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The Wide Array of EDI Use Cases for Modern Business

Exchanging business documents between trading partners is often slow, error-prone, and inefficient. But good news: it doesn’t have to be that way. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) lets parties exchange data in a standardized, automated, and secure format without paper and confusion.

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One of the standout qualities of EDI is its remarkable versatility, enabling its deployment across a vast array of industries, with some even mandating its use. This adaptability paves the way for a plethora of EDI use cases, wherein this cutting-edge technology delivers exceptional value.

Which EDI use case will be most valuable for you? That depends on your business. But by the end of this article, you should have a better idea. We’ll explore some of the most common as well as some rare and unusual examples that you might not have thought about before.

Whether you’re new to EDI or an experienced user, hopefully, you’ll find something interesting and valuable.

Let’s get started.


Common EDI Use Cases

In this section, we’ll look at common EDI use cases that can streamline communication, increase efficiency, and promote a seamless exchange of information between trading partners.


EDI 810 Invoice Transactions

EDI 810 invoice transactions revolutionize the invoicing process, replacing paper-based methods with a more dependable electronic alternative. In response to an EDI 850 purchase order, the EDI 810 seamlessly triggers the payment process following the shipment of goods or the provision of services.

With crucial information such as invoice and shipping details, payment terms, and item specifics, EDI 810 streamlines the entire billing experience. Plus, it sets off a helpful chain of events, including confirmations, violation reports, and payment details, making your financial transactions more efficient and hassle-free.


EDI 820 Payment Order & Remittance Advice Specifications

The EDI 820 transaction set is an essential EDI format that streamlines payment information transmission for goods, insurance premiums, and more. Often used with the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) system, it simplifies communication between businesses, suppliers, and health insurance plans.

The 820 transaction clarifies payment details, adjustments, and invoice reconciliations, enabling a seamless financial experience. In healthcare, it serves plan sponsors, while the EDI 835 focuses on healthcare providers.


EDI 832 Price/Sales Catalog File Format

The EDI 832 Price/Sales Catalog transaction set brings the traditional paper catalog into the digital age. Manufacturers use it to share essential product and pricing information with their supply chain partners, like retailers, distributors, and dealers.

The 832 includes seller details, terms of sale, item descriptions, packaging, and pricing info, allowing recipients to integrate data seamlessly into their business software. It streamlines the ordering process, while other transactions, like the 888 Item Maintenance, handle individual product updates.


EDI 850 Purchase Order

The EDI 850, or electronic purchase order, kickstarts the ordering process by providing crucial information such as items, prices, quantities, shipping details, payment terms, and discounts. In short, whatever information you’d expect to find on a paper PO, you’ll find on an EDI 850.

Ideal for single or recurring purchases, the EDI 850 streamlines purchasing and enhances security through encrypted data sharing. Full EDI compliance often requires additional transactions like EDI 997 (confirmation), EDI 810 (invoice), EDI 856 (shipment details), EDI 855 (order acknowledgment), and EDI 860 (order change request - see below).


EDI 860 Purchase Order Change Request - Buyer Initiated

The EDI 860 transaction set, or Purchase Order Change Request, enables buyers to request modifications to their original EDI 850 purchase orders or confirm sellers' changes. This crucial step ensures order accuracy by allowing modifications such as adding items, altering items or dates, adjusting quantities, revising prices, or rescheduling.

After receiving an EDI 860, sellers can respond with an EDI 865 Purchase Order Acknowledgment with Change.


EDI 852 Product Activity Data

The EDI 852 transaction set delivers essential product SKU activity data, like inventory levels, sales rates, and product movement, to trading partners. It includes information like item descriptions, quantities sold, on hand, or on order, and forecasts and sales history, enhancing supply chain visibility.

By sharing an EDI 852, suppliers can better plan, ship, and manage re-order and stocking levels. Aimed at maintaining proper inventory, ensuring timely shipments, lowering costs, and boosting ROI, the 852 is often transmitted on a schedule, such as on a weekly basis.


EDI 856 Advanced Shipping Notice Specifications

The EDI 856, commonly known as the Advance Ship Notice (ASN), electronically communicates shipment contents to trading partners before arrival. Widely used in retail, manufacturing, and automotive industries, the 856 responds to EDI 850, 830, or 862 transactions.

An EDI 856 details shipment contents, order info, product descriptions, packaging types, and carrier data at various levels, such as shipment, order, item, and pack. It’s one of the more challenging trading sets for suppliers due to diverse partner requirements and extensive data collection. But once implemented, it provides a more transparent, well-organized, and efficient shipping process.


EDI 867 Product Transfer and Resale Report File Format

​​The EDI 867, or Product Transfer and Resale Report, shares vital information on product transfers, sales, and returns across various locations within a company. Including organization identification, transfer details, and transaction totals, the 867 is utilized by diverse industries, such as retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, utilities, and more. While retailers may report individual store sales, utilities can use EDI 867 to share usage and allowance transfer data.


Some EDI Use Cases You Might Not Have Thought About

As the adoption of EDI continues to grow, its versatility and broad applicability have led to a multitude of use cases, even in areas you might not have considered. EDI's ability to streamline communication and optimize processes makes it an ideal solution for conventional and unconventional applications.

Here are three lesser-known, creative ways that EDI can be utilized in various industries, highlighting the endless possibilities for integrating EDI into your business operations.


EDI 249 Animal Toxicological Data

The 249 EDI transaction set allows sharing of animal toxicology data from various studies on different substances. It covers factual and subjective data at the individual animal level and aids communication between industry and government, within and between government agencies.


EDI 864 Text Message Transactions

The EDI 864 transaction set sends text messages containing information such as date, time, recipient, and, of course, message content. It’s flexible and can be used for one-time or regular communications, often when no other specific transaction set exists.


EDI 928 Automotive Inspection Detail Transactions

The EDI 928 transaction set is a way of sending motor vehicle inspection results electronically to other parties. It can be used by car makers, inspectors, or carriers, keeping drivers safe and vehicles on the road.  


Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has transformed how businesses exchange information, streamlining processes across numerous industries and use cases.

From common EDI use cases such as invoices, purchase orders, and shipping notifications to more unique applications like animal toxicological data and automotive inspection details, EDI's adaptability and efficiency have made it indispensable in today's business world.

To learn more, contact one of our EDI experts at 1 EDI Source.