EDI

Electronic Data Interchange

What can your business use EDI for?

With EDI, your company can exchange documents electronically with your trading partners. Instead of sending a document to a person who has to enter data, e.g., in an ERP system manually, you can send the document directly to the recipient's system, where the data is automatically registered. That is, an electronic process replaces the manual process – hence the term Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

You can, of course, also receive documents, which will be registered automatically in your ERP system.

EDI is typically used to exchange sales documents such as invoices, orders, and delivery notes. Still, you can also use it for more complicated and comprehensive documents such as product or product catalogs, freight booking – in short, all kinds of business documents.

The benefits of EDI

EDI is a proven and stable technology that is continuously updated and used worldwide. That is because it has some undeniable benefits:

  • Your customers and suppliers do not have to wait to receive documents from you – and vice versa. You thus limit the response time on new orders, invoices, and other business-critical documents.
  • You minimize the risk of any manual errors.
  • You limit the time you spend managing documents.
  • You can easily exchange documents with private and public companies worldwide.

Another benefit of EDI is that the technology is based on standards. What this means, you can read about below.

What is an EDI standard?

An EDI solution retrieves the documents from a company's ERP system and sends them directly to the recipient's corresponding system. Several standard EDI formats exist in order to simplify the exchange between companies of different kinds and across borders. Here is a selection of the standards you may encounter:

  • EDIFACT (international EDI standard developed under the UN)
  • NemHandel (EDI standard developed by the Danish Agency for Digitisation. All public authorities in Denmark must be able to receive documents via NemHandel. Many private companies also use this standard.)
  • PEPPOL (the European version of the Danish NemHandel)
  • ASI X12 (EDI standard mainly used in the US)
  • EHF (the Norwegian version of NemHandel)
  • Svefaktura (the Swedish version of NemHandel)

There are several other standards, but the above are the most common ones.

5 steps for exchanging EDI documents

When you exchange EDI documents with your trading partners, the automatic process is basically done in five steps.

  1. Data is extracted from the sending system and collected into one file.
  2. The file/document is translated to an EDI standard that the receiving system can understand.
  3. The document is sent to the recipient.
  4. The receiving system receives the document.
  5. The document is processed by the recipient so that data enters the system.

All steps take place automatically, which saves a lot of time and minimizes the risk of errors.

How to get started with EDI

Although the concept of EDI itself might be simple to understand, it is, in fact, a rather complicated technical process that lies behind. Therefore, you can advantageously use an EDI provider like, for example, Bizbrains.

In collaboration with your internal or external IT people, we take care of the technical details needed to extract data from your ERP system (or other systems) and deliver them to your customers and suppliers in the standard they use for electronic document exchange.

For example, you may want to exchange invoices automatically with your customers, but it may also be all sorts of other business documents.

For it all to run like a well-oiled machine, there must be a platform that can handle all the automated workflows and where you can maintain the overview of the documents flowing back and forth as they should. At Bizbrains, that machine is Link.

Illustration

Many people choose Link in a cloud version so that they do not have to handle the document exchange daily, but it is also possible to install Link on your own servers.

If you choose the cloud solution, we make sure:

  • that you apply the EDI standards required by your trading partners.
  • that the correct data is extracted from your system and delivered in the right formats to your recipients.
  • that you can also receive documents the other way from your trading partners if you wish.
  • to engage in a dialogue with your ERP partner, if necessary, to ensure that the exchange to and from your ERP system runs smoothly.
  • to engage in dialogue with your trading partners and their EDI partners, if necessary.
  • that you can send all the document types, you need.

When you let us handle your EDI tasks, you do not risk your IT people getting held up every time you have to send or receive a document. Instead, you can lean back in the certainty that it will all run automatically – and that you will be notified in cases where your action is required.

Why choose Bizbrains?

EDI is our core competence. Simple as that. We have worked with EDI for many years and know all the details about the standards, be it PEPPOL, Easy Trade, EDIFACT, or something else, and we follow the development of the technology and standards closely. Therefore, we are able to deliver the following:

  • A stable EDI solution tailored to your business.
  • Delivery and receipt of documents in the standard that suits your business and your trading partners.
  • High flexibility: We adapt the standards to your and your trading partners' needs. For example, if you have any special requirements for customized fields on your invoices, and the selected standard does not meet this requirement, we can adjust the standard for you.
  • Competent advice and consultancy based on more than 20 years of experience with EDI. If you have any questions about EDI, you can always get answers.
  • Full support. We will handle it if anything goes wrong in your document flow and contact you if needed. Therefore, you do not have to deal with EDI on a daily basis but can leave the document exchange to us.
  • Guard 24-7, who keeps an eye on things and making sure they are running smoothly.
  • Experience from many projects – both large and small.

If you would like to know more about how you can get started with EDI yourself, please give us a call at +45 7070 1644.