How Do I Start Doing EDI?

EDI or Electronic Data Interchange is a method of exchanging business transactions between parties, electronically. Based on internationally recognized standards, EDI is used to support a diverse range of  important business processes such as supply chain management (purchase orders, shipment notifications, invoicing), business reporting (sales volume, payment status) and healthcare management (insurance claims). In fact, every time your dentist files your visit claim with your insurance company, they do so using EDI!

Most organizations embark on an EDI journey in response to an identified business problem or opportunity. Many times a large customer will ask to exchange their supply chain transactions using EDI and that is oftentimes the starting point. Other times, organizations find themselves in the position that they don’t have the information they need, when they need it, which leads them to the use of EDI to help solve that problem.

So, you have found yourself embarking on an EDI journey… but you aren’t sure what path you should take.

Some questions to consider:

  • Are you familiar with EDI?
  • Do you have an existing EDI solution?

         o    What do you like about it?

         o   What don’t you like about it?

         o   What would you like to see changed?

  • Are you responding to a customer mandate?

         o   How much business do you have with that customer?

         o   Do you have other customers who have requested an EDI connection with you that you haven’t actioned?

         o   How much business do you have with that (those) customer(s)?

  • What resources do you have available to spend on EDI?

         o   In terms of the initial selection of a solution or provider as well as on a day to day basis?

  • What systems and business processes are you already using?
  • How will engaging with an EDI process affect your operations?
  • Should you consider integration?
  • Are you getting the information you need to operate your business, in a timely fashion?
  • What kind of timeline are you working towards?


The answers to each of these questions help inform your EDI journey. To learn more about EDI click here



Author: Commport Communications

We opened our doors in 1985, since then Commport Communications’ focus has been to enable business to business communications. With over 25 years of experience we can help you find the right solutions for your business needs all in one place.