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When should I use an EDI Managed Service

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

Committing to a third party supplier can be daunting but get it right and you should have a partnership as both businesses want to succeed.

There are six aspects to consider.

One connection between you and your selected EDI Managed Service

With hacking and ransomware attacks on the rise you want to limit the exposure of your system to the wider world.

By connecting to one EDI Managed Service you limit your exposure. Zero trust has now become a big issue in the wider community. If you do not have the experience, staff or software then one connection to many, via and EDI Managed Service provider will be a good option.


Communications are the biggest issue to resolve as there are multiple options:

1) API

2) AS2

3) Email

4) sFTP (FTP should not be considered in the days of GDPR)

5) VAN to VAN

6) X400

Unless you have these skills in house what will you do? The connection can be discussed with the retailer, however this is normally non negotiable, in my experience.

File formats

If you are working with multiple selling formats you need to consider the transaction and the file format. There are many formats out there as these have been developed overt the years:

1) CSV - always bespoke

2) EDI - ANSI X12 - an American standard

3) EDI - EDIFACT - defined standards

4) EDI - TRADACOM - defined standards


6) Pipe Delimited - always bespoke

7) XML

The file formats are normally defined by the systems you are connecting to but unless you have the technology and knowledge in house to support the various formats how will you support these?

Hardware and software updates

By outsourcing to an EDI Managed Service you no longer have to worry about updating your hardware and software.

Also, security becomes less of an issue as all of the exposed connections are managed by an expert. All you will need to focus on is the security between you and the managed service.


This is where it gets painful! And when you are just starting out or in your early days of growing how big will your business get?

In my experience I would look to agree some form of flat fee and watch out for any Kilo Character (KC) charges as these could soon rack up as your sales grow. EDI Invoicing, if you are considering this can also add additional charges, so again something to watch out for.


This is where I refer back to your overall strategy and how you want to use your EDI or Data Integration system.

Think this through when you start out then you should have a brilliant platform to work from.

Want to discuss further then please call.

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