The Global Language of Business


What is EDI?

EDI is the electronic transmission of data (from one computer to another) by agreed message standards from one trading partner to another. It simply replaces paper-based documents with electronic documents. EDI documents or messages generally contain the same information that would normally be found in a paper document used for the same organisational function. Automating these processes reduces the need for paper, cuts out any duplication of work, and means fewer mistakes due to human error. The sending company creates the electronic message and the receiving company interprets the message – without the need for any human involvement.

A beginner's guide to electronic data interchange

What is EDI?

A non technical overview for those new to EDI. Click on the button below to download your free copy.

What are the benefits of EDI?

EDI provides trading partners with a fast and efficient business tool for the automatic transmission of commercial data from one computer application directly to another. Companies do not need to worry about different incompatible computer systems. Through the use of GS1 EDI messaging standards, data is communicated quickly, efficiently and accurately irrespective of users internal hardware and software types.

The two key concepts of EDI are:

  • Electronic documents replace paper based ones
  • The exchange of documents takes place in a standardised format

GS1 Ireland allocates a GLN (Global Location Number) directly to a company engaged in EDI. In brief; a GLN is a mailbox-identification. The company may use this number as the primary company identification within the message itself. Using these two basic concepts, any business can implement EDI and take advantage of its speed, accuracy, efficiency and cost savings.

EDI Messages

GS1 EDI Standards provide globally agreed standard definitions for a wide range of electronic business messages, including:

  • Invoice
  • Purchase order
  • Despatch advice
  • Receipt advice

GS1 EDI is an enabler for automating many important business processes, such as order-to-cash, planning, forecasting and reporting.