What to prepare for an SAP EDI project to ensure success

by Jodi Abrams

As the Scouting motto goes: Be Prepared. When undergoing an EDI implementation, it’s important to make sure you take the necessary steps to prepare your system and data so that you have a smooth go-live and successful data flow with your trading partner.

Know Your Trading Partner

One of the master data sets you’ll need to gather is information about your trading partner. You will be given EDI specs and technical communication information – but getting a successful go-live goes beyond that. For your data to automatically flow into SAP and back to your trading partner, the master data in the system has to be set up properly. This includes name and address information as well as store #/ location ID/ DUNS numbers. For the name and address, make sure the right information is in the right field. SAP has a field for every piece of address information. Don’t combine them all into the address line field. If you do this, when this data gets back to your trading partner – it won’t be in the right place on the EDI transaction.

Whatever your partner uses to manage their location information will need to be set up in advance. The internal mapping tables found in TCODE VOE4 and PUMA will be maintained as a cross reference so that when your customers sends in an order, the SAP partner number can be found, and when you in return send back an invoice for example – they can get their original identifying code back.

Material Master Set Up

It’s not just a matter of setting up your products in your material master. Care must be taken to ensure various aspects are set up properly to allow for seamless integration.


There are many different categories for UPC codes and you may need more than one in your material master. Your customers will often choose their own preference for sending these in. It could be an 11 digit code, a 12 digit or a 14 digit EAN. Take care to set these all up under the additional EAN tab in the material master and ensure they don’t overlap from one material to the other.

Case Pack

Does your product come packed into a case? Into a master carton? Maintaining this information in your material master is crucial to having your ASN documents accepted without fines. More and more customers are using details from the ASN to help with their receiving and put away.

Customer Material Info Record

Once you have your material master set up, you can set up the info record. This will allow your customers to order by their material number and have it map automatically to yours and vice versa on the way back out.


Setting up your pricing correctly will mean the difference in charging your customer $10 for your product and $10,000. Ensure that the pricing is set up at the right material master level (Each vs. case) and that it is for the correct quantity. If your customer orders in eaches, you need to have pricing set up in eaches, or convert their order to a unit you do have set up. If you are making use of the EDI expected price to compare the price sent by your customer to what you have in your system, it’s imperative that this is comparing the right UOM in order to avoid false negatives.

Having clean and complete master data going into your project will help set you up for EDI success. Take the time up front to do this properly, or risk additional work and errors later in the project.

About the author: Jodi Abrams

Jodi is an expert in SAP and eCommerce integration, and is Vice President of Applications for CONTAX.