A common question for suppliers breaking into the retail industry.  You’ve had a meeting with your trading partner and they have asked you if you’re EDI capable.  Naturally, if you’re unfamiliar with EDI software, you’ve taken to the web to get to know more about it.

Lets start with some background to what EDI software is.

EDI comes in 2 parts.  The network and the EDI software used at either end.  You can think of it like an email inbox.  The sender and receiver can use whichever email software they like, as they both speak “email” and the emails are send over the internet.

In the case of EDI, you can use whichever EDI software provider you like as long as they speak one of the EDI languages, (TRADACOMS / EDIFACT / EANCOM / X12).
The network, in this case, is usually a private network called the Trading Grid that can only be accessed through an authorised provider, such as XEDI.

Why can’t I use email and pdf attachments?

There is a good reason why retailers and large logistics companies use EDI software.  Accuracy is the most important factor when you have hundreds of suppliers fulfilling orders every day.  One wrong zero can cause a huge headache all the way down the supply chain.  Using EDI software at each step ensures that human interaction is kept to a minimum.

How can I make the most out of my investment in EDI?

There are real tangible benefits to using EDI software within your business. The more automation you can introduce, the more efficiently your business processes will flow.  For example, you can integrate your EDI software with your ERP platform and accounts system, so as orders arrive, your logistics provider get a copy and handle the shipping straight away.  As goods are delivered, your ERP system triggers an invoice to be delivered back to your trading partner via your EDI software.

A fully hands off solution keeps your supply chain running smoothly, leaving you to manage the rest of your business.

EDI Platforms, What are they?

XEDI offers a no-compromise web-based EDI solution, allowing customers to view orders and send invoices anywhere with a web browser.

EDI platforms are different methods of interacting with Electronic business documents. They’re two types of EDI platforms; web EDI and EDI via software.

EDI via Web EDI – Business utilising a Web EDI platform will typically be small to medium sized. Smaller businesses might use Web EDI because its cheap to set up and doesn’t need a designated EDI team to manage.

Web EDI works by taking fields from a form then converting them to EDI documents. The EDI documents are then transferred over an EDI network via AS2, FTPS or HTTPS.

EDI via EDI Software – Larger businesses will often favour EDI software. EDI software will typically take lots of time and resources to set up. However, once they’re up and running Integrations and third-party apps are easier to set up. Also, EDI software can be tailored to a businesses liking.

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