EDI – Four letters that cause havoc: VICS

We have been doing EDI now for over 16 years. Over the years we have seen changes in the standards that reflect changing business needs. That’s a good thing. Yet the adoption of new versions of the X12 standards has been slow. We still have the majority of retail trading partners using 4010, some have upgraded to 5010 and once in a while we come across those who are dinosaurs and live in the age of 3010 and younger. C’est la vie.

In all these years however, there are four letters that create the most incredible of reactions. Your EDI is non-compliant, it’s not EDI, do you have a clue what you are doing its not formatted properly, I can go on and on. Those four letters are VICS.

If you read the standard there is very little difference, if any, in the segments and elements between X12 4010 and 4010 VICS. In 99.9% of implementations we have seen, there is zero difference, but heaven forbid if you send 4010 and not 4010VICS. If you leave out the VICS moniker your EDI bombs, you get nasty emails and phone calls, you are treated like some neophyte, wet behind the ears, that has no clue what you are doing. Change the 4010 to 4010VICS and all of a sudden you are a guru, a smart cookie and low and behold the EDI doesn’t bomb. Mama Mia.

It’s worse than forgetting the secret hand sign to the kids club you joined in grade 3.

Forgive me for asking but am I the only one who has made this terrible mistake? If I can be offered the liberty of answering my own question…I don’t think so. Others?



VL OMNI Newsletter signup

Subscribe to VL OMNI

Get expert advice, resources, and industry news for your growing ecommerce store delivered to your inbox