Crest.ET maintains a centralised hub, which carries out all the communication with your trading partners. Crest has the connection to the customer’s or supplier’s system, this means you do not have to maintain multiple connections from your system to other company’s systems. Crest worry about the connectivity.
The Crest.ET Hub
All information at the hub is held in a data form and any traditional EDI documents received or sent are manipulated and saved away for auditing purposes. There is no need for your system to be ‘clogged’ up with EDI documents, as your system simply communicates with the Crest Hub.
Your system automatically supplies document information to, or collects information from the Hub database. This means there is no major processing on your systems and also ensures there is a backup copy of everything in case of data loss.
The major advantage of using the Crest Hub, is that it becomes a twofold process. We therefore, reduce setup fees dramatically. Once the Crest.ET software has been configured to import into or export out of your system it is done for all trading partners and we don’t have to reinvent the process for every trading relationship. Likewise, if Crest already has connectivity with a customer or supplier there is no need to re-configure again.
Example Sales Processes
Once an order is placed by your customer it is collected at the Crest Hub using whatever protocol your customer has decreed. After the order is collected it is acknowledged electronically back to the customer, and the information is extracted by the Hub. The data waits for Crest.ET software operating on your system to download the information and insert it into your system.
Once an Invoice has been confirmed in your system (varies from system to system as to when this is the case), the Crest.ET local application collects the invoice data and populates the Crest Hub. Once in the Hub, the Hub then converts this data into the pre-defined format for the customer and then sends this using the conventions agreed. In most cases the Hub receives an acknowledgement document back and we record this for future reference. This means if there is ever a claim an invoice did not arrive we can check this acknowledgement.
The Hub and The Crest.ET application are configured to carry out processes at given times, therefore orders can be collected on an “every 5 minute basis, or “every hour”, and invoices could be set to transmit, “every half an hour” or “weekly”. The timing of all documents are independent, you decide the frequency. The frequency can also be different for different trading partners.
For example, some customers will want to transmit orders instantly, but receive invoices weekly, the hub manages this and usually Crest know in advance any conventions that your trading partners require. You may have another customer who requires invoices at “end of day”, so therefore each trading relationship is set up separately.
Centralised Hub Data
After many implementations Crest realised that it was best to maintain a centralised branch/warehouse database at the Hub. Although it should not be, history has shown that one of the most difficult things to maintain internally is good quality records for all customer’s locations. Simple distractions cause data inaccuracy, such as one-off changes, new branches or combined addresses.
The Crest Hub maintains full and extensive databases of all branches/warehouses of your company and your trading partners. Therefore you do not need to maintain the delivery addresses of your customers, it is maintained centrally and directly with your trading partner. For example, if there is a new branch for one of your customers, whilst they will naturally inform you, they will also notify us as an EDI provider.
To supplement the locations being held at the Hub, we then allow you to specify exactly which of your locations provides services to which of your customers locations. This means orders coming in are already configured to go to the correct location internally.
Product and Customer Product References
The Hub also synchronises data with your system to provide a definitive listing of all relevant items and their relationship to your trading partners item numbering. As we integrate your systems one of the first things we do is clarify your item numbering and the relevant customer item numbering.
Item number mismatches are then handled at the Hub, orders still get processed and you don’t end up with ‘rejections’ and orders in “limbo”, which characterises tradition EDI services. Orders will be processed, but maybe with alerts to inform you that there is an unknown part, providing you with the base details so as you can resolve.
Often we find, you may be running three customer accounts for one customer, whilst your trading partner is running one, or vice-versa you operate one and they operate twenty. This we handle in the Hub, building these relationships in conjunction with the location selections.
As with the customer codes, you may have codes required for sales analysis, this we also build into the Hub. The most common usage of this is Sales Representative coding required on the sales order.