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A Minneapolis-based energy management company was faced with a mandate from a trading partner to implement GISB (Gas Industry Standards Board [now NAESB {North American Energy Standards Board}]) recommendations for the exchange of EDI documents.  The client was required to implement the GISB (now NAESB) recommendations in short order or risk serious disruptions to their business processes.


Implement a VAN (value-added network) to Internet conversion per GISB (now NAESB) guidelines.
Automate the receipt of invoices from their trading partner.
Seamless integration with their Access-based, order entry systems with one-click transmission of outgoing purchase orders ('Nominations').
Accounting personnel needed a better way of consolidating incoming invoices and verifying the accuracy of these invoices.  Existing, paper-based system was cumbersome, error-prone and time-consuming.
Needed to reduce dependance on a VAN (value-added network) to minimize monthly fees and per-transaction costs.


Upgraded their EDI translation software to enable execution of custom PERL scripts to process incoming and outgoing EDI documents.
Implemented a GISB- (now NAESB) compliant web portal to receive incoming EDI documents - system supported HTTP uploads, decryption and automatic loading of incoming data into an SQL server database.
Recommended and installed Mercator (now the DataStage TX component [which is now called WebSphere Transformation Extender] of IBM's InfoSphere DataStage) as the mapping solution.  Integration of Mercator (see parenthetical statement in previous sentence) with web portal facilitated real-time access to incoming EDI data.
Custom Intranet web application for use by accounting personnel to quickly verify accuracy of customer invoices.


Total elimination of VAN charges and per-transaction fees resulting in savings of several thousand dollars per month.
A robust, Internet-based, secure solution for the exchange of EDI documents with their trading partners.
Migration from a paper-based system to an electronic system for the processing of invoices.  Dramatic drop in time-of-processing as well as error rates.
Order of magnitude increase in business process efficiency.

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