Through OptCenter customization services, you can take complete ownership of your account’s activities by tweaking and fine-tuning. As transactions pass through the OC, customizations are selectively applied to reach the formatting goals for each transaction and for each business partner. Compliance and total flexibility are two of the top priorities of the OptCenter and the possibilities are limited only by imagination.
EDI Options has been providing solutions for over two decades so we understand the need for customers to add customizations to their account's operation. Customizations permit the fine-tuning and enhancement of transactions so that they meet the standards that allow them to be passed on. Purchase Order transactions received inbound are selectively run through item cross referencing to enhance line items that contain only UPC numbers to also include your internal SKU numbers. Invoices sent outbound are similarly enhanced by applying default values such as payment terms and 'ship from' elements all on a per partner basis.
Customizations are not limited to the formatting of transactions. Processing paths can be selectively defined for each partner and transaction permitting maximum flexibility. Purchase orders received from a partner using direct to customer shipping can be enhanced and standardized along the company-wide purchase order handling path. These orders can then be analyzed and reported. If a customer receives 5000 direct to customer purchase orders in a day, those transactions are formatted then passed to shipping and logistics systems. Then they can be aggregated, analyzed, and reported on by shipping destination—to by item ordered—to by price point—to by ship date—or by any other element important to the operation.
Customizations make transactions more complete and meaningful and can be applied with next-to-no limits. Not every business partner provides all the necessary details required for your systems nor do they all provide it in the correct context. Not every piece of information required by your partners is easily available to you in your systems either. Customizations based on partner can insure that every transaction passed meets the target system’s critical standard. This way transactional information can flow smoothly through your fulfillment operation as it has already passed inspection. WMS systems receiving inbound purchase orders may required a Ship To reference that is not provided in the appropriate context by the business partner. Ship To cross-referencing permits the partners shipping destination codes to be synchronized invisibly with your own. A partner that provides a 13 character Ship To ID is incompatible with your WMS if it can only manage 10 characters. Customizations allow that type of cross-reference permitting WMS systems to work in an uninterrupted way while still providing the appropriate location code back to the partner in invoice and shipping transactions.
Customizations also permit storage of partner specific details outside of your operations. Details difficult to integrate like retailer department and account numbers are retained on the OptCenter for reference purposes. Cross references for items and ship to codes, default values applied on a per partner and transactions basis, look-ups to the original purchase order, and applying selected actions based on the conditions found in the transactions are all customization techniques that enhance partner transactions and insure transaction compliance without making changes to internal systems.
While transaction management standardizes output, customization allows you to selectively apply your own finishing touches. These are the keys to effectively control all transactions to assure a smooth and consistent exchange. Through customization, the quirks of certain partners are addresses and normalized early in the exchange process to keep everything running as efficiently as possible.
It is not at all uncommon for customers to have their own in-house systems and perform their own systems development. Those company development assets are best applied to internal applications but far too often assets are applied to address external partner specific challenges. Imagine the convenience when every inbound transaction type already meets the company standards for exchange! Outbound transactions are passed according to the uniform company standards with the OptCenter fine tuning out the quirks of individual business partners through on-network customization techniques. In-house assets can stay focused on in-house issues when the standards for external exchange do not need to be constantly adjusted.
In-house projects can count on a standard transaction flow for inbound transactions, and can also leverage the power of the OptCenter for more specialized projects. The successful projects which have utilized the OptCenter in the past have focused on the daily exchange of inventory with a number of different on-line retailers, the analysis of point of sale and shipping information to plan future markets, and a Vendor Managed Inventory process where weekly replenishment is calculated and planned for thousands of stores nationwide.