How to Integrate a 3PL into SAP using EDI


8/27/2020

by Jodi Abrams

WITH 3PLS BECOMING MORE COMMON, HERE ARE THE KEY THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR YOUR INTEGRATION

Your company has decided to outsource some of the distribution to a 3PL, and now the task that lies ahead is how to seamlessly integration this into your R/3 or S/4 SAP System. From EDI transactions and IDoc types and output condition records and configuration required for an ASN, this post aims to give you an overview of what you will need to do this successfully.

HOW TO INTEGRATE A 3PL INTO SAP ECC OR S/4HANA

The key piece of this integration lies in the EDI set up with your 3PL partner, as well as the integration of IDocs into SAP to send and update your business process data. To do this you will need an EDI system or service provider and an SAP functional analyst.

WHAT EDI TRANSACTIONS AND IDOCS ARE USED IN AN SAP 3PL INTERFACE

There are many transactions that can be used in a 3PL interface. The most common ones are:

EDI and IDOC Transactions for 3PL Integration
SAP Document
IDoc
X12 EDI Transaction
Warehouse Order DESADV 940
Warehouse Confirmation SHPCON 945
Warehouse ASN DESADV 943
Warehouse Receipt Confirmation WMMBXY 944
Goods Movement WMMBXY 947
Inventory Advice INVRPT 846

There are additional transactions that can improve your 3PL process. You can read more about them in this blog post.

WHAT ARE THE KEY STEPS TO A 3PL EDI IMPLEMENTATION IN SAP ECC OR S/4HANA?

  1. Gather and analyze business and 3PL requirements
  2. Agree on the EDI Transactions to be exchanged based on capabilities
  3. Agree on the EDI fields and mappings
  4. Develop and unit test the mapping
  5. Integration testing with your 3PL
  6. Migration to production and go-live support

WHAT CAN AN SAP EDI 3PL INTEGRATION SOLUTION DO?

With the right solution, such as the CONTAX Arcus EDI Managed Service Solution, you have an SAP EDI Expert working through all of these steps on your behalf, ensuring you have a robust EDI solution for worry-free communication with your 3PL.


As you embark upon your 3PL journey, or look to improve the processes you have, the key to success will be a thorough understanding of your business processes and how the 3PL's capabilities can achieve the results you need to be successful in your business. Having the right team of people involved who have experience in this area will help prevent you from falling into common pitfalls that can easily be avoided.



Author

About the Author: Jodi Abrams

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