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EDI Software


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Fishbowl Inventory Distribution logo
 
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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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
 
NetSuite logo
 
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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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
 
Systum logo
 
Systum is a cloud-based distribution management solution for small to midsize businesses. Key features include marketing, customer relationship management, sales automation, e-commerce, inventory management and quoting and billing. Systum... Read More
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Systum is a cloud-based distribution management solution for small to midsize businesses. Key features include marketing, customer relationship management, sales automation, e-commerce, inventory management and quoting and billing. Systum... Read More
 
Lead Commerce logo
 
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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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
 
VersAccounts Small Business Cloud ERP logo
 
VersAccounts is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution designed for small manufacturers and distributors. The solution offers tools to consolidate data related to finances, inventory, revenue, costs and more. Within... Read More
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VersAccounts is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution designed for small manufacturers and distributors. The solution offers tools to consolidate data related to finances, inventory, revenue, costs and more. Within... Read More

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Agiliron Distribution logo
 
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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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
 
Centralbos logo
 
CentralBOS is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to small and midsize businesses across various industry verticals and helps them to integrate their data and processes across locations and departments. CentralBOS... Read More
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CentralBOS is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to small and midsize businesses across various industry verticals and helps them to integrate their data and processes across locations and departments. CentralBOS... Read More
 
Distribution One ERP-ONE+ - Distribution logo
 
Sold as a single, complete solution, ERP-ONE by Distribution One was designed with a single focus - addressing the ERP needs of Wholesalers and Distributors. Chose between on-premise or web-based deployment; support is live.
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Sold as a single, complete solution, ERP-ONE by Distribution One was designed with a single focus - addressing the ERP needs of Wholesalers and Distributors. Chose between on-premise or web-based deployment; support is live.
 
Deskera ERP logo
 
Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
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Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
 
NebuCore logo
 
NebuCore 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 of... Read More
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NebuCore 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 of... Read More

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Entree logo
 
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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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
 
Infor ERP Distribution logo
 
Infor CloudSuite Distribution is developed to meet the needs of wholesale distributors that want to modernize their technology infrastructure to address the constantly shifting business landscape, growing competition and changing customer... Read More
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Infor CloudSuite Distribution is developed to meet the needs of wholesale distributors that want to modernize their technology infrastructure to address the constantly shifting business landscape, growing competition and changing customer... Read More
 
Epicor Prophet 21 logo
 
Epicor Prophet 21 is a business management solution designed distributors with capabilities such as: mobility, e-commerce, analytics/business intelligence, financial management, CRM, order management, pricing, purchasing, warehouse... Read More
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Epicor Prophet 21 is a business management solution designed distributors with capabilities such as: mobility, e-commerce, analytics/business intelligence, financial management, CRM, order management, pricing, purchasing, warehouse... Read More
 
Kechie logo
 
Kechie is a cloud­-based solution for tracking and reporting sales, inventory, procurement, warehousing and logistics that is suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include inventory control, procurement and purchase... Read More
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Kechie is a cloud­-based solution for tracking and reporting sales, inventory, procurement, warehousing and logistics that is suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include inventory control, procurement and purchase... Read More
 
Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS) logo
 
Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS) is a cloud-based ERP application with the aspects of a desktop application giving small to midsize businesses the tools they need in order to manage the business environment. Geneva Systems... Read More
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Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS) is a cloud-based ERP application with the aspects of a desktop application giving small to midsize businesses the tools they need in order to manage the business environment. Geneva Systems... Read More

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Blue Link ERP logo
 
Blue Link is a cloud-based ERP, inventory management and accounting solution that caters to small and midsize businesses. The solution helps businesses handle the back-office needs as well as logistical and operational requirements.... Read More
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Blue Link is a cloud-based ERP, inventory management and accounting solution that caters to small and midsize businesses. The solution helps businesses handle the back-office needs as well as logistical and operational requirements.... Read More
 
ADS Solutions - Accolent ERP logo
 
Accolent ERP by ADS Solutions is a hybrid enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to businesses in the SMB market and helps them to integrate data and processes across departments and locations. Accolent ERP's key... Read More
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Accolent ERP by ADS Solutions is a hybrid enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that caters to businesses in the SMB market and helps them to integrate data and processes across departments and locations. Accolent ERP's key... Read More
 
WinWeb logo
 
WinWeb is a distribution enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite for small and midsize businesses in industries such as retail, wholesale, manufacturing, franchising and health care. Cloud-based and on-premise deployments are available. The... Read More
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WinWeb is a distribution enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite for small and midsize businesses in industries such as retail, wholesale, manufacturing, franchising and health care. Cloud-based and on-premise deployments are available. The... Read More
 
Epicor Eclipse logo
 
Epicor Eclipse is a distribution-focused business management solution developed to fit electrical, plumbing/PVF, and HVAC wholesale businesses that scales from tens to thousands of users on a single installation. Eclipse provides... Read More
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Epicor Eclipse is a distribution-focused business management solution developed to fit electrical, plumbing/PVF, and HVAC wholesale businesses that scales from tens to thousands of users on a single installation. Eclipse provides... Read More
 
Enterprise 21 ERP logo
 
Enterprise 21 ERP from TGI is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that provides small and midsize businesses across various industry verticals tools and functionalities to manage day-to-day operations and routines... Read More
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Enterprise 21 ERP from TGI is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that provides small and midsize businesses across various industry verticals tools and functionalities to manage day-to-day operations and routines... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: August 17, 2018


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

 

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