WAWF Made Easy – Electronic Data Transactions (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 come some process changes and challenges to the supplier. Using the interactive web application to submit your Receiving Reports and Invoices one at a time can be time consuming and often frustrating. The ability to upload Receiving Reports, Invoices and RFID Pack Data created offline improves your efficiency. WAWF provides two methods to electronically submit your data – Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and User Defined File (UDF via SFTP/SSH).

WAWF SFTP/SSH and EDI submission of Receiving Report, Invoice, UID and RFID data

Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic 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 beginsubmitting 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 GEX (Global Exchange Services) regularly checks the VAN server 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

Secure File Transfer Protocol
(SFTP) is a common method of transfering 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).

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.
  5. 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 Internect 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. Preparing and reviewing it offline at your own pace is simpler and avoids errors.