What is EDI? How are wholesale companies using it?

Wholesale success begins with smart technology.

Wholesale’s secret weapon? Automation.

Your business already has technical systems for orders, inventory, and customer management. These systems are complex but vital to running your business.

You gain real efficiency when your systems can communicate seamlessly with the business systems of your wholesale partners or manufacturers – when your technology is speaking the same language as your partners’.

That’s where EDI comes in.

What is EDI, and how are wholesale companies using it?

EDI  is an abbreviation for electronic data interchange. The term EDI describes not only the digital nature of the transaction but also the use of an established standard data format.

EDI replaces paper-based exchanges. Typical EDI transactions in retail and wholesale are purchase orders, invoices, order acknowledgements and advance ship notices.

By using a standard data format for order communications, EDI-capable companies can electronically exchange order information without human intervention. In this way, EDI provides a technical foundation for automation.

Consumer retail already relies on EDI.

Most consumer retailers already require their suppliers to be EDI capable, and the wholesale distribution industry is now adopting the same strategy. From an operational standpoint, it makes sense because it reduces human errors while also streamlining the order process.

With EDI, companies can fulfill orders faster, cheaper and with less mistakes.

Examples of how wholesale suppliers use EDI:

  • Send invoices electronically and in a standard format.
  • Provide order and shipping confirmations to partners.
  • Create visibility to inventory in transit.
  • Automate three-way-match to validate invoices for payment.
  • Communicate shipment information ahead of time with the Advance Ship Notice (ASN).
  • Respond quickly to recalls with order traceability including lot numbers, data codes, pallet/carton tracking numbers.
  • Manage product content in a standard format through a web-based catalog.

Questions about EDI for wholesale?

If you have questions about EDI products, implementation, integration or anything else, please let us know. Our experts are standing by, ready to help.