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What You Need to Know About EDI: Answers to Your FAQs


What is EDI?

EDI stands for electronic data interchange, a means of sharing information between businesses with a digital—rather than a paper—format.

How does EDI work?

One computer communicates directly with another via EDI software that is either on-premises or cloud-based (SaaS).

What are the advantages of EDI?

It’s fast, reliable, and secure. Here’s why:

  • Keeps lines of communication open 24/7

  • Facilitates flexibility and cuts response time

  • Reduces mistakes and confusion

  • Gives you full control and visibility of your data

How do I decide if EDI is right for my business?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your customers or suppliers prefer to use EDI? Do they require it?

  • Do you exchange a large volume of standard business documents with other companies?

  • Do you want to reduce the time and cost of manual data entry and document processing?

  • Do you want to make your business transactions more accurate and secure?

How does EDI compare with traditional methods?

EDI can help you save a great deal of time and money. Let’s look at what happens when you send a purchase order:



Buyer selects an item Buyer selects an item
Buyer manually creates an order Buyer puts number in PO
Buyer sends order by e-mail or snail mail EDI instantly transmit order to supplier's entry system 
Supplier receives the PO and manually keys information into their system EDI syncs full and accurate order the instant it is received
Supplier sends a confirmation of the order EDI automatically sends a confirmation when the order is received


How will your business benefit from EDI?

1. Greater Speed and Efficiency

Users can create, send, and receive multiple documents in seconds—instead of hours—then switch their focus to higher-value tasks. EDI replaces slow, manual processes with an automated system for sharing information.

2. Improved Accuracy

No more typos. No misinterpretations. Built-in rules, standardized data formats, and codes ensure documents exchanged are accurate and complete. Inconsistencies are flagged automatically so you can rectify issues immediately. No more human error—or its costly downstream consequences. 

3. Lower Costs

You reduce the cost of labor because you eliminate slow, manual processing. You save money on printing, paper, stamps, and storage. You avoid fines, SLA violations, refund requests, and chargebacks because you have fewer mistakes and delays.

4. Enhanced Security

EDI ensures secure data exchange through encryption, authentication, and access control. That’s why HIPAA, the federal law that created national standards to protect patient’s health data and insurance information, encourages EDI in the healthcare system.

5. Better Data Visibility

EDI data is easier to store, access, and analyze than physical documents. And that makes it easier to identify trends and patterns, leverage your data to make better decisions, and drive continuous improvement.

6. Seamless Integration

EDI breaks down silos and enhances collaboration because data can be easily shared within—and outside—your company. It’s easy to integrate EDI with your ERP, CRM, and other business systems, automate repetitive B2B transactions, and gain a holistic view of your operations.

Why use 1 EDI Source, an Epicor solution?

Efficiency. Choice. Compliance.

We’re not limited to basic software or a single system. We’re EDI specialists, so we can choose the best software for your budget and your business needs from our comprehensive set of solutions.

And, because we know the ins and outs of each industry, we can ensure full compliance and ease of use for you and your trading partners.

How often will I have to upgrade?

We can do that for you. We now offer a subscription with automatic delivery of upgrades, enhancements, security patches, and improvements. Our subscription guarantees that—as we continue to innovate and EDI continues to evolve—you will always have the best version of the software.

HQXchange is the Most Powerful EDI Tool Available

HQXchange bundles our EDI HQ software, IntelligentXchange and AS2 Complete software solutions with our expert in-house technical EDI support, bringing you a new EDI platform with unrivaled depth and flexibility. HQXchange is available in two convenient subscription models: HQX Professional and HQX Enterprise.

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