What is EDI? Basics and benefits
Most companies come into contact with EDI following a listing with a large key customer, who've said they must invoice through EDI.
The typical reaction is - what is EDI and how should my company prepare for the EDI benefits that will accrue from this key business development?
A request to be EDI ready can cause initial concern. There's likely to be a knowledge gap around technical issues like integrating EDI with your existing back-office process.
The pressure to make sure that orders, invoices and payments run smoothly will, no doubt, be front of mind.
Don’t worry, EDI is not as complex as it sounds. Setting it up won't disrupt your business, if handled the right way.
This blog will walk you through the basics of EDI, how EDI benefits your business and how to implement it.
What is EDI?
In simple terms, Electronic Data Interchange or EDI is the computer to computer exchange between two companies of standard business documents in electronic format.
EDI automates the exchange of documents like purchase orders, despatch advices, invoices and credit notes.
Data is formatted to travel directly between trading partner’s computer system without manual intervention.
A strict data structure facilitates the document transfer, reducing the potential for human error.
Basics of EDI
Companies of all sizes can access EDI and benefit from streamlined order and invoice processing.
For multiples and franchise owners in the FMCG sector, EDI centralises their procurement operations and reduces the cost and complexity of putting goods on shelf.
For suppliers, the need to automate in-bound orders and issue electronic invoices and despatch advices is suddenly business critical.
For both suppliers and buyers, EDI gives access to a robust and scalable supply chain process that makes doing business simpler and more cost-effective.
Related - Download our Guide to the Benefits of EDI
Key EDI benefits:
- Respond to key customer EDI demands
- Fast and reliable message exchange
- Reduce manual intervention, paper and data errors
- Free up accounts and IT resources for value-add activites
- Better sales reporting, stock control and information sharing
- Faster processing and payment of invoices
- Easier to grow EDI connections to support future business
Setting up an EDI solution
Many companies will be used to using ERP systems and accounts packages like Sage and QuickBooks to create paper invoices and matching them against incoming payments.
Integration creates a link between the EDI software and the existing back-office system to produce electronic documents that are automatically interpreted and transmitted.
An experienced EDI provider can quickly configure the software with the central billing function of your customer using information like the account code, invoice number, invoice date and product code.
The EDI software is installed and then configured to create the first test files to establish the EDI connection with the buyer.
If you’ve agreed a deal to supply a large multiple, who've said you must invoice through EDI, you're no doubt thinking - what is EDI and how do I implement it?
You've come to the right place - Celtrino are a leading provider of EDI services to the Irish and UK retail sector.
Over the past 30 years, Celtrino has implemented EDI for thousands of companies to trade with hundreds of the largest buying groups in Ireland and the UK.
Because we've implemented EDI for large numbers of companies using the same accounts packages, we know exactly what is required for a seamless EDI integration.
Our Outsourced EDI service is the complete solution to all your EDI issues - fully managed with a first-class help desk team standing by with support and advice should you need it.
Take the stress, expense and technical requirement out of EDI set-up and management.
Find out your business can save money and time with all the EDI benefits of our managed service.
Speak to an expert – contact us or visit our website for more details.