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Accolent ERP

Accolent ERP is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise resource management (ERM) software suite designed for businesses in wholesale distribution, process manufacturing and assembly, and services companies. Accolent ...Read more about Accolent ERP

4.4 (9 reviews)

7 recommendations

A2000

A2000 Apparel Management Software is the best ERP for your fashion business of design, manufacturing, inventory, warehouse, and B2B. An easy-to-use system configurable to your needs, A2000 is designed for apparel, footwear, access...Read more about A2000

4.6 (8 reviews)

2 recommendations

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is an enterprise resource planning software with primary features such as real estate management, human capital management, environmental health and safety and commodity trading. What is JD...Read more about JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

4.2 (157 reviews)

1 recommendations

Cin7 Omni

Cin7 Omni is a highly configurable inventory management and order management solution with built-in EDI and integrations to all the popular ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, and 3PLs. It's best-in-class for all combinations of B2...Read more about Cin7 Omni

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Anypoint Platform

Anypoint Platform is an application development solution for organizations that are looking to integrate applications, data sources and devices using application programming interfaces (API). The solution is suitable for industrie...Read more about Anypoint Platform

SPS Commerce

SPS Commerce Fulfillment is a cloud-based EDI solution, which assists retailers, distributors, grocers and suppliers with electronic document interchange. Key features include order management, status tracking, invoice management ...Read more about SPS Commerce

Salesforce Platform

Salesforce Platform is an enterprise platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution that allows developers to build, test and resolve defects in cloud applications before deployment. The platform provides tools and services to automate bus...Read more about Salesforce Platform

DELMIAworks

DELMIAworks (formerly IQMS) ERP is developed specifically for SMB and large discrete and batch process manufacturers in the aerospace, medical device, automotive, food and beverage, consumer products, plastics, packaging, and elec...Read more about DELMIAworks

Boomi

Boomi is the world’s most popular, independent, cloud-native integration and automation platform. Boomi simplifies digital landscapes, so it’s easier to streamline customer experiences, automate business processes, and adopt new t...Read more about Boomi

SalesPad

SalesPad by Cavallo®: The World’s Best Distribution Software for Microsoft Dynamics GP When it comes to the needs of distributors, most systems come up short. Employees rarely have access to the information they need to work effe...Read more about SalesPad

Cleo Integration Cloud

Cleo Integration Cloud is a platform purpose-built to design, build, operate and optimize critical supply-chain integration processes. With greater choice, companies can blend self-service and Cleo Services for integration agility...Read more about Cleo Integration Cloud

1 EDI Source

1 EDI Source, an Epicor solution, is a leading provider of electronic data interchange (EDI) solutions designed to streamline supply chain operations and drive efficiency. With a comprehensive suite of software solutions, business...Read more about 1 EDI Source

EDI Power Reader

EDI Power Reader is an on-premise solution designed to help businesses in the healthcare sector securely access electronic data interchange (EDI) files on a unified platform. It allows employees to search records using a query fun...Read more about EDI Power Reader

MyB2B

MyB2B is a cloud-based electronic data interchange (EDI) solution. The solution suitable for small businesses for purchase orders, acknowledgments, advanced shipping notices, invoices and sales reports. Key features include data t...Read more about MyB2B

Celigo Integrator.io

Celigo Integrator.io is a cloud-based app integration platform. It helps businesses automate business processes from a unified platform. Its products include integrator.io, SmartConnectors and CloudExtend. Celigo's integratio...Read more about Celigo Integrator.io

ConnectPointz

ConnectPointz is an electronic data interchange (EDI) software designed to help businesses of all sizes manage orders, inventory, shipping and billing processes. Administrators can acquire, validate and translate compliant data an...Read more about ConnectPointz

Business Systems Integrators

BSI EDI is a complete EDI solution for ANSI EDI, EDIFACT, cXML, XML, etc., integration with SAP Business One. The on premise solution fully supports on-site mapping and communications. The cloud solution provides cloud managed EDI...Read more about Business Systems Integrators

Jitterbit

Jitterbit empowers productivity and performance by automating critical business processes for faster, more informed decision-making. Jitterbit’s Harmony is the only platform to seamlessly combine the power of integration, API Ma...Read more about Jitterbit

Conexiom

The Conexiom platform employs AI, advanced algorithms, and automated validation to deliver industry-leading automation rates for processing Sales Orders, Invoices and Vendor Order Acknowledgments. Conexiom’s technology gives back ...Read more about Conexiom

JSCAPE

MFT Server is a file-sharing solution that enables businesses and government agencies to transfer files across locations using various protocols such as FTPS, SCP and more. It facilitates integration with various third-party file ...Read more about JSCAPE

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

When researching enterprise, supply chain, warehouse or any other business software, you've probably come across the acronym EDI once or twice. It stands for electronic data interchange, and it's a pretty valuable piece of stand-alone or integrated technology for businesses that require a lot of document sharing between outside organizations.

In this Buyer's Guide, we'll go over exactly what this technology can do for you in the following sections:

What Is Electronic Data Interchange?

Common Functionality of EDI Systems

Top Benefits of EDI Software

Key Takeaways for Buyers

What Is Electronic Data Interchange?

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a process by which businesses can transfer or trade documents in specific, standardized formats, from computer to computer. It's most often used by business partners, but the specialized formats enable companies to transfer data safely to and from outside sources as well.

EDI-orchestration-within-Enterprise-WMS-Software

EDI orchestration within Enterprise WMS Software

The kind of documents typically shared via EDI software include things such as:

  • Purchase orders

  • Invoices

  • Payment documents

  • Shipment notifications

  • Bills of lading

  • Inventory

Essentially, any document containing information pertinent to the business transaction at hand can be shared through electronic data interchange systems from one computer to another. This technology eliminates the need for other, less reliable document transfer services such as postal mail, fax or even email. EDI systems completely automate the process of sharing documents to reduce human error and speed up business processes dramatically.

What makes EDI reliable is the standardization of document formatting. That is, all information must be input in universal ways to ensure computers can understand and interpret the data. For example, dates must all appear as mm/dd/yy, and percentages must all be written out to the .01 decimal.

There are a number of different EDI standards available to businesses today, so it's imperative that any companies attempting to exchange documents this way agree on which version to use beforehand to prevent confusion. Businesses also have the option to use in-house EDI translators, a feature of EDI software we'll cover in the next section.

Common Functionality of EDI Systems

On the surface, it may not seem like EDI software does very much, but, while it's true that the focus of this technology is fairly narrow, the amount of work that goes into transferring documents this way is not small. Here are a few of the functions EDI systems typically perform:

EDI translation

Takes the formatted EDI data and translates it into English (or whatever language the system user specifies) so that humans can read it.

EDI mapping

Helps users format EDI transactions and share data across other business areas, such as your accounting department or any other ERP module.

Security

EDI systems ensure all data transmitted between users is secure either through encrypted data, secure networks or both.

ERP integration

For stand-alone EDI systems, integration with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) or supply chain management (SCM) software is essential. Without connecting your EDI system to your other business software, you'd have to assume manual control over document formatting and data exchange that would defeat the purpose of EDI software.

Onboarding

Many EDI systems come with templates and training modules to make adding partners a much smoother process.

Top Benefits of EDI Software

EDI is already a widely adopted and integrated technology in most distribution organizations, and the benefits are numerous. They include:

Saving money. EDI software can reduce the required budget for physical document transfer and storage, such as paper, ink, envelopes, stamps and filing space, as well as the cost of manually completing these document transfers and business processes.

Increasing speed. By automating document transfers, users no longer have to wait for humans to find time to format and mail anything. Additionally, computer to computer data sharing takes place on a much faster timeline than the postal service, so information can be made available to business partners almost immediately.

Reducing errors. Human error costs money and slows things down, but EDI software can fix both of those issues by eliminating the need for human input in the document sharing process. Also, by formatting data according to previously agreed upon standards, there's much less opportunity for factors such as sloppy handwriting to interfere with business processes.

Improving efficiency. By taking document transfer off your employees' plates, EDI software frees them up to handle other business processes that need attention. Similarly, the reduction in error and increase in accuracy means no more having to do things over, saving you and your workers time. Also, increasing the speed at which these processes are completed can have major impacts on inventory levels and your ability to meet your customers' needs faster.

Key Takeaways for Buyers

When searching for an EDI system that will meet your business needs, it's important to consider the many different ways this technology has been made available to users. They include:

  • Direct EDI (also known as point-to-point). Creates a single data-sharing connection between two businesses.

  • Web-based EDI. Using an internet browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox, companies can fill out standardized forms with the data they want to share. This is an appealing option for small or midsize businesses (SMBs) that don't have the budget for self-contained EDI software other companies might.

  • Mobile EDI. Using applications designed for mobile devices, users can transfer data from anywhere at anytime. There are security concerns with this option, but as it grows in use, these concerns are likely to be addressed.

  • Outsourced EDI. Companies can trust a third-party EDI organization to handle all their electronic data exchanges.

  • EDI software. Often the best option for distribution organizations that have to transfer data frequently and require a certain level of security when doing so.

In addition to the many EDI system options to consider, buyers should be aware of some common issues with the implementation of EDI software. Two of the most common are:

  • The transition. You need to have a company-wide plan in place for switching over business processes from manual, paper-based document sharing to EDI. Without proper training and strict adherence to the new protocol, the transition can get messy.

  • The budget. It's important to be aware of any and all costs—including any related to the EDI service itself, required hardware, maintenance and/or the implementation of this new system.

If at any point in your search for an EDI system you decide you need a hand, you can always reach out to our software advisors for a 15-minute consultation over the phone at (844) 687-6771. We'll help match you with several EDI software providers that suit your unique needs so you can spend less time Googling and more time concentrating on your business.