Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice helps distribution companies find the best EDI software so they can transfer documents quickly and securely.

Showing 1-20 of 187 products

Fishbowl Inventory Distribution

Fishbowl is a hybrid manufacturing and warehouse management solution designed for small and midsize companies. Key features include inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP), job shop floor control, work order management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 66 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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NetSuite

NetSuite is a provider of SaaS-based business solutions. NetSuite offers a web-based application for midsize wholesalers and distributors, offering a complete suite with features like ERP, inventory, e-commerce, accounting, fulfillment,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 60 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Agiliron Distribution

Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Epicor Prophet 21FrontRunners 2020

Epicor Prophet 21 is a cloud-based business management solution for distributors powered by Microsoft Azure designed to streamline the various distribution processes in today’s dynamic supply chain. Key capabilities include: inventory,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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FOCUS9

Focus is a cloud-based enterprise software suite that includes modular enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relations management (CRM) solutions. Users can also choose to use individual modules such as warehouse management... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Lead Commerce

Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and automate... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Acumatica Cloud ERP

Acumatica provides best-in-class business and industry functionality for small and mid-market growth businesses to run their entire business under a single pane of glass. Technology Leadership built on an adaptable, future-proof,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Quick Base Distribution

Quick Base is a low-code application development platform that enables organizations to unite information, people, and workflows within distribution in a single, cloud-based platform. Unlike traditional software solutions, Quick Base... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Distribution One ERP-ONE+ - Distribution

ERP-ONE+ is Distribution One’s ERP solution for wholesalers and distributors. Featuring Cloud or On-Premise deployments, this 64-bit turnkey system supplies all the functionality required to automate distribution processes including... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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SalesPadFrontRunners 2020

SalesPad offers small to midsize distributors on-premises and cloud-based business management software that optimizes the order-to-cash cycle without requiring a full-scale ERP deployment. The software tracks inventory movement across... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Zangerine

Zangerine is a cloud-based distribution management solution for small to midsize e-commerce businesses. Key features include inventory management, order management, quotes, purchasing, customer relationship management (CRM), point... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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WinWeb

WinWeb is a Cloud based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite for small and midsize businesses in multiple industries including wholesale, retail, and health care. WinWeb’s ERP Suite can be accessed through any web browser and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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K9ERP

K9ERP is a cloud-based business management system that offers financials, inventory, distribution, accounting, document management, service contracts, CRM, POS and more. K9ERP provides businesses with a complete suite of financial... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Entree

NECS entrée is an on-premise ERP solution designed explicitly for food distributors. It offers functionality for inventory management, truck routing, sales management and reporting, and is suitable for both full-line distributors,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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Skulocity

Skulocity is a cloud-based ERP system for manufacturing and distribution businesses. It offers functionality for warehouse management, inventory planning, manufacturing management, payroll, shipping management, and financial analytics. Skulocity’s... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Certus Food ERP

Certus Food ERP software integrates data, production processes, and departments into an innovative and easy-to-use cloud ERP software. Certus Food ERP solution gives manufacturers a high level of visibility and control over the production... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Aquilon ERP

Aquilon Software offers a combined supply chain, manufacturing, distribution, and financial management system that is deployable either on the cloud or on-premise. All modules integrate with each other, allowing users to gain full... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based accounting software. Sage Intacct’s applications are suitable for small and midsize companies and can provide real-time financial and operational insights as well as the ability to automate... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Sage X3

Sage X3 is a powerful ERP software solution designed for medium-to-large national and global manufacturers, distributors, and after-sales providers and can establish a foundation for your digital transformation. Sage X3 comes with... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Datacor ERP

Datacor ERP (formerly Chempax) is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) application designed specifically for chemical process manufacturers and distributors. The solution can be... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: December 1, 2020

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.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top EDI Software, July 2020

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated EDI Software products in North America.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.