Bernhard Lehner

April 20, 2023

Why “EDI” and “PDF” complement each other perfectly

EDI is fast and hassle-free — but not when PDF documents are involved. Semadox solves the problem and combines PDF and EDI.

EDI stands for”Electronic Data Interchange”. EDI makes the electronic exchange of structured business data much easier. The automatic and electronic transmission of invoices, orders or delivery notes would be absolute chaos without EDI. EDI is like a translation layer that lies between different computer systems. All systems involved can thus receive data in a form that they can understand.

Many industries rely on EDI, particularly retail, logistics, manufacturing and healthcare. The use of EDI enables companies to communicate more efficiently, reduce the incidence of errors, accelerate business processes and save costs by automating manual tasks related to the exchange of business documents.

According to international studies, EDI also has an effect on the corporate wallet, of course. Per business case, for example from order processing to invoicing, Around 51 euros more remain in the bag thanks to EDI.

EDI is perfect — but unfortunately only almost when PDF comes into play

Where there is a lot of light, there is also shadow, as is well known. Every interface and standard is only as good as acceptance. EDI works perfectly flawlessly when both partners — i.e. customer and supplier — always rely on this interface. EDI is widely used — especially among large companies. According to a survey In Germany, for example, around 96% of companies rely on it. For almost a third, almost half of all messages are sent via EDI.

Do you notice anything? Exactly: What about the remaining four percent who DID NOT jump on the EDI bandwagon? And what about the other half of the data volume that is NOT represented via EDI?

Data transmission using PDF documents is widespread

Data is only as good as its weakest link. As soon as even one percent of the business documents that a company receives electronically are not received via a defined EDI interface, the perfect process is corrupted.

In everyday business life, PDF documents still play an important role in data exchange. Although PDF is widely used and useful for document data exchange, it also has some limitations, particularly when it comes to the structured exchange of data in business processes. PDF documents usually contain unstructured data, which means that the information is not easily machine-readable and requires specialized extraction methods.

And this is exactly where the PDF automation solution from Semadox into the game. Semadox converts line-level data from documents such as orders, delivery notes or invoices fully automatically. In compliance with GDPR, the data is transferred directly from the PDF document in the inbox to the company's ERP system. Completely without manual processing. 100 percent error-free.

This makes Semadox the perfect solution to complete the use of EDI. Not all business documents are available via EDI; they are usually transmitted as PDF documents. This is where Semadox comes in.

Image source: Semadox

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