Some have touted EDI, or electronic data interchange, as a miracle solution to business challenges. It has reduced the costs of paper for documentation and made it easier for companies to communicate. Furthermore, it has made supply chains quicker and more accurate. However, you won’t be able to reap any of these benefits if you aren’t using the same EDI format as your business partners.
It’s important to understand that not all companies or industries use the same EDI document standards. For example, automobile companies in Europe use the ODETTE format, while companies in the electronics industry will probably be using the RosettaNet format. There are many different formats, and any company would have their hands full trying to keep up with and learn all of them.
Things are bit easier when they are industry standards such as the ANSI ASC X12 format for North American businesses, but if you have many trade partners, the chances are high that you won’t all be using the same format. Instead of trying to learn all of the formats used by your trading partners, you can find a good EDI provider who will translate all of your data into a format your partners will understand.