Eliminate EDI “Black Box” with E-Tracks

Gain transparency into the EDI world with our cutting-edge E-Tracks application.

By Molly Goad

Clarity brings power. But EDI is often seen as a “black box” system that isn’t quite clear to the end-user. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. BOLD VAN delivers the coveted transparency that’s missing in the EDI space with its innovative E-Tracks application. 

E-Tracks’ hallmark feature alerts users when EDI documents haven’t been received by the intended recipient. Stay with me and I’ll show you the importance of this component. 

But first, we need to talk about functional acknowledgments. These documents are uber important and can reduce fines and chargebacks. They come into play when outbound EDI documents are received — a functional acknowledgment (also known as an EDI 997) is generated by the receiving partner’s EDI system and sent back to the sender. 

It’s much like selecting delivery confirmation when you order a gift or flowers for a friend. The confirmation is emailed as soon as the item is delivered to the intended recipient. It’s your job to follow up with the provider if you don’t receive delivery confirmation; your friend isn’t going to call you and say, “Where’s my present?” In today’s busy word, remembering to check on a delivery is one of those things that is forgotten easily.

An EDI 997 is like a delivery confirmation email or text, and if E-Tracks doesn’t receive one, an alert is generated for the sender. Much like the scenario of sending a gift, in the EDI arena, it’s up to the sender to ascertain whether or not the business partner received the documents. 

This level of notification is crucial in many situations. 

Reduce Chargebacks

Clients send an EDI advance ship notice (also known as the EDI 856) — a document that states the contents of a shipment to the receiving company — ahead of a shipment’s arrival. ASNs are vital because the receiving party needs to properly plan and staff the warehouse for every delivery. But suppose the receiving partner doesn’t receive the ASN and the shipment arrives. The warehouse isn’t prepared and oftentimes an ASN chargeback fee is issued to the sender. (Chargebacks can range from $25 to $250 per carton.) Clients are surprised when hit with these fees because they had no idea the ASN wasn’t received. 

This scenario is erased with our E-Tracks application. Clients will be notified when the ASN isn’t received, and they can intervene before it’s too late. 

Never Get Paid Late Again

E-Tracks can prevent situations that directly affect your cash flow. Suppose you send out invoices but they aren’t received by your trading partner. This can cause a lag in the amount of time between invoicing and receiving payment. Clients think the invoices are being processed, not realizing the transaction has stalled. E-Tracks eliminates these delays; the application alerts clients when it doesn’t receive the functional acknowledgment. The client is able to fix the problem much quicker with E-Tracks in the picture. 

Reduce Strain on IT

Oftentimes IT staff are asked to look into delays. Internal personnel will call the IT department to ask, “Did that invoice go out?” or “Was the ASN received?” These questions are eliminated with the transparency of E-Tracks, because it offers users a clearer picture into the EDI process. Employees won’t have to contact IT to get their questions answered — they can find out for themselves. Isn’t it wonderful when an unnecessary step is removed? Your IT department will thank you! 

EDI Data in Human, Readable Format

If you’re familiar with EDI, you know that raw EDI data looks like a different language. It’s a system where users can see the inputs and outputs, but they have no insight into what goes on behind the scenes. E-Tracks translates that language into something every user can understand  — a human, readable format. How great is that?! 

To find out how to get started with E-Tracks, contact BOLD VAN by calling 844-265-3777 or emailing info@boldvan.com.

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