Cloud EDI solutions offer a competitive advantage for organisations.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) has been in existence for some time but has become increasingly sophisticated over the years. Before, organisations would need to implement, host and manage their own on-premise EDI solution. Whereas now, there are far better options available for businesses that do not have the time or resources to host an on-premise EDI solution. Organisations can, and should, outsource their solution to an suitable SaaS EDI provider.

In this blog we explore how cloud EDI from an experienced SaaS provider is preferable to other types of EDI solutions. Discover what it is, how it works, and the key benefits of cloud-based EDI for your business below.

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Why choose EDI?

After spending hours wading through reams of data, it’s little wonder that businesses of all sizes seek more efficient processes. Thankfully, EDI can provide this efficiency.

But what is EDI and how does it work? In short, EDI facilitates the automated digital exchange of vital data between trading partners. EDI solutions provide a way to improve efficiency across different areas in the organisation. For example, digitising manual order processing improves delivery times, speeds up invoice payments, and eliminates errors.

Organisations that have an EDI enabled supply chain are able to automatically and digitally exchange business data with their trading network. These documents can include:

  • Purchase orders
  • Order amendments
  • Order acknowledgments
  • Invoices
  • Advance Shipping Notices (ASNs)
  • Despatch advice notes
  • Delivery notes
  • Debit notes
  • Credit notes
  • Remittance advice notes
  • Sales & inventory reports
  • Barcode label printing

The formatting of these EDI documents can differ, depending on the standard or protocol being followed. There are a variety of different message standards; EANCOM, EDIFACT, ANSI X12, XML, VDA, TRADACOMS, and IDOC are a few examples. The required EDI standard or protocol will usually depend on the business industry, organisation type (e.g. B2G) or location.

There are a few different ways of implementing an EDI solution. One is to self-host, implement and manage an on-premise solution. Another way is to employ a solution from an Software as a Service (SaaS) EDI provider.

We cover the differences between these two options in the sections below.

On-premise EDI

Organisations can choose to set up and manage their own on-premise EDI solution. This approach means the daily operation of the on-premise EDI solution is handled by a team of technically trained employees. The setup of this type of EDI solution is generally connected to an ERP system for the automatic exchange of digitised documents.

Managing on-premise allows the organisation to have control and flexibility over their EDI solution.

The setbacks of self-hosting EDI

However, there are some significant downsides with this approach. Firstly, on-premise EDI can only exchange documents with trading partners that also have the same EDI capability. This can make it complex when dealing with trading connections that do not have EDI.

In addition, it can be difficult to resource sufficient in-house expertise to deal with any technical requirements. As listed in the above section, organisations can exchange many different document types and data via EDI. All of these document types will need to be mapped and tested by the dedicated EDI team against the required EDI standard/protocol. Employing a team that has all of this knowledge and technical understanding is a big ask.

Thirdly, retaining a dedicated team to manage the EDI solution is a significant challenge. For example, if an employee within this team moves on to another organisation, their expertise goes with them. Then it is up to the organisation to resource a replacement with the same level of experience, or factor-in additional overhead costs to train them.

Lastly, organisations that self-host their EDI software solution will need to keep it updated, licenced, and secure. This is without considering any necessary changes that need to be made to the solution over time. This could be due to the business scaling or switching/adding trading connections to the network.

Ultimately, managing trading network communications in this way is expensive and unpredictable compared to an external fully-managed, cloud-based EDI service.

Cloud EDI SaaS and its benefits

An alternative, arguably preferable, way organisations can implement an EDI solution is by employing the services of an EDI SaaS provider. There are a number of benefits of taking this approach to EDI, some of which we cover in the following section.

An EDI SaaS provider manages all of the technical aspects of an EDI solution. Therefore the set up and ongoing technical management is completely taken care of. The organisation can then focus their attention on the efficiency of their supply chain operations.

Cloud-based EDI solutions are quite self-explanatory. This means that they are securely hosted in the cloud. Organisations do not need to use additional servers, or install applications. Instead, a cloud based EDI solution is accessed via an online platform or API integration.

A fully-managed EDI service takes away the complexities of setting-up, licencing, updating, and upgrading the solution as requirements change over time. On average, an on-premise ERP system needs to be updated or changed every 5 to 7 years. By switching to a managed solution, this headache is gone forever.

Transalis cloud EDI: Easy to switch, simple to use

Transalis has developed scalable, secure and high-performance cloud based EDI. We can convert all common EDI protocols to facilitate the digitised exchange of business data.

Unlike other systems, Transalis EDI solutions are quick and easy to set-up and switch to. We provide a suite of carefully bundled EDI solutions to suit differing business needs. Our clients are able to choose the transparently priced bundle that is right for them. We set no limits on the number of messages sent and there are no hidden charges. 

Transalis has a dedicated team of EDI experts and developers who are constantly adapting and enhancing the SaaS platform in line with future market requirements and new technologies.

We also have a team of onboarding specialists who can accelerate programmes such as digital supply chain enablement. When utilising EDI effectively, supplier relationship management can improve workflows, relieve procurement teams, and help your business to gain a competitive advantage through accurate data forecasting.

Whatever the size of your business, Transalis has a cost-effective cloud-based managed solution to meet your needs.

Managing suppliers

If you are a supplier looking to replace your out-dated, on-premise EDI solution, we’re here to help. Our EDI solutions typically deliver ROI within the same financial period for our clients. All mapping and day-to-day running of the solution is part of our managed service.

Our managed supplier solutions can be deployed via an online platform or an integrated managed service. And as your business grows or changes, so can your EDI solution. Transalis provides an efficient transition with no interruption to BAU.

Managing retailers

Retailers can replace their on-premise EDI and roll out an EDI solution to their supplier networks. This can result in significant cost benefits. Transalis is experienced at onboarding thousands of EDI connections, without any interruption to existing processes.

eDI Instant

As simple as 1,2,3. Buy EDI online in an instant and connect with your trading partner today


eDI Essential

Buy online now and exchange digital documents with up to 2 trading partners


eDI Freedom

Build your own bespoke EDI solution according to your supply chain & integration needs


eDI Connect

Ideal for companies with many trading partners, high order volumes, requiring enhanced stock & sales reporting


eDI Connect+

Perfect for larger organisations requiring complete visibility across their supply chain to improve efficiencies


Need to know more about EDI and supply chain technology? Our Knowledge Hub contains a multitude of resources to guide you. You can also contact our team to discuss your unique challenges and requirements.