The way that EDI works is that each party involved in the transaction – typically the trading partner (the retailer) and the EDI vendor (the manufacturer) and then you have the EDI VAN (value added network) which is the middleman that brokers the connection between the two parties either side.
There are a set of standardized documents that are used during the transaction process which include a purchase order (850), a functional communication (997), an advanced shipping notice or ship notification (846,56 or 860) and an invoice (810). There are some other documents as well depending on requirements, but these are the main ones. When an order takes place a large part of the transfer process pertaining to these documents is automated – meaning no manual involvement in the order process – which translates into efficient order management as well as lower costs.
While it is possible for manufacturers to implement the EDI process themselves, communicating directly with the trading partners would be an extremely complex process and would not be a cost effective way of doing things, especially when there may be many trading partners involved.
At Orderbot we have fully integrated EDI into our existing order management systems and we can work with our clients to set up and implement EDI into existing systems or to create an EDI process from scratch.