When it comes to managing business relationships, there is an ever increasing need for the sharing of data and documents to keep everyone on the same page. While this used to require a lot of printed paperwork and faxing or mailing, modern EDI (electronic data interchange) systems have greatly streamlined this process. When you integrate the extender B2B Gateway as part of your EDI solution, you can improve efficiency like never before. Here is a closer look at why using a quality EDI program can make all the difference for your brand.

What Documents are Exchanged Via EDI?

Electronic data interchange is used to share documents that were traditionally printed out and then either mailed or faxed to the recipient. The most commonly transmitted documents are invoices and purchase orders. Other documents, such as advance ship notices, shipping status documents, bill of lading, and payment documents, are also frequently transmitted via EDI.

Because this information is processed by computers, the documents must be transmitted in an EDI compatible format, such as ANSI or EDIFACT. These “standards” define what information is contained within the document, as well as how the data has been formatted. The two businesses involved in the communication will typically agree on what standard will be used. This way, the computers for each company involved in the communication will be able to “translate” the data effectively for internal use.

How EDI Benefits Businesses

Systems that relied on faxes and mail required individuals at both companies to print and mail documents, re-enter data for their own internal paperwork, print more documentation, and send it back. With an EDI system, all data transmission takes place within internal computer systems.

Using EDI essentially removes the need to re-enter data manually after documentation from one business partner has been received. This eliminates the risk of human error, while also greatly speeding up business processes. As soon as the documentation arrives, the company’s EDI program is able to translate it for the appropriate usage. For example, programs like B2B Gateway allow a purchase order to be translated to a sales order, while also automatically creating invoices and ship notices to be sent to the company that originally placed the order. This allows for faster and more efficient processing in all phases of the transaction.

Parting Thoughts

No matter what industry you work in, managing relationships with your business partners is crucial for long-term success. By using an EDI system to process purchase orders, invoices, and other important documents, you can avoid costly miscommunications and ensure that everyone understands what is needed for a positive outcome.