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EDI Overview
Written by Maureen
Updated over a week ago


This article includes the following topics:

General Overview

In general, EDI is a method for coordinating order fulfillment with major retailers.

This simple definition provides a way to quickly understand the concept of EDI, what can be a very complicated and detailed process in some cases.

EDI is the preferred connectivity means for major retailers for many reasons, which we will discuss in this guide. In general, EDI’s strict requirements and advanced shipment notification system enables major retails to enforce transportation and packaging requirements with their suppliers, partners and vendors.

This guide will provide you with an overview to help you understand more about how EDI works in general. In addition, the necessary requirements to get started are outlined below. The setup application is included at the end.

What is EDI?

EDI is an acronym that stands for Electronic Data Interchange.

EDI has a long history, dating back over 30 years, originating in military logistics to handle the data exchange for air cargo shipments.

EDI has been used over time by transportation services for exchanging data for shipments that require advance notifications to reduce delays in Customs.

DCL Logistics provides EDI as a service for its customers to use for connectivity with major retailers. Major retailers use EDI as the preferred method, frequently the only the method, for receiving advance shipment notifications from their vendors.

DCL’s EDI management solution allows you to connect to any retailer with an EDI portal connection to eFactory providing a dashboard view of all EDI feeds and order history.

Why is EDI Used?

EDI is used by DCL Logistics and major retailers because it is an electronic communications method developed specifically for handling large scale logistics.

EDI transfers structured logistics data, according to predefined message standards. A key component of EDI is the ASN, which stands for Advanced Shipment Notification. When handling multiple suppliers shipping to one facility, it is essential for large retails to have advanced shipment notifications.

Without EDI, coordinating the logistics queue of continuous incoming shipments would be inefficient and ineffective.

EDI is used for handling large scale logistics, when advance shipment notifications are necessary, data quality is critical and receipt of data interchange is required.

To provide a better understanding of EDI, consider the following cases when EDI is used by major industries.

Supply Chain

EDI’s handshake style conversations provide for the confirmation of order and shipment data transmission.

Logistics EDI’s strict requirements reduce logistic errors and enable major corporations to handle large scale operations.

Retailers EDI’s Advanced Shipment Notification system allows retails to schedule massive incoming shipments from multiple vendors.

EDI is used as the preferred method for providing ASNs to major retailers.

EDI Requirements with DCL

EDI has extensive technical requirements to setup an electronic data interchange with another EDI endpoint, known as a “trading partner”. Do not worry; DCL will handle the complicated details.

DCL will provide you with an EDI Setup Application. Once DCL has received the necessary information from the EDI Setup Application, DCL will then proceed to handle the technical requirements with your specified trading partner(s); usually, this would be the retailer or retailers that you are shipping to.

DCL Logistics assumes the role of the shipper, handles the EDI transactions, and provides a web portal for you to view the transactions with your trading partner processed on your behalf.

The setup application form only requires you to provide DCL with the necessary information to setup the data interchange messages for your trading partner. DCL works to keep the process as simple as possible.

Please refer to the EDI Setup Application on page 10 once you have completed reading this guide. The EDI requirements with DCL are minimal:

  • Trading Partner Information

  • EDI Setup Application

EDI Process Flow

EDI follows the process as illustrated below.

Retailer supply is warehoused with DCL Logistics. DCL’s EDI Central Website provides a portal for managing retail orders and advance shipment notifications.

DCL’s EDI servers handle the EDI transactions with your Trading Partners. Transportation Services provide shipping and tracking numbers, which are integrated by DCL to send back to retailer receiving departments via DCL’s EDI servers.

Trading Partners Integrated with DCL

There are 38 trading partners with DCL:


  • AAFES eBay

  • Academy

  • Amazon

  • BedBath&Beyond

  • BestBuy

  • BestBuy CA

  • BHPhoto

  • Bloomingdale

  • Costco

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods

  • eBags

  • Fred Meyer

  • Fry's Electronics

  • Gander Mountain

  • GolfSmith

  • Harmon Stores

  • Home Shopping Ntwk

  • HomeDepot

  • Ingram Micro

  • Lowe's

  • Macy's

  • Micro Center

  • Nebraska Furniture Mart

  • Neiman Marcus

  • New Egg

  • Nordstrom

  • Petco

  • PetSmart

  • Sam's Club

  • ShopKo

  • Staples

  • Target

  • TargetDVS

  • Walgreens

  • Wal-Mart

  • Zappos

DCL also has the experience and flexibility to work with other third party EDI providers as well.

EDI Forms Integrated with DCL

The matrix of EDI forms is listed for each trading partner in DCL’s EDI central website:

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