What is EDI?
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business data in standard formats. In EDI, information is organized according to a specified format set by both parties, allowing a "hands-off" computer transaction that requires no human intervention or rekeying on either end. All information contained in an EDI transaction set is, for the most part, the same as on a conventionally printed document.
Organizations have adopted EDI for the same reasons they have embraced much of today's modern technology-enhanced efficiency and increased profits. Benefits of EDI include:
- Reduced cycle time
- Better inventory management
- Increased productivity
- Reduced costs
- Improved accuracy
- Minimized paper use and storage
The EDI standards are developed and maintained by the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12. The standards are designed to work across industry and company boundaries. Changes and updates to the standards are made by consensus, reflecting the needs of the entire base of standards users, rather than those of a single organization or business sector. Today, more than 300,000 organizations use the 300+ EDI transaction sets to conduct business.