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WAWF Made Easy – EDI

WAWF Made Easy – EDI

From improving accuracy and tracking abilities, to decreasing payment delays,  Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF) provides many advantages to both the US Department of Defense (DOD) and the Defense Supplier. But with those advantages came process changes and challenges to the supplier.  Namely, the burden of entering shipment data for acceptance shifted from the Government to the supplier, and with IUID and RFID, the amount of data has grown exponentially.  Using the WAWF web application to submit your Receiving Reports and Invoices  can be time consuming and often frustrating.  Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the answer.

Automating WAWF transaction processing allows Receiving Reports, Invoices and RFID pack data to be collected and prepared offline, then transmitted to WAWF using EDI transactions.  This allows you to leverage your internal data systems to collect and prepare Receiving Reports.  This is far more efficient and WAWF invoicing or to streamline DIBBS order processing to reduce overhead costs.

Automation allows you to leverage your shipment data entry for labeling, particularly with regard to UID and RFID data, by transmitting that data via EDI rather than manually entering it into the website.  WAWF provides two methods to electronically submit your data – Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and User Defined File (UDF via SFTP/SSH).

Electronic Data Interchange
EDI Data Flow to WAWFElectronic Data Interchange (EDI) is an automated process of electronically submitting information, in a standardized format, from one computer to another. Normally, utilizing EDI requires a subscription to a Value-Added Network (VAN) service. In simple terms, a VAN service is an electronic post office that routes transaction files from one subscriber to another, much like email. VANs may also perform file format and protocol translation, archival and other services, which is why they are referred to as “value-added” networks.

Considerations when choosing the EDI method for submitting data to WAWF:

    • EDI processes high volumes of shipments seamlessly.
    • Many packaging software solutions are optimized to submit data using a VAN service.
    • VAN service providers provide many IT related functions, from assisting in the initial setup to monitoring your Receiving Report and Invoice submissions. This can be especially good for companies where users have limited computer knowledge or no internal IT support.
    • The time required to begin submitting transactions is short as the VAN service provider will have already completed DoD certification and transaction testing with JITC.

The activities that occur to submit your Receiving Reports and Invoices via EDI are as follows:

    1. Create your Receiving Report, Invoice or RFID Pack Data and submit a file to a VAN server.
    2. The Global Exchange (GEX) servers at DLA Transaction Services regularly check the Mil-Pac VAN, and will pick up your file to begin the import process.
    3. The GEX checks for proper formatting and translates the file from the EDI file standards to a User Defined Format for WAWF. It also sends a receipt acknowledgement back to the VAN.
    4. Once the file is successfully translated, it is automatically submitted to WAWF.
    5. WAWF receives and imports the file. You will receive a system generated message stating that the imported file was Accepted, Accepted with Modification or Rejected.
    6. If the file was accepted, it will appear in WAWF and can be viewed via the interactive web application.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is a common method of transferring files over the Internet. WAWF allows properly qualified and vetted defense contractors to submit transactions using this method. The SFTP transfer must occur within a Secure Shell (SSH2) client. This is referred to as SFTP over SSH (SFTP/SSH).

Note: WAWF may no longer be onboarding suppliers to for use of direct SFTP. Contact the WAWF Help Desk for more information.

Considerations when choosing the SFTP method for submitting data to WAWF:

• In many cases, it requires manual steps to retrieve the data file from your shipping application and submit it via the SFTP/SSHs client.

  • Setup can be time consuming and complicated.
  • Testing with JITC will require several iterations before you are approved for production use.

The activities that occur to submit your data in batch via sFTP are as follows:

  1. Create your Receiving Report, Invoice or RFID Pack Data file following the User Defined Format as defined by the Department of Defense.
  2. Establish an encrypted connection to WAWF using SFTP and transfer the file.
  3. WAWF receives and imports the file. You will receive the same type of system generated email as previously described.
  4. If the file was accepted, it will appear in WAWF and can be viewed via the interactive web application.

Submitting your data to WAWF electronically provides many benefits to you. You no longer need to worry how busy the WAWF servers may be – nor is there any worry about timeouts or Internet connection hiccups. Preparing the Receiving Report and Invoice on your personal computer removes concerns of having to start and finish your shipment in one session and concerns of your WAWF session expiring due to inactivity.

Correlating UID and RFID data for WAWF Receiving Reports can be quite complicated, particularly when there are cases and pallets. Using a WAWF automation system allows you to prepare and review transactions offline, at your own pace, which is simpler and avoids errors.