The Global Language of Business

What is EDI? Download our beginner’s guide

Oct 25, 2017, by Maria Svejdar - Category: Retail Technology

Introducing our new ‘What is EDI?’ Guide

A non-technical overview for those new to EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)

Beginners guide to EDI cover with logosIn partnership with TrueCommerce, a GS1 Gold Partner, we have put together an easy-to-read guide for anyone who is new to EDI and is looking to understand the basic terms and how it works.

Whether one of your customers has asked you to trade using EDI, or if you are looking for a standardised way to trade with your suppliers, this guide will highlight what you need to know to get you started.


So, what is EDI?

EDI stands for “Electronic Data Interchange”, which is the exchange of electronic documents between two businesses, e.g. a customer and a supplier exchanging orders and invoices. These documents are exchanged using a standardised format so different computer systems can communicate with each other, efficiently and effectively.

“EDI is a direct machine-to-machine communication which enables the automated exchange of documents, avoiding the need for manual processing which is both time consuming and error prone.”

EDI replaces the manual paper based processes, enabling a fast, accurate, reliable and automated exchange of business documents, whilst eliminating the risk of human-error and reducing the time it takes to process these documents.

Types of EDI

There are two main types of EDI, Web EDI and Integrated EDI.

Web EDI is ideal for companies who are new to EDI and only need to trade electronically with one or two customers and are exchanging a relatively low number of documents. Whereas, Integrated EDI is for those organisations that want to take advantage of the full benefits of EDI, removing the manual process completely by connecting to the companies back office system.

On-premise EDI vs Outsourced EDI

Most companies are moving away from on-premise EDI solutions, otherwise known as in-house EDI, as it can drain internal IT resources, and is becoming notoriously more difficult, expensive and complex to manage and maintain.

Outsourced EDI solutions are hosted by a third party provider, meaning that no costly hardware or software is required and elements such as disaster recovery are all dealt with by the provider. It is also important to choose a provider who can help resolve EDI issues to get the most out of your EDI solution, by choosing one who offer a fully managed service. This will remove the burden from internal resources, as the third party provider looks after the day-to-day running of your EDI.

If you are contemplating which solution is more practical for your organisation, read our other blog post on Outsourced vs. On-premise EDI.

If you haven’t already, please down our ‘Beginner’s guide to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)’ today, to learn more about EDI and how your business can benefit from switching from  manual paper-based processes to electronic ones.

TrueCommerce EDI Managed Service

TrueCommerce leans on their extensive experience, skills and infrastructure to provide a fully managed service, helping businesses transform a potentially expensive overhead into a business opportunity. Outsourcing your EDI requirements to TrueCommerce and taking full advantage of their EDI Managed Service, companies are able to remove the risks associated with technical issues and maintenance costs as these are all handled by TrueCommerce’s dedicated service desk team.

If you would like to find out more about EDI Managed Service, contact TrueCommerce who will be happy to discuss your requirements.

Tags: EDI, What is EDI, e-invoicing,