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Update on Electronic Data Interchange (Part 1)

As part of GSA’s Supply Transformation initiative, we are modernizing the IT infrastructure used to process customer orders. The new platform is known as Order Management Services (OMS) and uses an IBM, cloud-based solution to electronically send purchase orders to our vendor partners for fulfillment. Major elements of that initiative will roll out later in FY 2016, but today’s message will focus narrowly on one element of this transition.

Many GSA Global Supply vendors now receive purchase orders via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and have done so for some time. Our colleagues in the Office of the Chief Information Officer set up a mechanism that allowed vendors to communicate electronically with multiple GSA legacy systems that received orders from our customers around the world. Ownership of the EDI process has shifted within GSA in recent months, as part of our preparation for the rollout of the OMS platform, but the core objectives are unchanged.

GSA seeks to create an EDI process that:

  • Ensures rapid delivery of purchase orders to our vendor partners;

  • Conveys complete and accurate information to facilitate fulfillment by those vendors; and

  • Eliminates “gaps” in visibility so that GSA can provide useful status information to customers.

Next week, we’ll look ahead and summarize some of the changes related to EDI that are intended to bring GSA Global Supply vendors to the point where  all routine purchase orders are conveyed electronically.

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