Does Alma support automated ordering, invoicing and claiming using standards such as EDIFACT and X12?
Alma has been designed to automate much of a library’s workflows, freeing staff to focus on the exceptions rather than mediating each transaction. Alma’s built-in workflow engine allows the library to configure rules and policies that govern staff workflows within the system.
For workflows such as ordering and invoicing, Alma relies on standard protocols to facilitate interoperability with other systems – both internal to the library’s environment and externally to vendors. Alma supports electronic data interchange (EDI) using the UN/EDIFACT standard for electronic communications of order and invoice information. Library staff configure EDI information as part of the vendor record.
This information includes vendor EDI attributes, S/FTP connection information, individual library EDI information, and EAN information per vendor account. These details allow for maximum flexibility when there are multiple libraries within an institution, or when a library has multiple accounts with a vendor (e.g. for multiple formats, material types, approval plans, etc.).
Storing the vendor EDI account information in Alma allows the process to be automated. As EDI orders are sent and EDI invoices are received, the EDI files are linked to the vendor’s record and available from the attachments tab. Alma also supports claiming via EDI.
Invoices that have been created from EDI files flow into the invoice workflows automatically, and integrate with the library’s ERP system.
The EDI tab on the vendor record:
What acquisition activities are EDI enabled?
The following acquisition activities are supported for EDI-enabled vendors:
- Sent from Alma to the vendor:
- Purchase orders (POs)
- Claims – Claims sent to the vendor regarding missing items. EDI claims can be used for both one-time and continuous orders.
- Order cancellations – For vendors that support this feature, cancellations are sent using EDI instead of by email.
- Sent from the vendor to Alma:
- Order Responses:
- Shelf-Ready – these responses contain barcodes and other item information for delivered items. After receiving the Order Response, Alma updates the relevant PO lines.
- Claim responses - these responses are loaded by the standard EDI Load Files job. Information about the response appears in the Notes tab of the relevant PO lines: