Experimenting with EDI

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May 2012
by Bob Adjemian

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For many years, I’ve thought about the fact that big publishing companies place orders electronically through a protocol called EDI (for electronic data interchange), and as a tecchie, I’ve been intrigued. Although I found the price tag daunting, I kept wondering whether I should be using it too.

Explained simply, EDI is a machine-to-machine way to process orders. It lets a publisher acknowledge receipt of an order and send a tracking number for the shipment (ASN) and an invoice to the buyer electronically; no humans needed once you have confirmed price, checked stock, and created the invoice. The buyer receives the electronic invoice immediately, along with the information about what is in each box, and, ideally, has you set up to be paid.

For both the publisher and the buyer, the system cuts processing and billing paperwork and labor. No doubt, the savings are a boon to corporations that buy and ship millions of dollars worth of merchandise. But what about smaller publishers? Does it make sense for us to embrace EDI?…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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