About EDI

An Introduction

What is EDI?

The method large businesses use to execute business.

It is used when they want to:

Buy a product
Ship a product
Receive a product
Send a bill
Explain how much they have in inventory
And much, much more.

What does the name "EDI" mean?

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange.

EDI is a format.

The term "EDI" also refers to:

The transmission methods of the EDI files

The programs and systems which manage the EDI files.

The entire concept of document exchange for the purpose of doing business.

Why use EDI?

EDI enables automated buying, selling, and exchange of information between businesses.

One could, for example, place 2000 orders from 500 different suppliers in one minute.
Modern commerce could not function without it.

Who uses EDI?

99% of the top 500 companies in the world use EDI.

80% of all eCommerce is transacted through EDI, as measured by cash value.

However, only about 5% of all companies total are able to use EDI today.


With Traditional EDI

Is EDI Difficult?


Why is EDI Difficult?

EDI is unfamiliar. Most people do not know that EDI exists.

EDI is old. It is older than the Internet.

EDI is not the simplest format to understand and takes quite some time to learn and master.

EDI is unfamiliar. Most people do not know that EDI exists.

EDI is old. It is older than the Internet.

Different EDI Formats

Different formats, US, Europe

Different versions of the same format

Some companies use a format which is equivalent to EDI, but written differently.

Furthermore, the Standards are periodically modified, and new versions are released.

Equivalent Technologies to EDI

Several other formats do the same job as EDI, though they are used less frequently.

RunB2B enables trade regardless of format, so we use the term "EDI" to include these alternate technologies as well.

Usage of X12 and EDIFACT formats



Different Documents

EDI can be used to communicate hundred of different business transactions.

Most companies only use a few of them, depending on their business processes and the ability of their IT systems to manage these documents.

Different Information

Even in the same document, companies will want different information. One company may want packaging material in its Purchase Order, another may not.

Different Interpretations

Even if everything else is the same, two companies may simply have different ways of expressing the same idea.

Just as speakers of English may interpret words and express thoughts in their own unique way, companies may express their business concepts through EDI differently.

We're only Human

The RunB2B Solution

Connecting Everyone

Do you speak my Language?

As a result, almost every traditional EDI connection is unique must be custom-configured.

Connecting to one partner will NOT enable you to connect to another.

The RunB2B Universal Translator

Connect once to RunB2B, and connect to any trading partner you wish.

It does not matter which format you use, all you need to do is provide information.