Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the electronic interchange of business information using a standardized format. In other words, EDI is a process which allows one company to send information to another company electronically rather than on paper. Companies that conduct business electronically are called trading partners. The exchange of data is usually facilitated by an intermediary company, a ‘clearing’ house that ‘hosts’ the exchange and charges one or both trading partners certain fees to make the process possible.Many business documents can be exchanged using EDI. But, the three most common ones are purchase orders, confirmations of received orders and invoices. At a minimum, EDI replaces the manual preparation and handling associated with traditional business communication. However, the real power of EDI is that it standardizes information communicated in business documents. That makes “paperless” exchange possible.Most bakeries that use Z-Bake create invoices, print paper copies of those invoices and mail them to their customers. Upon receipt, those customers re-enter them into their own computer systems for payment and/ or inventory management. The entire process is nothing more than the transfer of information from the seller’s computer to the customer’s computer. EDI makes it possible to minimize or even eliminate the manual steps involved in this transfer.A typical sequence of events would be as follows: A Z-Bake and EDI add-on user accesses the PO module and simply clicks on a menu item. That gets a process in motion. Z-Bake contacts the intermediary company seeking new Purchase Orders. If new orders are found, Z-Bake imports them and automatically enters them into the system. A confirmation is automatically sent to the customer. Finally, when the goods are shipped or delivered, Z-Bake creates the invoice and transfers to the customer without the need to print and then mail any document.If you have any questions about the mechanics of using this enhancement and/ or wish to speak to a customer who actually uses this functionality, please contact twin Peaks Software staff. We will be glad to refer you to one.