• We use cookies to help operate our website. By continuing, you agree you are happy with this. Use the options below to control the information we collect. For more information, please see our privacy policyShow Options

ASNs? Vans? ERPs? The world of EDI is seemingly full of endless acronyms and confusing jargon. But how does EDI actually work? Well, it’s not as complicated as it first appears and if you want to get the most out of your business relationships it’s worth getting your head around the basics of EDI and the huge benefits it can bring to your company.

First, a definition…

EDI is easy to define. It stands for Electronic Data Interchange and it is the system by which a business exchanges crucial, automatic messages (orders, invoices and shipping notices) with their business partners. So, instead of an employee having to manually prepare an invoice in response to an order, the response is automatically sent out from the EDI system with no need for human intervention.

Implementing EDI opens a whole new world of efficiency and opportunity for businesses or all sizes but especially for businesses looking to expand their client base and take on larger trading partners. There are some larger retailers that will only trade with suppliers if they are EDI capable.

How does it work?

In order to implement EDI, most companies will enlist the services of an EDI provider, such as ourselves. We provide the software solutions that businesses need so they can exchange all their crucial documents automatically and securely and to integrate all their data into their existing back-office systems.

All the information related to your business, such as inventory levels, accounting, invoicing and billing and so on is stored within your ERP System (Enterprise Resource Planning). EDI software solutions, like NeTIX, use API technology to retrieve the necessary information so that documents are produced accurately and exactly when they are needed.

For EDI to work, you and your trading partners need to communicate using a standard format, so that the computers receiving the EDI data can understand it. All these technical aspects of your system will be taken care of when your EDI software is first installed and when fields are mapped to each other. Your provider will make sure that your data can be converted so that the receiving computer can understand it.

What is an AS2?

An AS2 is one network that only works for two parties to communicate directly, so there’s no interconnect. We have our own AS2 license, which means we make it possible for our clients to directly connect to their business partners so it’s just them ‘talking’ to each other.

There’s a real-life cost saving when it comes to AS2, especially for the hub, as they don’t want to be charged every time they connect with a VAN. VAN stands for Value Added Network and is a third-party network that is sometimes used to send EDI messages. It works a bit like a phone network and there is an added cost when you use a VAN.

The Benefits of EDI

Here are some of the main benefits of EDI:
• Increased efficiency and speed,
• better relationships with partners due to fewer errors,
• access from any device connected to the internet (with cloud-based EDI),
• all your ERP and EDI data visible on the same platform and,
• savings in both time and money.

For more information on how EDI can help the day-to-day efficiency of your business, just have a look at our previous blog, What is EDI and how can it benefit my business?

PEPPOL and Messaging Standards

There are several different messaging standards and some of them are associated with particular industries. For instance, the Healthcare sector is associated with PEPPOL, Banking is associated with Swift and the European Automotive Industry with OFTP.

PEPPOL is a type of messaging standard that is being rolled out across all the public administrations in Europe, including the NHS in the UK. The aim of PEPPOL is to make electronic procurement easier and faster for public administrations and for there to be a standard format for all their suppliers. In order to be able to connect their customers over PEPPOL, EDI providers must be specially licenced.

NetEDI is the number one provider of PEPPOL solutions in the UK and we have been chosen by NHS Supply Chain as their PEPPOL provider. To learn more about the benefits PEPPOL will bring to the NHS and the importance of uptake in the industry, have a look at our previous blog.

Hopefully, this blog has explained the main ins and outs of EDI and how it can increase efficiency across the board. If you still have questions be sure to explore the rest of the site and if you’d like to see how EDI can benefit your business, just get in touch using one of the options at the top of the page.

  • NetEDI does Tough Mudder

    Here at NetEDI, we never shy away from an opportunity to raise money for a good cause and challenge ourselves at the same time. In that spirit, a few brave members of the NetEDI family are ...
  • A Warm Welcome to our New Starters!

    NetEDI has experienced exceptional growth in the last couple of years. Our growing customer base and technical capabilities means that we’re always on the lookout for talented, diligent individuals who can help us maintain our excellent ...
  • NeTIX Professional Achieves Certification with SAP Business One®

    Leyland, 28th May 2019 - NetEDI has announced today that its NeTIX Professional 3.0 solution has achieved certification with the SAP Business One® solution. The SAP® Integration and Certification Center has certified that NeTIX Professional has ...
  • We processed over 200,000 PEPPOL documents in November

    We recently posted about the strides we’ve made with PEPPOL and the fact that we processed over 100,000 PEPPOL documents in October alone. Our success this year continues, and November saw us process a whopping 200,000 ...
  • NetEDI is an Approved Drop-off Point for Mission Christmas

    We recently got the great news that we are an approved drop-off point for Rock FM’s Mission Christmas appeal! We’re passionate about supporting good causes at NetEDI, and there’s no better time to do this than ...
  • NetEDI processes over 100,000 PEPPOL documents in a month

    Our last PEPPOL report shows that we processed over 100,000 PEPPOL documents in October alone! This is our most successful month so far and once again proves that, thanks to the hard work of our talented ...
  • NetEDI’s fundraising success

    On the 28th September, NetEDI staff took part in a coffee morning and bake sale, to raise money for Macmillan Nurses. As usual, everyone took the opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause and we’re very ...
  • NetEDI’s New Recruits

    Back in March, we brought you news of our expansion upstairs, in our office, on King Street. We knew that our rapid business growth would mean we’d need the extra space to accommodate for new members ...
  • Cyber Essentials Plus Certification

    We’re fully committed to ensuring the safety of our clients’ data. That’s why we’re very happy to report that we’ve achieved the gold standard in cyber security, by gaining a Cyber Essentials Plus Certification. Back in February ...
  • The Big Shave: NetEDI supports Macmillan Cancer Support

    On the 1st of June, one of our very talented software developers said goodbye to his (rather magnificent) beard, all in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Here at NetEDI, we never miss ...
  • We’re Now an Approved Partner to Netsuite

    We’re pleased to announce that we are now an approved partner to Netsuite and can fully integrate with Netsuite’s cloud-based, accounting system. This means that our clients who use Netsuite as their back-office system, will experience ...
  • NetEDI is the largest NHS PEPPOL solution provider in the UK

    Since the beginning, NetEDI set out to be an industry leader. We’re very proud to say that our focus on innovation and quality has made us the largest provider of NHS PEPPOL solutions in the UK. ...
  • NetEDI is growing

    At NetEDI, we’re extremely proud of the world-class service we provide and how hard our team work to make sure we’re always at the top of our game and doing everything we can for our clients. ...
  • NetEDI helps steer future of PEPPOL

    NetEDI is part of the Department of Health working group for PEPPOL, helping to steer the future development and evolution of PEPPOL in the NHS. The Department of Health is acting as the PEPPOL authority for ...
  • NetEDI sponsoring GS1 UK Healthcare Conference 2017

    October 11, 2017 - NetEDI are proud to be a Bronze sponsor at the GS1 UK Healthcare conference 2017, this will be a 2-day event held at the Radisson Blue, London, Heathrow on 21, 22 Nov. The ...
  • NetEDI sponsoring EMEA 2017 – Madrid, Spain.

    June 27, 2017 - NetEDI are proudly sponsoring Directions EMEA 2017, named as the world's biggest NAV event, taking place in Madrid on October 4-6. The event will showcase the most innovative solutions from Microsoft NAV and our ...
  • NetEDI at Retail Business Technology Expo 2017

    April 12, 2017 - NetEDI will be at the NetEDI at Retail Business Technology Expo 2017, taking place at London Olympia on May 8-9. RBTE is the must attend event for retail and hospitality organisations looking ...
  • NetEDI selected by Medi-Inn (UK) as PEPPOL Access point

    Mar 30, 2017 - NetEDI is pleased to announce that it has been selected by Medi-Inn (UK) Ltd supplier of a wide range of health sector consumables, as their PEPPOL Access Point. As well as opening up ...
  • NetEDI at Sage Summit UK

    March 20, 2017 - NetEDI are proudly sponsoring the Sage Summit UK conference 2017, taking place at London's Excel centre on April 5-6. Come along and meet us at this event and discuss how NetEDI can provide ...
  • NetEDI Achieve Cyber Essentials Certification

    Feb 20, 2017 - NetEDI is pleased to announce that it has been certified by the Government's Cyber Essentials Scheme. Cyber Essentials is a UK Government-backed and industry-supported scheme that guides businesses in protecting themselves against cyber ...
  • NHS Supply Chain select NetEDI PEPPOL Managed Service

    Feb 16, 2017 - NHS Supply Chain has selected NetEDI's PEPPOL Managed Service to help suppliers meet the Department of Health's Scan4Safety requirements and transact their business data electronically. NetEDI provide a web-based software platform that enables ...
  • NetEDI at SAP SMB Innovation Summits 2017

    Feb 07, 2017 - NetEDI are proudly sponsoring SAP SMB Innovation Summits 2017, taking place in Berlin on March 13-15. Come along and meet us at this event. Discuss how NetEDI can provide seamless integration into SAP ...
  • NetEDI awarded PEPPOL Access Point contract

    Nov 22, 2016 NetEDI®, a leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solutions, today announced it has received PEPPOL Access Point certification for their popular Managed Service solution and has been awarded a place on the Crown ...
  • Sponsoring UKISUG Connect 2016

    Oct 20, 2016 - NetEDI are proudly sponsoring UKISUG Connect 2016, the SAP user conference taking place at ICC/Birmingham on November 20-22. The UKISUG SAP conference connects experts, customers and partners for a 2 day event that will ...
  • NetEDI feature in the Parliamentary Review 2016

    Sept 14, 2016 - NetEDI feature in the UK Parliamentary Review 2016 representing the technology sector. Featuring alongside the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, and leading organisations in other fields, the review highlights our demonstration of best practice and innovation ...
  • NetEDI to sponsor the world’s biggest NAV event

    July 12, 2016 - NetEDI are proudly sponsoring Directions EMEA 2016, named as the world's biggest NAV event, taking place in Prague on October 12-14. The event will showcase the most innovative solutions from Microsoft NAV and our ...
  • NetEDI attain certified integration with SAP Business One

    April 8, 2016 - NetEDI today announced its NeTIX Professional 3.0 solution has achieved certified integration with the SAP Business One® application. The solution, which has been proven to integrate with SAP Business One, provides fully managed EDI, ...
  • Ling Design switches to NetEDI Managed Service

    May 7, 2014 - Switching to NetEDI Put simply, Ling Designs were wanting a better service than what they were currently receiving. By partnering with NetEDI, Ling were able to reduce their costs, increase reliability and automation ...
  • New EDI requirements for Morrisons converted depots

    Jan 18, 2014 - Morrisons have recently made a number of changes to their electronic trading initiative, with multiple depots migrating to the new EDI requirements in 2014. EDI is now mandatory for all suppliers and those already ...
  • NetEDI is proud to announce its silver sponsorship
    of Access Accounts Customer Event.

    July 17, 2013 - Themed “Springboard to growth – finance and technology at the heart of your business strategy”, the event will showcase the most innovative solutions from Access and our partners. The conference will be ...
  • NetEDI fully compliant with GS1 E-Invoicing and
    Digital Signature standards.

    March 4, 2013 - Fully Integrated into the NeTIX platform, the adapter securely transacts EDI EANCOM data over a network through the use of a digital signature with compliant trading partners. The standard is becoming more popular ...
  • Release of Oracle E-Business Suite adapter

    Jan 15, 2013 - NetEDI are happy to announce the release of their Oracle E-Business Suite adapter. The adapter takes on the role of service provider for the Oracle E-Business Suite and helps to enable a seamless integration between ...
  • NetEDI release SAP cloud integration adapter

    December 15, 2012 - NetEDI are pleased to report the successful Implementation of several SAP Integration Projects which underlines their new status as an SAP Integration solution provider. Ideal for SAP enabled company's who have an EDI requirement, ...
  • NetEDI wins Sage Innovation Award

    December 8, 2011 - NetEDI rewarded for pushing the boundaries of innovation/ demonstrating expertise in translating the requirements of Sage customers into value added solutions / offering excellence in software, service, marketing and business support throughout ...
  • NetEDI Named Cool Vendor by Leading Analyst Firm

    April 13, 2011 - NetEDI Ltd an innovative provider of EDI & B2B integration services, today announced that it has been included in the list of "Cool Vendors" in the April 2011 "Cool Vendors in PaaS, ...