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Frequently asked questions about EDI and SCSN


EDI and SCSN: Two frequently discussed terms that we often encounter in today's manufacturing industry. What is the difference between the two, and why are they so important nowadays? Here is a list of frequently asked questions:

What does EDI mean?

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. With an EDI connection, you can place orders directly with MCB from your own ERP system. Together with you and your ERP provider or IT organisation, we digitise your entire purchase order process. This includes exchanging data such as price information, orders, order confirmations, packing lists, and invoices. EDI communication always follows an agreed standard, ensuring that the software systems of the communicating companies speak the same language.

What are the benefits of EDI?

In the manufacturing industry, various parties work closely together in a supply chain, including manufacturers, suppliers, carriers, wholesalers, and manufacturing companies. All these parties and their end customers benefit from efficient and effective collaboration. EDI plays a significant role in enhancing insight and speed while saving administrative efforts and preventing errors. Purchase and sales process documents are exchanged digitally via EDI.

Benefits include:

  • Reducing administrative tasks and preventing errors, which lowers administrative and failure costs.
  • Faster data insights, enabling quicker responses to customers and production floor needs. Your professionals can focus more on adding value for your customers.
  • Eliminating the need for paper, contributing to achieving sustainability goals.
  • Strengthening your market competitiveness and preparing for the future of a responsive manufacturing industry.

What connection options are available?

At MCB, there are two ways to establish an EDI connection:

  1. SCSN Our recommended option is through SCSN, the digital platform for the manufacturing industry that digitises the entire order process. It is an extensive network and data standard that ensures consistent digital communication within the metal supply chain. Read more about SCSN on our website.
  2. EDI, direct connection, or web services You can also connect directly to our systems via an EDI connection or web services. Various connection options are available. Together, we choose the best suitable connection. For more information, contact our digital product specialists.

What does the EDI process look like?

Our EDI process starts with preparing a digital price list. Our customers can process this in their own ERP system, providing 24/7 access to our current article prices. Upon receiving the digital order, it is immediately prepared in our warehouse, and you receive the order confirmation. On the delivery day, the digital packing list and material certificate are sent, followed by the invoice after receiving the goods. We assist in setting up data such as article numbers, article relations to MCB articles, prices, and contact details. The entire EDI process is illustrated below.

What digital messages are available?

We support all necessary EDI messages, including price, order, order confirmation, packing list, material certificate, and invoice.

Doing business digitally is for everyone

Doing business digitally is always our preference, ideally via SCSN. Need help determining if and how a digital connection can work for you? Contact us, and we’ll gladly help you. We support almost all types of connections and messages.

What does SCSN stand for?

SCSN stands for “Smart Connected Supplier Network.” It is the digital platform for the manufacturing industry that digitises the entire order process.

How does SCSN work?

SCSN is an open initiative that makes maximum use of and is consistent with existing industry standards. It consists of two solutions: a message standard that defines which information is shared in which format, and a technical infrastructure that defines how the information can be shared in a secure and controlled way with all SCSN partners. This data standard makes exchanging information in the supply chain more efficient, allowing companies to share data more easily, quickly and reliably. By joining the SCSN network, your company can exchange data with all connected companies in your production chain.

What is the SCSN message standard?

The message standard is based on the Universal Business Language (UBL) of OASIS, a widely internationally accepted domain language. UBL is an extremely extensive, complex language and is therefore not directly applicable within a domain. SCSN has agreed on how to apply UBL within the manufacturing industry. Moreover, SCSN connects seamlessly with the European Commission's invoicing agreements. The SCSN messages are publicly available via the Semantic Treehouse management environment.

What is the difference between an EDI connection and SCSN?

Traditional EDI connections are set up between two parties, meaning a custom-made connection is set up between two parties who wish to do business digitally. Each connection is custom-made and thus complex and costly. Maintaining this model in the future is challenging, and costs increase disproportionately. This model is costly and not scalable.

The SCSN network is a network of networks in which all service providers/brokers are connected to each other. This enables every manufacturing company to communicate with all other. Unlike EDI connections, there is no need to establish a connection with each company individually.

How do I choose between an EDI connection and SCSN?

The best choice depends largely on the organisation’s plans regarding other party's digitalisation. Our aim is to connect to SCSN, which will become the future standard in the manufacturing industry.

What is needed for an EDI or SCSN connection?

Whether setting up an EDI or SCSN connection, all master data between MCB and the customer or supplier must be aligned. Customers need to have their data (article relation, order units, price units) well-organized.


All questions about EDI Sales can be directed to Maureen Schonbrodt or Anne de Bresser.

Maureen Schonbrodt
06 – 10 89 43 37

Anne de Bresser
06 – 36 12 26 50


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