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.

For more information, on the meaning of EDI check out this blog post.

Let’s 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 as an email inbox.  The sender and receiver can use whichever email software they like, as they both speak “email” and the emails are sent 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?

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

EDI Platforms, What are they?

EDI platforms are different methods of interacting with Electronic business documents. They’re two types of EDI platforms; web EDI and EDI via software. XEDI offers a no-compromise web-based EDI solution, allowing customers to view orders and send invoices anywhere with a web browser.


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 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 businesses likings.

How does a business become EDI capable?

Businesses that are EDI capable can send and receive EDI documents to trading partners that also use EDI.

To become EDI capable a business must first choose a reliable EDI provider. After choosing the right plan for you and paying for it you will be assigned your own EDI mailbox code. The code you receive is the key to completing a connection with a trading partner.

At this point, you are EDI capable however there are a couple more steps to get trading. To make a connection you must complete a supplier set up form and return to the trading partner you wish to connect to. Once everything is approved at their end you can begin testing. After testing you are all connected and ready to get trading.

For more Information on becoming EDI capable check out the following blog post.  How to become EDI capable?, How do I become EDI Compliant? and How to implement EDI with your business.


Your data is safe with us. Fully featured EDI, free for 30 days

XEDI offers a zero compromise solution at a fair price point. Customers only need an internet connection to log into the portal and keep up to date with their EDI. Businesses looking for an EDI supplier have access to a 30-day free trial.

Customers of XEDI also have access to Message Delivery Monitoring Assistant©. This tool keeps customers into the loop if there EDI files have need received at the other end. If for any reason an EDI file fails to be sent our proactive support team will resolve any issues.

Your data is safe with us. Fully featured EDI, free for 30 days