Electronic Data Interchange, or EDI, is a fundamental method for document exchange in the manufacturing, warehouse, and automotive industries. In these industries, documents that are typically exchanged in an electronic format using EDI include, but are not limited to, purchase orders, invoices, and shipment notices.
- In order to work with specific trading partners, vendors and/or suppliers, you may be mandated to perform EDI in order to start or continue a business relationship.
- Transaction fees can be expensive. With EDI, you can take advantage of a flat rate regardless of transaction volume.
- Increased efficiency from automating transactions
- Reduction of errors from manual data entry
- Validation of content (via EDI standards and receiving software) that confirms transactions contain all the information they need to enable proper processing, traceability, etc.
- Reduced cost of doing business
- Faster processing
- The ability to sell in more places.
How do I start with EDI?
Once your company and your trading partner decide that you want to conduct business using EDI, there are a few general steps you can take to begin the process:
- Obtain the EDI Implementation Guide from your trading partner. This will define how your selected electronic business documents will be structured.
- Purchase EDI software that includes document maps and a translator. This software is used to transform your accounting system data (ie. orders, shipments, etc) into the layout requested/required by your trading partner.
- Once this software is setup you and your trading partner will typically begin testing document exchanges.
- Communicate with your trading partner to determine how your EDI documents can be exchanged. The most common methods are via Internet EDI, a Value Added Network (VAN), or direct one-to-one/peer-to-peer electronic document transfer. The eBridge Connections ePortal solution uses Internet EDI as the primary method of exchanging business documents with trading partners. We can also exchange documents with VANs as interconnects.
- Conduct a set of tests with your EDI solution provider to verify that your software operates correctly and your trading partner receives the documents correctly.
- Perform parallel document processing where you still send and receive your paper documents with your trading partner.
- Eventually switch off paper business document exchange. You will notice a large reduction of document processing costs, dramatic increase of accuracy of the data, speed of exchange of business documents, improved cash flows, reduced processing errors and an increase in customer service levels.
eBridge can help.
We've already helped so many great companies connect to their EDI trading partners. Here's just a few:
Are you already doing EDI? Contact eBridge Connections if you want to discuss how we can help you save on transaction fees.
Need to get started with EDI? You've come to the right place. At eBridge Connections, we're EDI experts. Try our Blueprint Builder now to select the EDI trading partners you want to do business with.