Frequently asked questions about Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

What is electronic data interchange? How can I use EDI in my company? Which EDI documents can I exchange? We answer. You ask.

Get to know everything about Electronic Data Interchange

Practically all the transactions you would usually engage in with a trading partner by conventional means can be done via EDI Solution. The most commonly exchanged documents include orders, despatch advice messages, delivery notes, invoices and inventories.

The many advantages of exchanging data between information systems compared with the traditional processing of paper documents make EDI a prevailing reality today across a multitude of activity sectors. This, together with the large variety of structured messages available to carry out all types of transactions, has expanded the use of EDI-associated technologies to multiple trading partners. So much so that exchanging electronic information with distributors, suppliers, logistics operators, customs, ports, airports and public administrations is nowadays common practice.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has a firm foothold in the retail industry as a means of widespread commercial transactions between distributors and suppliers. Many business sectors have gradually developed their own EDI expansion projects and it is now very well established in the scope of healthcare, the automobile industry, the tourism sector, transport and more.

  • A standard language: Interchanging electronic information requires a standardised language shared by sender and receiver to structure messages. There are different standards, such as EDIFACT, X12, XML...
  • EDI software: Sender and receiver must have an EDI solution to draft and manage messages according to the standard in which the interchanges are to take place.
  • Communications network: EDI interchanges call for secure communications systems adapted to the peculiarities of this type of transaction. There are different options available, although the most commonly used are VANs (Value Added Networks). These are private communication networks with high levels of security, control and monitoring to ensure the correct sending and receipt of different messages.

EDI is based on the exchange of electronic messages through a structure shared by sender and receiver. These data structures are generated from standards such as EDIFACT, X12, XML or UBL, maintained and developed by supranational organisations to ensure they are universally valid. The EDI system guarantees a smooth flow of all kinds of business documents with your partners, regardless of nationality or activity sector.

The onboarding service for partner integration deploys a powerful human resources network that supports you in connecting your platform to the greatest number of suppliers and clients in the least time possible. The service includes permanent monitoring of your onboarding projects through efficient collaborative tools accessible in real time for your customer.

IPM (Integral Partner Management) is the highest expression of your communications platform. It provides a permanent service for all partners for connection, testing, error validation and sending technical information, etc. Whether EDICOM customers or otherwise, they respond from dedicated telephones and effectively act as your EDI group administrator.

Solutions are accessible from a web framework that lets you send and receive EDI messages. This type of solution creates messages to be sent by the manual mechanisation of data through simple web forms, so applications do not require any modification to the ERP.

For situations where a high volume of documents is exchanged, it becomes necessary to integrate EDI transactions with the ERP so that the process of constructing and recording documents is automated to achieve full integration with the information system. In these systems, certain adaptations are required to enable extraction and integration of the data that will make up the messages sent and/or received.

Yes. Factors such as efficiency and cost savings have favoured the expansion of EDI applications from B2G to B2B and B2C environments. Beyond complying with the law, EDI has proven a key tool in many sectors, such as healthcare, retail, automotive and logistics, which communicate with their partners and have seen their management processes optimised. An EDI project has the power to grow and adapt to the needs of a company. On many occasions, the need arises to comply with the law.

One of the great advantages of EDI technology is its scalability. An EDI project can be rolled out progressively, in line the needs of the company. It is therefore important to establish objectives and priorities so that EDI is in line with your business plan. Although EDI is based on what is most important, companies must continue meeting other objectives that drive competitiveness.

Depending on the volume of transactions and partners to be managed from your EDI platform you might need to put a certain amount of resources into the administration and upkeep of your EDI applications part-time, or even full-time for larger integration projects. However, there are different outsourcing services that save you part or all of the management associated with EDI platform upkeep. So, through our outsourcing, partner onboarding and integral partner-management services you will be able to delegate all the administration and management of your EDI solution to EDICOM, with no need to channel any of your own company's resources.

No, that’s not necessary because all the applications and systems needed to set up an EDI solution can run perfectly well in service mode. Hardware, software and database resources are provided by EDICOM, which takes care of their installation, monitoring and administration from the EDICOM B2B cloud platform, accessible via web frameworks transparent to the user and fully operational as if it was from your own business.

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