How EDI Integration Can Improve Your Business Performance

How EDI Integration Can Automate and Improve Your Business Performance

EDI Integration

When it comes to improving any business performance, then, one of the key factors to consider is data exchange automation. If your business has seamless data exchange automation, then efficiency and growth will improve. However, many businesses are not aware of how to establish data exchange automation and how it can help in their business. This is where the demand for Electronic Data Interchange tool integration comes as a one-stop solution for automating data exchange.  If you don’t know about EDI integration then keep reading. 

In this guide, we will deep dive into EDI, how EDI integration can automate and grow your business and what are the key steps to take for successful EDI integration with your business.

What Is EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)?

EDI is referred to as Electronic Data Interchange. It is a standard digital communication method that allows businesses to exchange documents between organizations in a well-organized and automated manner. It is commonly used in B2B Integration. Where EDI helps make digital data exchange much easier without any paper-based communication. Whether it’s invoices, purchase orders, shipping notifications, or other sensitive information, EDI makes a well-structured format for easy interpretation for computers. It eliminates human dependency, reduces the risk of errors, and streamlines collaboration.

What Is EDI Integration?

It is a process that businesses implement to ensure a secured and automated process for data exchange between organizations in a structured and standard format. It’s like a system that businesses need to set up in their business. So that now whenever they send any business information to other businesses then the EDI system will automatically send the information in a structured and universally understood format.

One such great example of EDI integration is in the eCommerce industry, when you place an order with a supplier, an EDI system automatically shares information with the supplier system in a well-structured format without any manual human interaction. It makes the data exchange information seamless, faster and automated.

What are the EDI Integration Types?

EDI Integration Types?

Here are some common EDI integration types used for different scenarios that you should know:

1. Direct EDI Integration (or Point-to-Point EDI Integration)

Direct EDI Integration (or P2P EDI Integration) allows businesses to directly establish connections with other business partners for smooth exchange data transactions. It’s fast, easy to manage and automates transactions between businesses.

2. Indirect EDI Integration

Indirect EDI Integration allows businesses to connect their systems with other systems through an EDI broker or value-added network (VAN). It means your ERP system can connect with customers, suppliers or 3PL software solutions indirectly through a VAN or EDI Broker. So, it has a flow from the ERP system to the Broker or Van to your partners.

3. EDI Outsourcing Integration

EDI outsourcing means that businesses choose external sources to manage their EDI systems. Because many companies can’t manage EDI systems and prefer to outsource to EDI service providers.

4. EDI In-house Integration

It’s completely the opposite of outsourcing EDI, where a company manages and maintains its own EDI system and takes complete control over the EDI integration. However, proper maintenance requires more time and resources.

5. Hybrid EDI integration

A type of EDI integration that has both direct and indirect EDI integration.

Top 6 Benefits of EDI Integration

Benefits of EDI Integration

Here are some key benefits of EDI integration:

1. Improved Operational Efficiency

One of the key benefits of EDI integration is improved operational efficiency. EDI helps businesses to automate their document exchange operations and reduce the time and effort of managing paperwork. When document exchange is automated, efforts are reduced and manual efforts are eliminated then which leads to better operational efficiency and increased accuracy.

2. Reduced Operational Costs

Another benefit of EDI integration is reduced operational costs. It allows businesses to switch to cost-effective options rather than paper-based processes. Previously, when businesses needed to change documents then they spent on various things such as printing, filling, retrieving physical documents etc. After EDI integration, they’ve the option to eliminate the manual burden of physical documents and use electronic data interchange that reduces the operations costs and increases revenue.

3. Improved Data Security

When it comes to identifying which method is more paper-based processes or electronic data interchange with standard security protocol. Then obviously, EDI comes as a better-secured option because it eliminates human efforts, reduces the risk of errors and helps businesses to share documents digitally with high-security protocols. 

4. Seamless Data Interchange

Data interchange becomes seamless with the help of EDI integration. It creates smooth communication channels between stakeholders for reliable and seamless data interchange without any disruptions.

5. Faster Cash Flows and Billing Cycles

After the EDI integration, businesses can automate the data exchange operations and make it more seamless and faster, which overall increases the billing process and cash flows. Now, businesses don’t need to spend too much time and effort on paper based invoices or face any human errors; EDI makes it seamless and faster to ensure a faster flow of billing and payment digitally. This means that EDI is a great add-on tool that can improve invoice operations and make them faster and more accurate to accelerate business revenue.

6. Better Supply Chain Management

EDI integration enables businesses to streamline their supply chain operations more efficiently. Whether its order status, inventory levels, shipments and invoices, all these operations can be tracked and updated in real time to ensure a smooth flow between partners. EDI enhances the data exchange processes and provides excellent support and maintenance.

What are the EDI Integration Requirements?

Here are some key requirements of EDI integration that every business should have:

  • A company has to agree with each of its trading partners on transmission protector 
  • A company needs the capability to export from an ERP system and an agreed-upon EDI message format
  • A company must agree on the message format with each of its partners

Top 3 EDI Integration Methods

When businesses are planning for opt EDI integration, there are three ways to consider:

1) In-house Integration

2) Cloud-based Integration

3) Outsourced Integration

Let’s explore each in detail!

In-house Integration: When a business manages and maintains its own EDI infrastructure with complete control over the EDI integration process, then it uses an in-house integration approach.

Cloud-based Integration: There are various cloud-based EDI integration platforms available, where businesses can use cloud security services for EDI integration and scale their business needs.

Outsourced Integration: Also business has an option for 3PL EDI integration, allowing business to focus on key areas and let the professionals do the EDI integration.

How Does EDI Work?

The main purpose of EDI is to share business documents with partners in a well structured, secured, and universal standard format. Here are the three steps process to understand how EDI works:

Step 1. Documents Preparation

The very first step of EDI is to collect the required business documents, create an electrical file with all the necessary data, and organize it properly.

Step 2. Translate the Documents into EDI Format

Once the data is collected and stored then it will automatically convert into EDI format through the EDI integration software. There are various EDI service providers available which can easily translate the document into EDI format.

Step 3. Transmit the EDI documents to Business Partner

Now, it’s time to transmit the EDI format documents to the business partners. There are various ways to transmit the EDI file to the partners such as AS2, Connect to an EDI network provider (as VAN provider) or a combination of both based on volume of data.

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Some Common EDI Errors and Ways to Fix Them

Here are some common EDI errors that businesses face, and here’s the way to fix them:

1. Message Content Errors

One of the most common errors that businesses face with EDI i.e, showing errors in message’s content. Whether it’s purchase order, invoice number or GSTIN, sometimes EDI shows incorrect or missing information.

How to Fix: In order to fix the message content error, you need to find the exact source of error in the originating system and manually update.

2. Wrong Connection

This error sometimes occurs when businesses are using the VAN method to transmit data to other partners. And this error disconnects the server and prevents the process of transmitting data. This issue will not be resolved by the EDI team, it’s mainly required help from the provider or VAN.

How to Fix: To resolve this problem, you need to put appropriate monitoring and alarms to establish a strong connection for seamless transmission. You’re also advised to choose a provider or VAN that monitors you in detail.

3. Configuration Error

Another common EDI error is a configuration error. This means it isn’t set up properly in the ERP system. If there’s no proper setup, then transmitting data can be stuck and not transferred to another partner.

How to Fix: To ensure that EDI is properly integrated with the ERP system then, it is required to master data updates technical labor for configuration fixes.

4. EDI Scheduling

This error usually happens when the transmitter or receiver is incorrectly configured. An incorrect sender/receiver ID can be a reason for this error because it requires relevant data sources for seamless transmission.

How to Fix: To fix this issue, the ERP system should be properly configured correctly with accurate information.

5. Message sequence errors

If you’re facing message sequence error then it means the previous message didn’t receive to the receiver yet. That’s why it didn’t send the recent data to the same receiver.

How to Fix: To fix this issue, you need to identify that pending message and take action to reset or delete accordingly then you can try for new data to share.

Industry Use Cases of EDI

There are numerous industries where EDI is used to automate the data exchange operations between businesses. Here are some top industries that used EDI integration:

  • Healthcare: EDI plays a most important role in the healthcare sector. It ensures proper compliance in healthcare applications and improves efficiency in billing and claim processing. It builds coordination between healthcare providers, insurers, and government entities.
  • E-commerce: It helps to streamline e-commerce operations and enhance efficiency.
  • Finance: Whether it’s order initiation, invoicing, or advanced ship notices, EDI helps to streamline these operations much faster and better.
  • Automotive: EDI can help streamline supply chain operations and eliminate manual data entry errors.
  • Manufacturing: In manufacturing, EDI integration improves productivity in operations and reduces costs.
  • Logistics: For improving transportation and reducing delays, EDI is a great solution.
  • Retail: EDI allows us to manage inventory and order processes efficiently and improve supply chain operations.
  • Food & Beverage: EDI helps with timely delivery and seamless collaboration with suppliers and retailers.

Future of EDI Integration

EDI Integration Stats

The future of EDI is promising and its demand will grow rapidly. According to the stats, the global EDI market size is expected to hit $4.52 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 12.5%. It clearly shows how fast EDI is getting acceptance in almost every sector and making operations much more efficient, faster and cost-effective. 

How DreamSoft4U Can Help In EDI Integration?

DreamSoft4U is a one-stop EDI solutions provider, whether it’s EDI mapping, document translation, or end-to-end EDI integration in your business. We have a team of professionals who can deliver top-notch services and transform your business data exchange system. Connect today to make your EDI integration simple!

Wrapping Up!

EDI integration plays an essential role in any business growth and allows businesses to exchange information in a standard and well-structured format. We hope this guide will help you know everything about EDI integration, its types, benefits and EDI integration methods that you can consider for seamless EDI integration. Now, it is your turn to find an experienced EDI consulting service provider and grow your business.


Q.1 How EDI can enhance the productivity of a company?

EDI helps businesses to enhance the data exchange operations and speed up the process by sharing business information in a well-structured format.

Q.2 What are the major components of EDI?

Some key components of EDI are standard document format, preferred communication method, communication network to send and receive documents, and translation and mapping.

Q.3 What is an EDI example?

The best example of EDI is in the e-commerce industry when a buyer sends a purchase order to a supplier and then responds with an invoice. It’s an automated process without any human interaction required.

Q.4 Who is the father of EDI?

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) was invented by Ed Guilbert.

Q.5 What is the difference between EDI and API integration?

API stands for Application Programming Interface, which is used to give specific instructions to help softwares communicate with each other. On the other hand, EDI allows businesses to transfer business information to their partners in digital and standard formats.

Q.6 Is EDI more secure than API?

EDI is more secure than API because EDI is more flexible and customizable.

Sanjeev Agrawal

Sanjeev Agrawal

My name is Sanjeev Agrawal. I am a Director and Co-founder of Dreamsoft4u, IT Consulting Company. I am having a keen interest in the latest trends and technologies that are emerging in different domains. Being an entrepreneur in the field of the IT sector, it becomes my responsibility to aid my audience with the knowledge of the latest trends in the market.