What is EDI?

EDI is Electronic Data Interchange. It is the exchanging of business documents (such as purchase orders, invoices, etc.) electronically. EDI is highly automated, so the exchange of these documents happens instantaneously in most cases. EDI was inspired by developments in military logistics, which helped to manage vast quantities of data and information about transported goods efficiently. Now, EDI is used in businesses around the world to send, receive and share information seamlessly.

Why would a company want to utilize EDI communications?

EDI can eliminate user errors during data entry that in some cases may cause the wrong quantity or item to be ordered. The same is true for invoicing—there is no need to manually key in the invoice data as it will flow from the vendor’s system into the customer’s system directly. EDI saves time spent keying in orders and taking care of issues that could arise from manual entry.

 What are some of the benefits of using EDI?

Time savings – You no longer have to manually key in data.

Automation – With automation, there is no need to print, fax or re-key data into another system. You enter the data once in your system, and it will then be sent to the vendor and automatically uploaded.

Accurate data – With no additional user entry, what you enter on your PO is what will be loaded on the sales order.

Cost/environmental savings – Reducing waste in the workplace can help lower overall operating costs on a number of levels including:

  • Savings on the cost of paper and postage
  • Freed up storage space in your business and savings on outside storage rental
  • Reduced paper consumption to lessen the environmental impact of the paper industry and keep waste out of landfills

What are the typical transactions that are done via EDI?

Typical transactions sent through EDI include:

  • Purchase Orders
  • Purchase Order Acknowledgments
  • Advance Ship Notices (ASNs)
  • Invoices

EDI Testimonials

Regular EDI users can attest to the many benefits the system offers. Here are just some of the many comments we’ve heard from users over the years:

“From a technical standpoint, our implementations and ongoing transactions have been smooth.” (BR)

“It is user-friendly, cost-effective, and accessible. I would definitely recommend EDI as a viable choice.” (NJ)

“I have the flexibility of designing the dashboard so that it provides me with everything I need when I log in.” (JB)

“The interface is easy to understand without much training.” (DG)

“The ability to automate the entire EDI process. Reporting is excellent, allows us to see every document (in/out) as well as any errors.” (BM)

How does Zekelman Industries help its customer maximize their EDI potential

We strive to make the process as eZ as possible for our customers. We meet their requirements instead of dictating requirements. We can utilize traditional EDI X12 transactions or other flat file formats including XML. Our flexibility allows the customer to dictate the best method for them to exchange business documents with us.

If you would like more details on the benefits of EDI, visit



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