best practices. We look forward to learning, networking, and connecting with the retail industry!

Our Channel team will be attending NetSuite SuiteWorld, May 4-7, in San Jose. We are thrilled to be a part of this conference, as we have made major advances with our EDI integration solution with NetSuite ERP.  

Our integration team will be at the SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando, taking place May 5-7. As a proud alumni exhibitor of the conference, we welcome SAP users and partners to our booth 489C to exchange ideas regarding SAP ERP and All-in-One. We also are giving away Beats by Dre headphones—stop by the DiCentral booth for your chance to win!

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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DiCentral Presents at the Houston Oracle Users Group

  
  
  
  
  

Mike Neadeau, DiCentral's vice president of sales, presented today on EDI integration with Oracle ERP systems at the Houston Oracle Users Group meeting. You can find out about upcoming HOUG meetings at houg.org.

We hope to see you at future meetings, Houston Oracle users!

DiCentral presents at Houston Oracle Users Group meeting

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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Best Practices for Retail EDI – Two Essential Characteristics of a Successful EDI Program

  
  
  
  
  

This article is written by guest blogger Marc-Andre Huras, DiCentral's channel manager for Microsoft Dynamics AX and NAV.

Often characterized by fluctuating levels of demand in highly dynamic and competitive markets, the retail industry is no stranger to complex EDI. Just think of the challenges faced in routing products and related data across 200 outlets in five countries: purchase orders, invoices, returns, pricing updates, and so on. Not exactly your "Mom & Pop" business anymore. We haven't even touched on shipping yet, but let's drop a "G" bomb into the mix: "Globalization." From this perspective, it quickly becomes apparent why the retail industry is among those at the forefront of a fast evolving EDI world. 

In this post, I want to shed some light on what I believe are two absolutely essential characteristics for a retail EDI practice going forward. I'll tread lightly, carefully circumventing the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourced EDI as I would rather leave that question to you, our reader.

1-Scalability: A retail EDI infrastructure should be ready to scale up and down.

I like to think of scalability in terms of a system's ability to take on and handle fluctuating loads of data.  For instance, at some point or another all retailers are faced with the decision to either hire more personnel or automate a particular EDI process. Maybe the number of incoming purchase orders has begun to outstrip your capacity to process them and as days get longer in the accounting department, the question of scaling through automation becomes significant.

There are many ways to scale your EDI platform and customers will often start with an ERP-specific EDI adaptor. There are many "out-of-the-box" adaptors on the market and they can help relieve much of the pain related to scaling from a user's perspective, but in reality EDI has many moving parts. Just think of the system as a whole including software, hardware, VAN connections, support, evolving trading partner guidelines, personnel, training, etc. All of these individual pieces need to be ready to scale and seldom are they all found under one roof next to the "easy" button. Earlier this year at Microsoft Convergence, someone remarked to me that EDI is the biggest non-standard standard. I feel that statement describes EDI well.

So how do we scale or "elasticize" our EDI practice?

It is critical to plan for variability in dealing with all of your EDI vendors. This begins with taking a hard look at SLAs and how well they can all be harmonized around your specific EDI needs. Is a vendor capable of supporting you during growth? Will they meet your needs in tough times? Do your vendors offer EDI services and solutions for starting small and a roadmap for growing? You can’t always predict when your business will undergo a period of substantial growth, and because not all vendors are capable of supporting that growth it can be costly to have to seek out and develop a new EDI vendor relationship amidst a period of high stress and fluctuation. In dealing with your internal EDI practice, I would look at the resource plan and governance. Is business continuity hard set into your EDI practice? Is there any single point of failure? This may seem trivial but when EDI knowledge rests with only one or a handful of people, disastrous consequences can result from personnel turnover. Certain EDI providers are equipped to offer the full range of EDI managed services. More and more companies are looking at EDI providers to hedge against EDI complexity and risks.      

2-Extensibility: A retail EDI platform should be open to integrating any data format on any protocol. 

For me, the most exciting sideDiCentral's best practices for retail EDI of EDI is imagining where B2B integration will take us in the future, and the retail industry is pushing the boundaries like no other. This is driven largely by the need for VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) and DSD (Direct Store Delivery). Just walk through the aisles of any Microsoft Dynamics conference, and the number of ISVs with product add-ons is almost dizzying. I like to think of extensibility in terms of a system's ability to ingest, process, and exchange data from unlimited sources. It's easy to think of EDI in terms of exchanging data, such as invoices, from one point to another, but the web is widening this scope with concepts like cloud computing, non-relational databases, decoupled architectures, mobility, server-side scripting, and so on. Moreover, what the web is showing us is that no one knows what the future holds. 

Applied to EDI, a panoply of tools (or extensions) is quickly arising that will enhance and optimize what has traditionally been considered a somewhat binary process. DiCentral, for example, offers DiMetrics, a web-based tool that allows users to create and modify EDI business rules in the cloud. Imagine that you want to use a specific carrier when shipping a product over a certain weight—DiMetrics allows you to create the rules and integrate them as part of your EDI process. I made a reference earlier to Mom & Pop operations. Direct Store Delivery is now surfacing as a critical operational challenge for vendors selling to independent retailers. According to the NRF, 95% of all businesses in the US are sole proprietorships and owner-operated businesses. Selling to these retailers is an expensive proposition since most of them can't support EDI.

So how do we "future proof" our EDI platform?

An extensible EDI platform should be able to integrate data from any source in any format and then use this data to provide accurate, timely intelligence to your EDI practice. When thinking of your vendor solutions, do they offer and support the ability to connect to other systems by way of standard protocols? Web services are popular now and the EDI world is bracing for AS4, an open standard for the secure exchange of business documents using web services. While this is still in development, your EDI platform should be ready to communicate in this method when the time arises. Does your EDI vendor offer products that are built on extensible frameworks? In skimming the web, I read for instance that one vendor uses Flash as the user interface for their EDI adaptor. This may have been exciting in 2002, but the web applications world has largely abandoned Flash favoring other frameworks, notably HTML5. What will this mean in terms of compatibility and support for this product moving forward? In essence, by following trends in web applications development (information in extreme abundance on the web), we can align our EDI platform with applications and solutions that follow best practices, avoiding those that can unexpectedly emerge as EDI landmine products.

These two characteristics are essential in retail EDI because retail is extremely dynamic. While EDI is core to retail business, it’s not the core business. So whether you choose to manage EDI completely in-house or choose to outsource it, these concepts will apply. Naturally, aligning yourself with an EDI partner that you can consult and covers all of these bases is a smart decision.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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DiCentral Exhibiting at Retail Realm Technology Conference, April 25 - 27

  
  
  
  
  

The DiCentral Microsoft Dynamics AX team is thrilled to be exhibiting at the 2015 Retail Realm Technology Conference, taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas, April 25 - 27! As a proud Silver Level Sponsor, we are looking forward to sharing best practices on Microsoft's suite of products for the retail sector, as well as showcasing DiCentral's solutions built to integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics AX.  

DiCentral exhibiting at the 2015 Retail Realm Tech Conference

Learn more about the event here.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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Oracle COLLABORATE 15 Attendees: DiCentral Presenting Today at 2pm

  
  
  
  
  

DiCentral's Mike Neadeau will be presentingDiCentral presenting at Oracle COLLABORATE 15 today at Oracle COLLABORATE 15 on EDI integration for Oracle. If you are free at 2:00pm, be sure to make your way to Room Breakers K for the presentation.

Presentation title: Enhancing Your Supply Chain: Advanced EDI Integration for Oracle

When: Monday, April 13, 2:00 p.m.

Where: Room Breakers K

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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Acumatica Dallas Event Takes Place Next Week

  
  
  
  
  

On Monday, April 13, Acumatica users will be meetingDiCentral sponsoring Acumatica Dallas event in Dallas to network and share Acumatica ERP best practices at Connected World - Connected Business. As a proud sponsor, DiCentral is looking forward to a great event. If you are in the Dallas area and you haven't yet registered, it’s not too late! Click here to register for the event.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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DiCentral's Mike Neadeau Presenting Monday at Oracle COLLABORATE 15

  
  
  
  
  

The DiCentral EDI Integration and ManagedMike Neadeau to present at Oracle COLLABORATE 15 Solutions team is traveling to Las Vegas next week for Oracle COLLABORATE 15. Mike Neadeau, our vice president of sales, has been invited to speak on EDI integration for Oracle on Monday, April 13 at 2:00 pm. 

Presentation title: Enhancing Your Supply Chain: Advanced EDI Integration for Oracle

When: Monday, April 13, 2:00 p.m.

Where: Room Breakers K

If you ​are attending the conference, be sure to stop by the DiCentral booth #1330, where we'll be giving away a pair of Beats Solo2 headphones!

 -Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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DiCentral Sponsoring Acumatica Connected World – Connected Business

  
  
  
  
  

DiCentral would like to invite Acumatica ERP users in the Dallas area to the upcoming Acumatica Connected World - Connected Business on Monday, April 13 at The Joule, Praetorian Ballroom.  As a proud sponsor of the user group meeting, we are looking forward to a morning of learning and networking. DiCentral sponsoring Acumatica Dallas event

Please click on DiCentral’s name when you register. We will see you there!

 -Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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DiCentral Executive Speaking at Oracle COLLABORATE 15

  
  
  
  
  

DiCentral is happy to announce that Mike Neadeau, vice president of sales for DiCentral, will be speaking at Oracle COLLABORATE 15, taking place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Hotel in Las Vegas on April 12-16. Mr. Neadeau will deliver his presentation titled "Enhancing Your Supply Chain: Advanced EDI Integration for Oracle" on Monday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m. in Room Breakers K.

Oracle clients will learn best practices of EDI integration with their Oracle system and how this integration improves collaboration, visibility and optimizes supply chain processes. DiCentral will present actual clients that have cost-effectively implemented an EDI solution with their suppliers and benefited from shorter delays in order fulfillment and a reduction of administrative errors. Additionally, we will demonstrate the ease of integrating data with Oracle and highlight the benefits and cost savings associated.

Oracle COLLABORATE DiCentralIf you plan to attend the event, be sure to visit the DiCentral booth #1330 to learn more about our extensive Oracle EDI integration services.

 -Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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