What does the future hold for EDI?

Although electronic data interchange (EDI) has been used since the 1980s, the number of EDI transactions is still growing every year. This growth is fueled in large part by a growing awareness of the benefits of EDI. In addition, large companies are more likely to request the use of EDI in their supply chain. But what is EDI? And as more and more organizations use EDI every year, what developments can you expect for this technology? This blog gives you insight into some developments that you can expect in the near future.

What is EDI? Why should I use EDI?

Electronic data interchange (EDI)is a standard for the electronic exchange of transaction data – without human intervention. By automating business processes, data exchange is faster, more secure and error-free.

The most commonly used transactions via EDI are orders, order confirmations, shipping advice and invoices. Companies use EDI when they want to exchange these transactions efficiently with their partners in the supply chain. Because documents are created from a standardized format, messages can easily be exchanged machine-to-machine. Most EDI systems are integrated into ERP systems, allowing data to be automatically processed and stored in internal IT systems.


EDIFACT is the most commonly used standard in the Netherlands, but also within Europe. The sectors (Food and Drugstore, Do-It-Yourself, Garden and Pet, Healthcare and Fashion) have made agreements in collaboration with GS1 about which product information is exchanged with each other. This can differ per sector and country. If you want to communicate with your trading partners via EDI, SRC is familiar with these sectors and the associated data exchange. In addition to these GS1-related sectors, SRC is familiar with the Chain Standard (DICO) for Construction and Installation.


Do you invoice the government? From 2020 it is mandatory to provide data according to PEPPOL. PEPPOL stands for Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine. Via PEPPOL it is possible to securely send electronic invoices to companies and governments throughout Europe. In addition to governments, we notice that more and more companies request invoices via PEPPOL because this is much safer.

What will the future bring?


The supply chain is one of the areas where blockchain is expected to have an impact, as it can be used to transmit contractual information quickly and seamlessly between parties. Some see blockchain as a possible successor to EDI. However, we think that EDI and blockchain are complementary to each other. Blockchain could improve EDI systems by adding more security – with its immutable features, and encrypted data blockchain could require all contractual changes to be approved by all parties. This gives EDI an extra layer of security, as it would be nearly impossible for anyone to manipulate data.

Would you like to know more about the possibilities of EDI?

Watch this short on EDI and learn how to cut costs on trading messages quickly and efficiently.