You may be asked by a trading partner to transact using Electronic Data Interchange, or EDI. EDI enables the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents, such as purchase orders, advance ship notices, and invoices, between companies using a standard format, regardless of the kind of computer or software each company is using. EDI “bridges the gap” between companies and systems, and uses standardized business messages to enable trading partners to communicate in a common language. EDI helps companies conduct electronic commerce efficiently and accurately.
As an example, with EDI, a company’s computer system can generate and transmit a purchase order to a supplier and receive a computer-generated confirmation of receipt from the supplier’s system in a matter of minutes—not days. EDI has helped thousands of companies achieve significant operational savings through process improvements to normal business operations, such as order, delivery, invoice, payment, warehouse, and inventory processes.