What is EDI?

EDI or Electronic Data Interchange is the application to application movement of business documents (or transactions) between two or more companies in a publicly recognized standard industry format, using publicly recognized standard communication protocols.

What is an EDI standard industry format?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) assigns every transaction type/set a unique number. For example, an Invoice transaction type/set is assigned a transaction identification of 810.

How many standards are there?

There are three main EDI standards:

  ANSI - North America Standard
  UCS - Uniform Communication Standard
  EDIFACT - Europe and Asia Standard

There are also market specific standards such as UCS (Uniform Code Standard) for the grocery industry.

How many EDI transactions are there?

There are well over 100 transactions (or document types) that can be exchanged through EDI.

What is a VAN?

A VAN is a Value Added Network which is usually responsible for management of the EDI mailbox and various communication related activities.

What are the benefits of doing EDI?

EDI can:

  • reduce communication costs (fax, phone, mail)
  • reduce inventory
  • reduce errors (i.e. prices, upc codes, etc.)
  • eliminate ‘out of stocks’
  • improve productivity
  • strengthen trading partner relationships
  • improve customer service
  • provide a competitive advantage
  • provide new avenues for doing business