There seems to be nothing in the IT world that is more important to a company, and yet causes so much confusion for Business Managers, IT Managers, and the entire IT department than EDI. If a company needs EDI, then EDI quickly becomes the most important process in the chain.

My own personal search for EDI Mastery started in 2001, I think around August of 2001. The company I was working for was taking on another major customer that would account for about 50% of the total business of my company. We were based in Detroit, and the new customer was one of the Big 3 car companies, and the process we were managing for them helped keep their factories running, and could easily shut down a factory if it went wrong. Needless to say it was important, and a lot of jobs depended on getting it right.

The implementation managers had been working with the car company for several months to get everything working, and then creating training materials and getting staff up to speed on how it worked. In a meeting a few weeks before the launch, the car company rep mentioned that we had to send on-time updates to them via EDI to get paid. Suddenly EDI was very important to the entire management team, and my manager, the IT department head, got pulled into a meeting and was told "We don't know what EDI is, but here are some specs on it, and we need it working 6 weeks from now". It was then passed on to me. I knew it was important to get right, but I didn't know anything about EDI except that it was some form of text file, and companies sent data to and from other companies with it. I decided the only way I would be able to get this done was to spend 3 weeks learning about EDI and the final 3 weeks programming.