What Is EDI and How Does It Help You?

Electronic Data Interchange is one of the most important elements of computer-to-computer business processes used today.  This system standardizes the various electronic formats between two (or sometimes—and often—more) business partners.  Also known as EDI, electronic data interchange is necessary to improve efficiency and to capitalize on the present trend to emigrate away from the paper-based exchanges of yesterday and towards the electronic and full-automated digital exchanges of tomorrow. Meade Willis edi services, then, can help just about any business cut costs, improve the speed of document processing, decrease the risk for redundancies and errors, and hopefully culminate with the improvement of the relationship between the various business partners.


When you use EDI, you will no longer need to use traditional postal mail; It is archaic and arduous. You won’t need a fax machine either; sure, it is digital, but it is still not as effective and productive as fully automated EDI systems. When you employ fully automated EDI systems you won’t have to worry about human error when physically handling documents.  Instead, the documents will flow straight from one link in the chain to the next.  That, of course, will help to make the whole process far more efficient.


Business documents, of course, are all of the various types of paperwork that will get traded back and forth between all of the departments in your business or between all of the partners in the sale.  The most common business document traded via EDI is the purchase order; but it is not the only type.  For example, advance ship notices and invoices are also pretty common within this type of system.  Of course, your business might have other needs: EDI could help to ensure you stay organized and efficient.


Obviously, EDI documents are processed by computers.  Computer processing is a very good thing because it speeds up calculations and reduces the risk for errors or redundancies.  And the reason this is so efficient has everything to do with something called “standard format”.  Standard format is a term which refers to a way to present all information in a way that is consistent between all computers involved with the processing.  It is important to note that there is more than one kind of standard format: the goal is to determine the appropriate standard format for each system involved with the processing.