What Does EDI Stand for Electronic Data Interchange

What does EDI Stand For?

(Electronic Data Interchange)

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange which is the exchange of large amounts of information computer-to-computer in a specified format between business partners. 

EDI has been in use since the 1960s, however in more recent years EDI came to play a key role in enabling supply chain automation, digital transformation and B2B business process automation.

More than 85% of all electronic business transactions take place using EDI. This method of exchanging documents is used in industries including retail, banking, high-tech, manufacturing, and services. 

Computer to Computer 

Computer to computer EDI saves time and cost associated with manual data entry, eliminating the need to mail, email, fax, and manually process documents.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) follows a certain set of standards that allow the senders documents to flow straight through to the intended application on the receivers end. This enables the processing and return documents to be accepted and processed immediately.

Manual Process (No EDI)

Manual Process (no EDI)



Common Errors with No EDI System


  • Missing or lost documents 
  • Time delays
  • Hard and soft costs
  • Pricing inconsistencies 
  • Weak security 
  • Poor customer relationship

Staying compliant with your business partners’ EDI requirements is crucial to a positive customer relationship.

Automated EDI Process

Benefits of an EDI System

  • Immense savings in time
  • Significant cost savings
  • Reduced drain on resources overall
  • Reduced error rates in data transfer (we almost want to say ‘eliminate’ here!)
  • Improved security of data being transferred
  • Reliability – you can have confidence that data is reaching its destination


Automated EDI Process

 Information moves directly from one internal system in one organization to a internal system in another.  

EDI Standards 

EDI standards define the location and order of information in a specific document format

  • Standards eliminate company-to-company fluctuations, allowing each business partner's computer system to speak the same language.
  • Standards describe the format in which the data will be sent and received.
  • Most common standard sets: American National Standards Institute (ANSI) X12 in North America, UN/EDIFACT globally 

EDI integration enables businesses to share a wide range of document types, most common are the purchase orders (850) and EDI 810 invoice

Businesses will need an EDI translator to translate the EDI format so the data can be used by their internal systems and thus enable straight through processing of documents. These translators can either be an in-house software or an EDI service provider


Complete EDI System

A complete EDI system consists of the following components 

  • Translator or Internet EDI application
  • EDI mapping 
  • A secure, dedicated reliable network that sends and receives the transactions 
  • Support services 


Types of EDI 

Integrated EDI Solution

An Integrated EDI solution translates your inbound documents, like purchase orders, from your trading partners’ EDI files into a format that can be imported directly into your ERP, accounting or other business system.

Internet EDI Solution

Communication of EDI messages via the Internet. Internet EDI is most often considered in contrast to doing EDI via a VAN (Value Added Network). In this situation, Internet EDI is simply a communications pathway, where EDI data is passed between trading partners using Internet protocols.

EDI Outsourcing

EDI outsourcing is also suitable if you have implemented a fully integrated EDI compliant system but still have partners who want to send you faxes. Commport’s managed EDI Service Bureau can be your clearinghouse for fax automation. We can process all of your paper-based documents and generate their electronic equivalents in the format of your preference for electronic integration. What could be easier?



Ready to find out more?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

Why Do You Need an EDI Solution?

Why Do You Need an EDI Solution?

Consider the hundreds of pages you have to create and pile through every day in order to run your business. Consider all of the time it takes to interface all of these documents with other businesses and systems in order to keep moving forward. Are you as efficient as you need to be to succeed?

Manage Data with EDI

Manage Data with EDI

EDI solutions (Electronic Data Interchange) are designed to help you manage this massive amount of paperwork. The considerations for savings in time, potential errors from mistyped or incorrectly logged information, not to mention the impact on the environment—all of these are important considerations when you’re looking into an Edi solution for your business.

If your business model is based on having a series of processes that are labour intensive—yet completely necessary—in regards to a huge amount of work required to keep things running, then you will want to consider an EDI solution.

Manage Hundreds of Pages

Manage Hundreds of Pages With EDI

One of the major benefits to an EDI solution is the automation of otherwise manual process of managing hundreds of pages of paperwork and documentation that would otherwise be done by a human agent. There is a great deal of work that goes into creating the documentation and pushing it through to the next stage, not to mention managing that documentation at the various links throughout the process. At every stage, there is the potential for errors, and these errors all limit your productivity and present potential cost.

If your business relies on paper documentation and needs to process hundreds of similar paper orders daily, an EDI system can save you considerable time and money. The other consideration is the savings in time by being able to take multiple steps out of your process. 

There are various levels of EDI system integration; the system van be customized on the basis of how your company operates. It can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be.

Commport’s Integrated EDI solution can be scaled up or down depending on your needs. We have developed solutions for companies in various industries, including healthcare.

Why Do You Need EDI?

Why Do You Need an EDI Solution

To answer the question of why you need an EDI solution, first you may want to ask yourself how much time and money you are spending on your current manual paper process. If the calculation of time and expense justifies the investment for migrating to an EDI solution, then it’s something you need to strongly consider.

Feel free to contact us to determine whether an EDI solution is right for you. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about our process, migrating systems, or EDI solutions in general.

Ready to find out more?

Drop us a email today at sales@commport.com for a free quote! You can also call us at  905-727-6782

What do you need to get started with EDI?

What do you need to get started with EDI?

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. It can make life so much easier for large businesses that need to pile through hundreds of pages of reports, invoices and data. Sounds great—but what does your business need to get started with EDI?

Getting Started With EDI

Commport Communications EDI Solutions

First of all, determine the volume of paper transactions your company processes—this will help you determine how you will benefit from implementing an EDI solution.

If you have multiple documents that need attention from several agents throughout your process, and there is a large amount of data entry and document management required, then a streamlined EDI solution is for you.

The Origins of EDI

Commport Communications Origins of EDI

EDI got its start in the automotive industry, and was lauded for its security and success. Now it has permeated into other various industries, such as utilities and Health care.

Now that EDI has become more widely adopted, many of the benefits have been built and improved upon.

EDI Integration

Commport Communications EDI Integration

So what do you need to get started? First of all, lay out your process for handling documents from one side of the chain to the next. What is the process? Does it require a great amount of manual intervention? Think of how many places in the process where a human agent is necessary to move the process to the next stage.

Step 1: How much variation exists between documents

Think about how much variation exists between documents. Consider that with an EDI solution, there should be seamless migration from one system to another. The less human intervention required, the better the system will perform.


Step2: identify your internal network

Next, identify your internal network. What are you currently using to move your processes forward? How would you benefit from having an EDI solution in place? What would it replace? Have you considered the time and energy considerations for implementing an EDI solution?

Step3: Plan out your workflow

Once your documents have been brought to a certain level, how are they to be passed to the next stage?

Once you have identified these steps, you will be that much more prepared to integrate an EDI solution to manage a lot of the legwork currently going into your document tracking and submitting process.

Step4: Type of infrastructure you need

What type of infrastructure do you need to have in place? The great thing about modern EDI solutions (Commport offers several solutions, including EDI software solutions like CyberLiNK) you do not have to have more than an Internet connection and the proper software installed to make use of the many advantages of EDI.

The nature of Commport’s solutions is to apply optimum security right out of the gate, so you don’t even have to think about it.

Know Your Goals With EDI

Know Your Goals with EDI

The main thing to consider is that you identify the goal and purpose for integrating the EDI solution. Once you have that, integrating the physical system is made easy with Commport’s Integrated EDI solutions.

So really, all you need to ensure you are prepared for EDI is a requirement to save time and money in your document creating, compiling and submitting process.

Consider also that Commport has EDI Outsourcing solutions in place for you, so there’s no hassle involved in making Commport part of your document handling and processing solution. Contact us for more information today!

Who Uses EDI?

Who Uses EDI?

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) refers to the process of exchanging form information electronically. In many cases, it has saves thousands of hours (and countless dollars) for businesses with scores of documents to complete and file.

EDI has been used in the past primarily by automotive and retail businesses, however in the past few years, the format has been more widely adopted. Manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceutical, utility and construction companies are good examples of EDI clients.

The Benefits of Commport's EDI

The Benefits of EDI

Basically, any type of business that deals with large amounts of identical paperwork/form data can directly benefit from adopting an EDI solution. The benefits over using a paper system are clear:

  • immense savings in time
  • significant cost savings
  • reduced drain on resources overall
  • reduced error rates in data transfer (we almost want to say 'eliminate' here!)
  • improved security of data being transferred
  • reliability - you can have confidence that data is reaching its destination

Plus, with electronic transfer of data, the likelihood of typographical errors decreases, as does the increase in time having to verify orders that have been filled out by someone with poor handwriting. It all adds up.

Security of information is critical. The adoption of EDI infrastructure is also largely due to the convenience and the security of EDI. EDI used over a VAN (Value Added Network) is an even more secure way to ensure the data is reaching its destination and is being managed properly.

A retailer attempting to implement a “just-in-time” inventory philosophy (that is, cutting down on overstocked inventory and replacing inventory in demand) would do well to implement an EDI solution.

Click for more EDI Resources

Ready to find out more about commport's EDI?

Drop us a email today at sales@commport.com for a free demo! You can also call us at  905-727-6782