Easily implement electronic ordering with Order-X 1.0
B2B - Business Integration E-Invoicing

Order-X – The New Message Standard for Electronic Ordering

| | Product Manager software applications/services electronic business data exchange, SEEBURGER
Order-X is the next step towards a digitalized supply chain

In the world of electronic invoices, the German-French format ZUGFeRD/Factur-X has been setting standards in Europe for some time. Now the deutsche Forum für elektronische Rechnungsstellung in Deutschland (FeRD) and the French Forum National de la Facture Électronique et des Marchés Publics Électroniques (FNFE-MPE) are taking another important step towards fully digitalized supply chain management by digitalizing the ordering process. This article looks at how the new Order-X 1.0 format automates ordering processes and what advantages it gives you on your journey to digital transformation.

1) What is Order-X 1.0?

The electronic invoice format ZUGFeRD/Factur-X was the cornerstone. The next logical step towards a fully digitalized supply chain is now electronic ordering. To help the new format find acceptance throughout Europe, the focus has been to make adoption and use as simple as possible.  The Forum für elektronische Rechnungsstellung in Deutschland (FeRD) and le Forum National de la Facture Électronique et des Marchés Publics Électroniques (FNFE-MPE) both kept this in mind when developing the new EU standard Order-X 1.0.

Just like ZUGFeRD/Factur-X before it, Order-X 1.0 is also based on the standardized UN/CEFACT Supply Chain Reference Data Model (SCRDM)[1], which defines and standardizes specific data requirements for exchanging information in cross-border transactions. This significantly simplifies both EU-wide and international transactions from outside the EU.

2) How does Order-X 1.0 work?

Using the familiar ZUGFeRD/Factur-X format, Order-X 1.0 combines a PDF file with embedded XML data. The PDF displays the order in a user-friendly readable form, while the structured XML data can be read by machines and is used to automatically process the order. This hybrid format makes Order-X 1.0 particularly attractive for small and medium-sized businesses where it’s still common to visually inspect incoming orders.

Since Order-X 1.0 was developed on the basis of the established standards of ZUGFeRD/Factur-X, it is fully compatible with these. This means that it should be pretty easy to adopt Order-X 1.0[2] and that there is synergy to benefit from. It is also quick and easy to onboard suppliers who already use ZUGFeRD/Factur-X.

Order-X 1.0 supports the following order transaction messages:

  • Order: An initial order placed by a buyer with a supplier.
  • Order_Response: An order change from the supplier to the buyer (e.g. to change an order, reject an order or to request confirmation from the buyer via Order_Change).
  • Order_Change: A change to an order by the buyer to the supplier[3].

As with ZUGFeRD/Factur-X, Order-X 1.0 also allows the user to choose from several pre-formatted profiles. These are:

  • Basic: Maps simple supply chains. Suitable for standard, one-off delivery order processes. Contains all the necessary information for automated order processing.
  • Comfort: Extension of the basic profile, allowing multiple deliveries with additional or different information.
  • Extended: Builds upon the comfort profile with additional fields that can map particularly complex logistics processes, such as different pick-up and delivery locations, specific storage conditions for different products, VAT distribution, etc.

These three profiles let users map a wide range of individual processes depending on their specific needs, and can cope with a wide range of process complexity.

3) What are the advantages of Order-X 1.0?

For companies that want to fully digitally transform their supply chain, it is crucial that they adopt an electronic ordering process. Order-X 1.0 makes this step much easier. For micro-enterprises in particular, for which the effort and costs have often not justified the benefits, the advantage is that they can be integrated into the digital ordering process without conversion issues. There is no need to exchange data in advance. Since Order-X 1.0 meets international standardization requirements and is designed to be compatible with country-specific formats, it is suitable for both European and international order processing – an area that has often not been attractive for SMEs due to the high effort and costs involved in processing orders.

Automating the ordering process eliminates numerous manual steps. This significantly accelerates the ordering process as well as reducing the risk of errors. Last but not least, as the format is based on ZUGFeRD/Factur-X, you can benefit from the synergy effects mentioned above when changing over.

4) Quickly and easily adopt Order-X 1.0 with SEEBURGER

As with creating and processing ZUGFeRD/Factur-X, no special software is required to implement Order-X 1.0. Order-X 1.0 can be downloaded free of charge from the FeRD homepage[4].

  • Quickly and easily integrate Order-X 1.0 into your ERP landscape
    There is no need to upgrade your existing ERP system or adopt a new ordering process. With the help of connectors and mappings, SEEBURGER can connect your ordering system to an existing ERP system using its integration platform as an on-premises or cloud solution. You don’t need to change a thing. Your existing IT resources remain independent, while existing ERP files for orders can be seamlessly converted into the Order-X 1.0 format with no tricky programming.
  • Easily integrate suppliers
    The easy onboarding of new suppliers who can already use Order-X 1.0 facilitates a consistent, ideal ordering process for all parties involved.  The easy onboarding of new suppliers who can already use Order-X 1.0 facilitates a consistent and optimised ordering process for all parties involved. With efficient EDI, this advantage can be continued along the entire supply chain, as this lets you process exchanged data in real time, enabling extremely speedy information exchange with your suppliers. What about suppliers without EDI/Order-X 1.0-capable systems? This is where the SEEBURGER PDF to EDI service comes into play, a simple and easy way to include them in the electronic ordering process without changing their IT systems. The SEEBURGER Community Management Application (CMA) facilitates the entire partner onboarding process from certification to set-up, connection, and change management, all the way to managing master data with self-services. This frees up your IT and departmental employees, while also accelerating time to value with effective partner onboarding.

SEEBURGER facilitates international business processes

SEEBURGER supports you in the digital transformation of your supply chain. Drawing on our expertise in B2B integration, we offer solutions for secure and reliable data transfer as well as the automatic integration of any business process with external business partners and in-house applications.

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[1] https://unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/uncefact/BRS/BRS_SCRDM_v1.0.0.2.pdf

[2] https://www.d-velop.de/blog/compliance/order-x/

[3] https://www.d-velop.de/blog/compliance/order-x/

[4] https://www.ferd-net.de/standards/paket-downloads/index.html

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Rolf Wessel

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Rolf Wessel has been product manager at SEEBURGER AG for software applications and services for electronic business data exchange since 2010. His focus is on solutions for SAP, electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and innovations for the digitalization of business and technical business processes. The Forum elektronische Rechnung Deutschland (FeRD) appointed Rolf Wessel as an expert. As project manager at the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), he develops international trade facilitation and establishes standards for electronic business processes. Furthermore, he represents the German delegation of the FeRD at the Franco-German workshop with the Forum National de la Facture Electronique (FNFE) and thus supports the government initiative for international standardization and harmonization of e-invoicing processes. He is a member of the working committee "Electronic Business" at the German Institute for Standardization. (DIN) and Association for Electronic Invoicing (VeR). Rolf Wessel graduated in business informatics (FH) with a focus on financial management and production planning. After working in the electrical, financial, consumer goods, software and mineral oil industries, he had been a systems analyst and IT project manager in the retail and logistics sector from 2003 to 2010.