Tag Archives: electronic data interchange

Improving Fleet Management

As the economy slowly improves, the number of goods to deliver will increase, meaning transportation companies will need to meet the rising demand. In order to do so, transportation companies need to ensure they are running at maximum efficiency. Below are some tools and tips on how to keep your fleet going strong.

Activity-Based Costing Software (ABC)
ABC software allows companies to determine service costs, starting from initial acceptance to final delivery. To receive the maximum benefit from ABC software, its crucial to capture accurate data every step of the way—loading, departure, arrival, unloading and return. From there, time and costs associated with each action can be analyzed to point out inefficiencies.

Electronic Onboard Recorder (EOBR)
EOBR’s allow transportation companies to better manage their fleet by improving logging, eliminating paper, ensuring compliance, monitoring fuel and providing real-time vehicle locations.

EOBRs also allow companies to look at how much individual vehicles, routes and loads are costing by looking at vehicle and driver performance.

There are many RFID fuel purchasing solutions that ensure only authorized vehicles use the gas pump, in addition to providing a real-time view of fuel consumption and cost.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Companies can use automation through EDI to help eliminate the need for human data translation, which wastes valuable time. For example, it can be used to perform regular checks on drivers’ insurance records.

Optimizing Route Plans
Using fleet management software can help create route plans that optimize and balance delivery profitability and customer service.

If you have other tips on fleet management and transportation, share them by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

EDI: Electronic Data Interchange

Electronic Data Interchange, or EDI, refers to the structured transmission of data from organization to organization through electronic means. This could be to transfer electronic documents from one computer system to another and refers to a family of standards. EDI is primarily based upon ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), and focuses on formatted single messages rather than the whole sequence of conditions and exchanges that make up inter-organizational processes. Because of this EDI also implies a sequence of messages between two parties, having formatted data that represents the document. With EDI, these messages are communicated by computer to computer, rather than having human intervention.

Since EDI is considered to be a technical representation of a business conversation between two computers, it often describes the rigorously standardized format of these electronic documents. Because of this, it is important to have strict standards. EDI standards were designed to be independent of software and communication technologies. In 2002, the IETF published RFC 3335, which offered a standardized, secure method of transferring EDI data via e-mail.
The four major sets of EDI standards are as follows:

  • The UN recommended UN/EDIFACT is the only international standard and is predominant outside of North America.
  • The US standard ANSI ASC X12 is primarily used in North America
  • TRADACOMS standards are used in the UK retail industry
  • ODETTE standards are used in the European automotive industry.

Typically, EDI documents contain the same information that would be found in a paper document of the same function. For example, an EDI 940 ship-from-warehouse order is used by a manufacturer to tell a warehouse to ship the product to a retailer. This contains a shipping address, billing addres, a list of product numbers in the form of a UPC barcode, and quantities. However, EDI is used across all industries, not just in warehousing applications.