The electronic data interchange (EDI) is a technique that replaces physical exchanges of documents between companies (orders, invoices, delivery slips, etc.) with exchanges, according to a standardised format, between computers connected through specialised connections or through a (private) value-added network (VAN). The data are structured according to reference international technical standards (e.g. Edifact).
For example, the sending by fax of an order and then its input by an operator from the supplier company is replaced by the issuing of information that is routed to a computer of the supplier company capable of interpreting the order.