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The purpose of this guideline is to provide you, our supplier, with the information needed to implement EDI between your company and Axion Logistics Ltd.

What is EDI, and what will it do for my company?

EDI is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents using a standardized format. EDI is used by us to transfer purchasing information direct to your order entry system. Furthermore, you will be able to exchange information about our purchases with minimal additional effort on your part.

We believe that EDI will improve our ability to communicate purchasing information and that we can both experience reductions in overall procurement costs through EDI. The following are some of the benefits EDI offers.

  • Reduced paper handling and mailing costs. In most cases the costs to transmit an EDI document are less than fax and mailing costs.
  • Reduced order cycle time. In a true paper environment, it is not uncommon to experience an order cycle time of weeks (from generation of the purchase order to receipt of the acknowledgment). In today's world, this cycle time is usually reduced through the use of the telephone and fax, but often with an added labor cost. With the use of EDI, an order entered in your system can be received by us within hours, and you can receive an acknowledgment by the following day (or sooner).
  • Reduced potential for errors. The order is prepared in your system and sent direct, as is, to us. The order is then reviewed, approved and released for automatic load to our Order Entry system.
  • Improved response to supplier requirements. In addition to reduction in the order cycle time, it is expected that the reduction in data entry requirements will free your staff to better deal with "exceptions".
  • Improved partnership. With the use of EDI, we can offer you a reduction in internal costs with an improved service level.

Transactions Available in ANSI X12

  • Axion sends Purchase Orders (850 transactions).
  • Axion requires Ship Notices (856 transactions) for shipments made to any of our locations.
  • Axion requires Functional Acknowledgements (997 transactions) for any transactions sent to our suppliers.
  • Axion generates Functional Acknowledgements (997 transactions) for any transactions received.

Commonly Used Terms

Below is a table of common terms and acronyms associated with EDI.

EC An acronym for Electronic CommerceEDI
EDI An acronym for Electronic Data Interchange. EDI is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard format.
Trading Partner A company that is the sender or receiver of EDI business documents (customer or supplier).
Transmission A set of EDI business documents sent by, or received from, a given trading partner.
Transaction Set An EDI business document (such as a purchase order or invoice).
VAN An acronym for Value Added Network. A VAN is an independent company that provides a storage and forwarding service (referred to as a mailbox) for EDI transmissions between trading partners. Use of a VAN eliminates the need to establish electronic communication with each individual trading partner and is essential to the success of an EDI program.
ANSI X12 Standard A standard developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to define EDI business documents. This is the standard most frequently used by U.S. companies.
EDIFACT Standard A standard sanctioned by a United Nations committee to define EDI business documents. It is expected that this will eventually become the world wide standard for EDI transmissions.
Translation Software Software that translates the EDI document from an EDI standard to a flat file that can be used by application software or to a user friendly format (either screen or paper) and vice versa.
Communication Software Software used to communicate with the selected VAN or directly with the trading partner.

Value Added Network (VAN)

A Value Added Network provides the service of storing and forwarding your EDI documents to and from your Trading Partners. VANs often provide additional services, such as audit reporting and translation. Typical costs are dependent upon volume, at a minimum cost of approximately $600 per year. While you may want to select a VAN that is currently being used by your key trading partners, most of the major VANs have agreements to "interconnect" with their competitors, so you should not feel restricted in your choice of a VAN. When interviewing VANs, you will want to verify they have agreements to interconnect with the VANs used by your partners and determine what additional costs are incurred for the interconnect.

We use Easylink Services(ICC) as our only VAN. We support the use of Interconnects between Easylink(ICC) and the Supplier’s VAN of choice. Network costs are equally shared between us and our suppliers.

Starting Transactions with Axion

The following are the steps that typically occur when you elect to participate in our EDI Program.

1.      You review our EDI Implementation Guidelines and our EDI Agreement.

2.      You contact our technical representative to initiate testing.

Axion Mailbox Identifiers

Contact our technical representative to obtain Mailbox Identifiers for use during test and production transactions.

Purchase Order Cycle

  1. We contact you to coordinate receipt of test documents.
  2. We send a test Purchase Order file to your test mailbox and you respond with a Functional acknowledgement.

Ship Notice Cycle

  1. You send a test Ship Notice file to us.
  2. We verify that your format meets our specifications.
  3. We implement EDI Ship Notices for all of your shipments.


We would like to help make your EDI implementation as easy as possible. If you have any business or technical questions, please feel free to contact us. We believe that EDI offers both our suppliers and ourselves the opportunity to improve our business relationship and reduce our internal costs. We look forward to working with you in the future!

EDI Contacts

Michelle Caskey
(Office) 979-233-6703
(Fax)    979-233-9700

Steve Tran
(Office) 713.477.8200
(Fax)    281-542-0792

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