How EDI Integration Can Automate Your Business (With Examples)

6 minute read | 05 Dec 2023

By Boomi

Data exchange automation is a cornerstone of modern business practices. It’s also one of the most effective ways to improve efficiency and growth. Establishing successful data exchange automation helps streamline operations and reduce errors. However, automation alone is not enough. You must keep your automation updated and modernized to meet the demands of your partners and customers.

Businesses use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) integration to automate the seamless exchange of structured data between companies. Let’s explore how modernizing your EDI integration can improve your business by driving efficiency and positioning you at the forefront of the digital economy.

What Is EDI?

Electronic Data Interchange is a standardized digital communication method that enables the exchange of business documents and data between organizations in a structured and automated manner.

Typically used in B2B transactions, EDI eliminates the need for paper-based communication by facilitating the seamless transmission of documents such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notifications in a format that computers can easily interpret.

This streamlines and accelerates business processes, reduces errors, and enhances efficiency, which makes it an essential tool for modern supply chains, procurement, and logistics. EDI fosters better collaboration and cost savings across industries.

What Is EDI Integration?

EDI integration goes one step further than EDI. With EDI integration, companies can merge the structured data from business transactions directly within a company’s existing software systems.

EDI starts by automating the exchange of business documents into a universally understood format, ensuring smooth communication among partners, suppliers, and customers. This process typically involves mapping the data fields in an organization’s internal systems to match the EDI standards, allowing for the effortless transmission of documents like purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices.

Next, data is automatically integrated into relevant software applications and systems. This enables EDI to become a pivotal component in a company’s digital infrastructure, reducing manual intervention, eliminating errors, and enhancing operational efficiency. It allows businesses to stay agile, respond swiftly to market changes, and maintain a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced, data-driven business environment.

Benefits of EDI Integration

EDI integration will help your business thrive. It increases data accuracy and reduces human error across repetitive data-entry processes –  saving companies time and money. EDI integration offers better visibility into processes across the business, increasing the speed and accuracy of data processing, expediting operational workflows, and improving customer service.

EDI Integration Methods

When opting for EDI integration, you have three options: in-house integration, outsourced integration, and cloud-based integration.

  • In-house integration involves a company managing and maintaining its own EDI infrastructure, software, and hardware internally. This provides complete control over the integration process. But it also requires more time and resources to upkeep.
  • Outsourced integration entails partnering with a third-party provider to handle the complexities of EDI integration, enabling a company to focus on its core business. While this option frees up more internal resources, it also introduces risk into the data management process depending on the security measures used by the third-party vendor.
  • Cloud-based integration, like Boomi B2B/EDI Management, Boomi’s EDI integration service, is the best of both worlds. It utilizes cloud services to facilitate and automate EDI processes, empowering companies to access their EDI systems while ensuring data security. Cloud integration is cost-effective and allows companies to scale their integration needs on demand.

EDI Integration Examples: How EDI Can Automate Your Business

EDI integration helps businesses across many industries thrive.

In the retail industry, EDI integration eases order processing and speeds up eCommerce order fulfillment. EDI integration improves supply chain management and simplifies value streams for manufacturing and the related logistics industry. In healthcare, EDI integration facilitates more straightforward claims processing and patient records management. For finance and accounting, EDI integration vastly improves supplier and customer invoice processing.

Selecting the Right EDI Integration Solution

There are several key factors to consider when choosing an EDI integration solution for your company. First, the solution must meet industry-specific requirements. Your industry’s demands may limit your options. You should also consider your scalability needs and the limitations of your existing systems. Once you know what to look for, you can choose the right integration method and provider.

Boomi for EDI Integration Automation

Boomi supports EDI management by providing a robust platform that simplifies the integration of EDI transactions within your business systems. Boomi offers pre-built integrations and industry-standard connectors, making it simple to map and transform EDI documents, automate workflows, and ensure seamless communication. The unified, cloud-based environment reduces the complexity and time involved in EDI management.

The Boomi platform is easy to use, saving your business time and money. You don’t have to build anything from the ground up or rely on an outsourced EDI integration infrastructure. With Boomi, you can quickly adapt to changing business needs and efficiently manage your EDI processes.

Modernize your EDI platform to automate data exchange: Get started with the EDI Buyer’s Guide.