EDI - Electronic Data Interchange
EDI is defined as the capability to exchange business information in a standard format between a computer in one company with computers in other companies. There are a variety of communication methods including Value Added Networks (VANs), File Transfer Protocol (ftp) and Applicability Statement 2 (AS2). Penguin Random House supports the Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC), ANSI X12, fixed, and XML formats.
The acronym "EDI," the words "electronic data interchange," and the definition conjure a computer image; the computer image makes one think of an IT function. True, IT handles the hardware and communications, however, EDI is not strictly and IT function. Sounds technical, but it's mostly business.
EDI is a tool which helps us to improve our profit margin, gain competitive advantage, increase our customer satisfaction, shorten lead times, reduce key entry errors, and improve our supply chain.
On the customer side of the business, Penguin Random House uses EDI to distribute title catalog information and receive orders from our sales force and customers. Bookstores and customers can receive acknowledgements indicating what's shippable at the time of the order and an advance shipping notification so that they can be better prepared to receive delivery. Penguin Random House sends invoices electronically and receives payment information advising details of a check.
On the vendor side, Penguin Random House sends detailed shipment data to carriers allowing them to provide tracking information for their customers. Projects are underway to enhance our EDI exchanges with binderies.
As you can see, EDI is just a tool to more efficiently exchange any type of business information.