What is EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)?

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business data, such as orders, delivery slips and invoices in a standard electronic format between companies.

EDI replaces the faxing and mailing of paper business documents. The manual exchange of paper business documents introduces errors & slow downs the exchange of the documents.


Document Exchange Without EDI

In contrast - with EDI - documents can easily flow between computer systems. No manual work nor paper is involved. Millions of businesses around the world use EDI!


Document Exchange With EDI

Infocon Systems is the industry standard for world-class EDI solutions.

Benefits of EDI with Infocon Systems

You don’t have to be an EDI expert to enable automated transaction processing for your business. Infocon Systems delivers a simplified, cloud-based solution with fast implementation times and 24-7 top-tier customer support. We have built a robust EDI infrastructure that provides a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate web interface -- giving you the best ROI for your business!

There are several key benefits delivered through Infocon Systems:

Save Time | EDI enables you to exchange business documents digitally...and FAST. Instead of days or weeks of turnaround time via postal service, your data is delivered in minutes.

Save Money | B2B Integration into any ERP, WMS, or E-commerce platform of your choice saves your business time and money by automating the entire order-to-cash cycle and eliminating manual data entry into multiple systems.

Data Accuracy | Because we comply with EDI standards all trading partners require, your data accuracy will improve dramatically. It’s easy to detect any missing fields, inaccuracies, or mismatches before your documents are sent.

Improve Efficiency | EDI results in better business efficiency and productivity. Instead of deploying resources on manual data entry, your team can now focus on your core business.

Complete Visibility | EDI gives you visibility into transaction status and processing. This results in stronger trading partner relationships, promotes quicker decision making, and enhanced responsiveness to customer demands.

Guaranteed Security | EDI transactions are very secure compared to email or paper communication. Use of the AS2 protocol or VAN connections, combined with Infocon Systems world-class infrastructure and encryption, keeps your data safe.

We make EDI easy

EDI is easy with Infocon systems. With over 30 years of experience, our EDI solutions have grown into the industry standard.

Our dedicated team of EDI experts know how to deliver world-class, affordable, and reliable EDI solutions - because we’ve done just that for thousands of happy clients. You’re in good hands. And we would be honored to serve you.

Give us a call at 1-888-339-0722 or request a no strings attached quote. We’d love to work with you and learn about your great business.

Which business documents are exchanged with EDI?

The most common business documents exchanged with EDI are Invoices (EDI 810), Purchase orders (EDI 850), and Advanced Shipping Notices (EDI 856). However, many other EDI Documents are used today such as routing instructions (EDI 754), inventory inquiries (EDI 846), and Product Activity Reports (EDI 852). Our experienced team of EDI experts have experience working with ANY document!

What is an EDI standard format?

Since EDI Documents are processed by computers, a standard format must be used to ensure that all computer systems can read, parse and understand the documents.

What EDI standards are used today?

The most common and well-known EDI standards are EDIFACT and ANSI. Additionally, for each standard there are many different versions (such as ANSI 5010 or EDIFACT version D12). When two businesses want to exchange EDI Documents, they must settle on the specific EDI standard and version. Our team has experience with virtually ANY EDI standard and version.

Who exchanges EDI Documents?

The exchange of EDI Documents is usually between two businesses (known as trading or business partners). For example, Walmart may buy goods from Joe’s Best Shoes. Walmart sends purchase orders to Joe’s Best Shoes computer system. Joe's Best Shoes may then send invoices and advanced shipping notices to Walmart's computer system. Walmart and Joe’s Best Shoes are EDI business partners. Our EDI solutions enable you to do business with ANY trading partner!

How Does EDI Work?

Businesses that adopt EDI can gain a competitive advantage by responding more quickly to market changes, improving customer satisfaction, and establishing themselves as technologically advanced partners. EDI has transformed B2B transactions by making them faster, more accurate, and more efficient. It enables seamless communication and collaboration between trading partners, enhancing the overall business relationship and driving mutual success.

As an example, assume a business is sending a purchase order to a supplier. Without Electronic Data Interchange, an employee creates a purchase order manually which involves typing out all the necessary details, such as item quantities, descriptions, prices, and shipping information. Once the purchase order is created, it's printed out on paper and physically mailed to the supplier. The mail could take several days to arrive. Once received, the supplier’s employee needs to manually key in the information from the paper document into their computer system for tracking. The supplier ships the products to the customer based on the information provided along with an invoice. Without real-time communication, the retailer might have to call the supplier to confirm that the purchase order was received and is being processed. Throughout the manual process, errors can occur at each step. Mistakes in purchase order creation, data entry, shipping, and invoicing can lead to inaccurate orders, delayed shipments, and incorrect payments.

With EDI, the entire process becomes digital. The business generates a purchase order that is sent via Electronic Data Interchange. The supplier, in turn, takes the received electronic document, ships products to the customer and an invoice also using Electronic Data Interchange. EDI allows companies to easily adapt document transfers based upon the specific requirements of each retailer or supplier, like unique pricing structures or ship-to-ship address requirements. Depending on the configurations used, the entire process can be electronic.

What are the Types of EDI Solutions?

Electronic Data Interchange provides a fast and secure way to transfer business documents between business partners using different readable formats. Different types of EDI solutions for electronic data interchange include:

EDI via VAN (value-added networks) | If a company does not want to assign a specific EDI standard to each trading partner, VAN may be a better option. VAN involves a third-party as an intermediary between EDI communications. As long as trading partners are using the same VAN, business data can flow freely between them without the need for language-specific EDI software.

EDI via AS2 | AS2 is a secure and reliable way to conduct EDI over the Internet, providing the benefits of automation, standardization, and secure communication between trading partners. It's particularly well-suited for businesses that want to maintain control over their EDI communication process while leveraging the convenience and accessibility of the Internet for data exchange.

Web EDI | Web EDI, short for "Web-based Electronic Data Interchange," is a modern approach to conducting electronic data interchange (EDI) over the Internet using web-based applications and interfaces. It simplifies the process of exchanging business documents and data between trading partners by providing a user-friendly interface that can be accessed through a web browser.

Mobile EDI | Mobile EDI refers to the practice of conducting electronic data interchange (EDI) transactions using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. It allows users to access and manage their EDI processes on the go, providing flexibility and convenience in handling business documents and transactions.

EDI Outsourcing | EDI outsourcing, also known as EDI Managed Services, involves partnering with a third-party service provider to handle various aspects of the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) process on behalf of your business. Outsourcing EDI tasks can provide several benefits, including cost savings, expertise, and operational efficiency.

What is EDI used for

EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, is used for the electronic exchange of structured business data between different organizations in a standardized format. DI has a wide range of applications across industries and business functions. Here are some common use cases for EDI:

Supply Chain Management | EDI is extensively used for managing the flow of information and goods within the supply chain. It facilitates the exchange of purchase orders, order confirmations, shipping notices, and invoices between manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers.

Order Processing | Organizations can use EDI to automate the order-to-cash process. This includes sending and receiving purchase orders, order acknowledgments, order changes, and order confirmations electronically.

Inventory Management | EDI helps in real-time inventory management by allowing businesses to share inventory levels, demand forecasts, and replenishment requests with suppliers and partners.

Payment processing | EDI automates the payment processing process, by exchanging data on invoices, payments, and account balances. This saves businesses time, money and improve cash flow.

Shipping and Logistics | Shipping notices and advance shipping notifications (ASNs) can be exchanged through Electronic Data Interchange. This ensures accurate and timely information about the shipment, enabling efficient logistics and warehouse management.

Returns | EDI is used to automate the returns process, by exchanging data on returns orders, returns authorizations, and refunds.

Retail and Point of Sale (POS) | In the retail industry, EDI is used for transmitting POS data, such as sales transactions, inventory levels, and product information, between retailers and suppliers.

This sounds awesome. How do I implement EDI for my business?

Give us a call at 1-888-399-0722 or request a quote for an easy EDI setup.