Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)provides new and expanded methods for communications between business partners. EDI is the inter-organizational transmission of business transactions in a standard format. With EDI, companies can bypass the traditional methods of sending physical documents, and instead send electronic ones. EDI is a form of communication that promises increased productivity. The original aims of EDI were to reduce cycle time and replace paper with electronically transmitted documents between trading partners (Figure 1). But, the contribution of EDI to business has grown beyond the goals of paperless high-speed communications. EDI is transforming entire industries. ATM networks and electronic-funds-transfer systems have altered the way we bank and trade securities. Now EDI is changing the face of retailing, supplier/customer relations, international trade, and many other areas. EDI represents an opportunity to directly improve business processes and business controls. Traditionally, organizations have used paper forms such as acknowledgements, orders, inquiries, checks, and the like to exchange information. But large volumes of paper-based exchanges created problems because they are slow and require extensive human handling. Many organizations have realized the importance offinding a more expedient way to communicate and process business data. There were 21,000 registered EDI users in 1991. In 1993, Data Interchange Standards Association, Inc. (DISA) reported that 37,000 companies were using EDI in the USA. Internationally,Singapore and Hong Kong both regard EDI as an important source of competitive advantage in trade. Australian Custom Service also uses EDI to communicate with European countries. Technically, there are few barriers to implementing EDI. The implementation of EDI is more a management problem; because, to really do it properly requires a complete rethinking of organizational structure, processes, procedures, and methods of doing business. This paper identifies several important issues associated with EDI development, implementation, and use. These factors, which include EDI technical considerations and implementation strategies, can serve as guidelines for organizations contemplating the use of EDI.
Tsai, Ray J.; Richards, Thomas C.; and Kappelman, Leon A., "Electronic Data Interchange: Guidelines for Development, Implementation, & Use" (1995). AMCIS 1995 Proceedings. 76.