The Comprehensive Principle to EDI Standards

EDI or Electronic Data Interchange is a technology that assists business partners and companies to accomplish even further, facilitate preparation schedule and manual mistakes by computerizing business-to-business (B2B) transmissions. EDI assists numbers of companies that manufacture, transport, procure and market products or offer supervision, from retailers and producers to logistics companies, aviations, health professionals and underwriters among others.

Even though it has been utilized from the 1960s, EDI is searching for further use nowadays, allowing distribution network computerization, use digital technology and still as a crucial component of work procedures and trade method computerization. In this summary, we provide you a clear awareness of EDI and immediately present you to each of the fundamentals of EDI.

This article will as well provide information on EDI types, standards, transactions and integration, everything you should be aware of regarding EDI.


EDI takes the place of manual B2B transmissions like postal mail, fax and email Documents move instantaneously from the sender’s computer application, for instance a logistics system, to the receiver’s computer application, like an order management system.

Normal EDI Standards

  • EDI documents are handled by computers and utilize normal and suitable for use of computer formats
  • Criteria define every piece of information and its format, for example the kind of document, parties involved, activities to perform, date
  • Criteria remove company-to-company differences, enabling every trade partner’s computer system to communicate with a standard system
  • There are types of EDI standards for different companies, localities and use cases, everyone with several options therefore EDI partners should utilize the similar standard and option
  • Accepted standards include: ANSI X12 in the US, UN/EDIFACT worldwide and business-specific standards like HIPAA

Business Partners

  • The transmission of EDI documents is generally between two distinct companies, known as business partners or trading partners
  • For instance: Company A may purchase products from Company B. Company A transmits Purchase Orders to Company B, consequently transmits Invoices and Shipment Notices to Company A

Safe, Regulated Link

  • EDI utilizes a variety of safe protocols to enable the stable transmission of EDI documents
  • Partners should utilize the similar, determined to transmit EDI files or function with a go-between who can make transmissions easier in case the partners utilize unlike protocols
  • Few protocols demand better EDI technology framework than others, however EDI software currently makes transmissions with small capital
  • The protocols vary from well-established technologies like FTP, to EDI across the network through AS2, API-based systems, for instance AS4 and different alternatives like mobile EDI


  • EDI communications can be transmitted automatically by means of work process configured in advance
  • Companies generally utilize EDI translators, either as software or through an EDI service provider, to translate EDI documents employed in in-house applications, allowing automated handling
  • Operations can be developed to function with data integration and work processes across a company

Situation: As soon as a business receives an EDI Purchase Order, the logistics system produces a project for warehouse personnel to shift products from inventory to shipping.

EDI versus Ordinary Paper or Email Communications

To show the definition of EDI or Electronic Data Interchange, let us relate how an ordinary buying transaction will work between two business partners utilizing ordinary paper or email communications as against utilizing EDI.

Ordinary procedures:

  • The customer either receives an advice in his system to place an order or following inquiring the supply, decides he wants to place an order
  • The customer inputs information onto the screen of a purchasing system to generate the purchase order, prints and mails it or emails it to the vendor
  • The vendor receives the purchase order either couple of days later or through email, together with a whole series of difference transmissions and manually inputs it into the sales order system
  • The vendor prints an invoice and includes it with the shipment and/or transmits it individually by mail or email
  • The customer manually inputs the invoice in the accounts payable system

In this instance, a paper system can total a week of to and fro shipping timeframe to the procedure. Both email and paper are sensitive to manual data entry oversights, prolonging order duration.

EDI procedures:

  • The customer’s purchasing system, which utilizes EDI, auto-generates and transmits an EDI-formatted purchase order when supply accomplishes a pre-determined status
  • Within few minutes, the vendor’s sales order system utilizing EDI software, receives the EDI purchase order
  • The supplier’s system automatically advices their shipping department to dispatch products
  • As soon as the products are packed and are prepared for dispatch, the shipping system creates an Advanced Ship Notices (ASN) to be transmitted to the customer’s receiving department
  • The vendor’s ERP system consequently creates an EDI invoice to be sent to the customer’s accounts payable system



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