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Frequently asked questions about EDI and SCSN


What does EDI mean?

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. With an EDI link, you can order digitally from MCB from your own ERP system. Together with you and your ERP supplier or IT organiation, we digitise your entire purchase order process. Think of exchanging data such as price information, orders, order confirmations, delivery notes and invoices. Message traffic via EDI always follows an agreed standard, so that the software systems of the companies that communicate with each other speak the same language.

What benefits does EDI offer?

Within the manufacturing industry, various parties work closely together in a chain. This includes manufacturers, suppliers, transporters, wholesalers and manufacturing companies. All these parties and their end customers benefit from efficient and effective cooperation. EDI plays a major role in this by increasing insight and speed, while at the same time saving administrative work and preventing errors. Through EDI, documents of the purchasing and sales process are exchanged completely digitally.

This brings the following benefits:

  • Reducing administrative work and preventing errors. This reduces administrative costs and failure costs.
  • Faster insight into data, enabling quicker responses from your customers and the production floor. Your professionals can focus more on adding value for your customers.
  • EDI eliminates the need for paper and thus contributes to achieving sustainability goals.
  • Strengthening your competitive position in the market and being prepared for the future of a decisive manufacturing industry.

What connection options are out there?

At MCB there are two options for establishing an EDI link:

  1. SCSN

Our recommended option is via the SCSN. This is the digital platform for the manufacturing industry that digitises the entire order process. It is an extensive network and data standard that we in the metal chain can communicate digitally with each other in an unambiguous manner. Read more about SCSN on our website.

  1. EDI, direct link or web services

Via the EDI link or web services, you connect directly to our systems. There are several options for linking. Together with you, we choose the most suitable connection. For more information, please 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 these in their own ERP system. In this way, our customers have access to our current article prices 24 hours a day.

As soon as we receive the digital order, the order is immediately prepared in our warehouse and you will receive the order confirmation. On the day of delivery, the digital delivery note is sent and after the goods are received, the invoice is sent. To make this possible, we are happy to help you set up the data such as article numbers, article relation to MCB articles, prices and contact details. 

Which EDI messages are there?

We support all necessary EDI messages such as: price messages, order messages, order confirmations, delivery notes and

Can everyone do business digitally?

Doing business digitally is always our preference, and preferably via SCSN. Do you need help to determine whether and how a digital link can best be set up for your situation? Please contact us and we will be happy to help you on your way. We support almost all types of connections and messages.

What does SCSN stand for?

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

How does the SCSN work?

SCSN is an open initiative that utilises and adheres to existing industry standards as much as possible. SCSN consists of two solutions: a messaging standard in which it is agreed which information is shared in what format, and a technical infrastructure in which it is agreed how the information can be shared with all SCSN partners in a secure and controlled manner. This is a network and data standard that makes the exchange of information in the supply chain more efficient, allowing companies to share data more easily, faster and more reliably. By registering your company on the SCSN network, you can exchange data with all connected companies in your production chain.

What is the SCSN messaging standard?

The messaging standard is based on the Universal Business Language of OASIS (UBL), an internationally widely accepted domain language. UBL is an extremely extensive and complex language and is therefore not directly applicable within a domain. Within SCSN agreements have been made on how UBL can be applied within the manufacturing industry. In addition, SCSN seamlessly aligns with the invoicing agreements of the European Commission. The SCSN messages are publicly available via the Semantic Treehouse management environment.

What is the difference between EDI and SCSN?

Traditional EDI connections are set up between two parties. That means a custom-made connection is set up between your company and MCB who digitally want to do business with each other. Each new connection is virtually unique and requires customisation and the same investment. Here, the complexity and costs involved are high. Looking towards the future, this will be difficult to maintain and the costs will rise disproportionately. This model is thus expensive and not scalable.

The SCSN is structured in such a way that your company only needs to register once with an SCSN services provider, after which it can exchange data with all other connected companies. It is therefore not necessary to make a connection with each company separately, as is the case with EDI connections.

How do I choose between EDI and SCSN?

Which link suits you best largely depends on the digitisation plans. Our aim would be to connect to the SCSN, which will become the standard in the manufacturing industry in the future.

What is required for an EDI link or an SCSN link?

If you opt for an SCSN link or an EDI link, coordination of all master data will be necessary. We are happy to support you in this regard.


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