Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Speak a common language with your trading partners with GS1 EDI

The GS1 Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) allows your computer system to exchange transaction data with the computer systems of your trading partners. This can be commercial, logistical or financial data. 

GS1 EDI offers a set of agreements that allow all supply chain partners to use a common language, regardless of industry, country or software. This automates various processes. 

GS1 EDI allows you to process trade messages such as orders, delivery notes and invoices efficiently and automatically with a minimum of human intervention. EDI messages thus replace the exchange of commercial documents by post, e-mail or other channels requiring manual processing

Benefits of GS1 Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) 

  • Time savings and a reduced chance of errors through automatic recording of data 
  • Improved data quality through unambiguous identification of trading units, locations, logistics packages, etc. 
  • Increased reliability of processes because the delivery of your messages is guaranteed 
  • Improved stock management, shorter delivery times and fewer out-of-stocks 
  • Increased traceability in the chain through the exchange of batch data 


How does GS1 Electronic Data Interchange work?

GS1 developed 2 standard languages ​​to exchange transactional messages: 


This is the oldest standard language. This standard, which has existed since 1990, is widely used worldwide in the FMCG and DIY, Garden & Animal sectors. 

An international, cross-sector guide is available for EANCOM on the GS1 Global website. 

Download the EANCOM guide

Please note: a national, sector-specific guide exists for Order to Cash messages for the FMCG & Food Service sector in Belgium and Luxembourg: Harmonized Order to Cash. 

Want to start using Harmonized Order to Cash? Check out the roadmap >


This is a more recent standard language. Given the better readability of this language, this standard is mainly promoted in sectors that more recently used GS1 EDI, such as healthcare. 

An international, cross-sector guide exists for GS1 XML as well. 

Download the GS1 XML guide

What types of messages or commercial documents exist? 

An EDI format exists for many commercial documents. The most commonly used are purchase order (ORDER), delivery note (DESADV) and invoice (INVOIC) documents. Furthermore, the option also exists to send, for example, a stock report (INVRPT) or payment confirmation (REMADV). 

A complete overview of all messages can be found here: 

Sending and receiving messages 

There are roughly 2 ways to send and receive a message: 

Through a website 

With a web solution, WebEDI in short, the supplier receives the orders on a website that is not connected to their internal system. The supplier also enters the delivery note and invoice on the same website. 

This solution does require manual actions, such as retyping the invoice booked in the internal accounting package on the website. 

Through the internal (ERP) software package 

With this integrated EDI solution, the sender's internal (ERP) software package exports a file containing the necessary data for the specific message. 

The content of that file is translated via EDI software into the common GS1 standard language and subsequently sent to the EDI software of the recipient. 

There it is translated to a file that is readable by the recipient's internal (ERP) software package. 

You can purchase the EDI software yourself or you can use an EDI solution provider. In the latter case, the EDI solution provider sends and translates the messages itself.