What does an EDI Specialist do?


EDI specialists are professionals with great expertise with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). They are responsible for implementing EDI within organizations and ensuring the correct operation of the system. What does an EDI specialist do on a daily basis?

What is EDI?

The term EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. It describes the electronic exchange of business documents. This is normally done in the form of structured data.

Role Overview - EDI Specialist
Role Overview – EDI Specialist

EDI aims to exchange data from computer to computer with minimal or no human intervention.

Standard business documents can thus be exchanged electronically between companies. This allows business operations to be processed faster since e-documents can be automatically integrated into other business systems.

No new information is necessary thanks to EDI solutions. Furthermore, data errors are significantly reduced or even eliminated. As a result, business processes become more efficient with the elimination of paper processing.

EDI is a data processing concept that is independent of communication protocols and transmission media.

Who uses EDI software and EDI solutions?

B2B companies, in general, rely on EDI software solutions to improve business transmissions. Thus, allowing them to be more efficient with cost and time management. EDI Software is greatly in use in departments involving purchases and invoicing.

Basically, any business that involves large amounts of identical paperwork/form-data can benefit from EDI Electronic Data Interchange.

Some industries typically using EDI software are:

  • Automotive
  • Retail
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Utility
  • Construction
  • And even Healthcare

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Responsibilities of an EDI Specialist

Responsibilities and tasks of an EDI Specialist
Responsibilities – EDI Specialist

An EDI Specialist can go by several different titles:

  • EDI Consultant
  • Electronic Data interchange Coordinator
  • EDI Developer
  • EDI Analyst

An EDI specialist ensures smooth business transactions with other companies through electronic channels

An EDI specialist’s day-to-day tasks generally include designing and developing a new system, improving the current system, monitoring electronic transactions, and correcting any failures. 

Many companies use EDI to access providers’ databases and their ordering systems. This requires an EDI specialist to make the system work.

Reacting to issues and reducing the risk of system errors are the core tasks of an EDI specialist.

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Tasks and responsibilities expected from an EDI specialist

  • Designing and developing a system for the exchange of information
  • Implementing EDI solutions
  • Setting up systems for new trading partners
  • Updating and improving interactions with existing trading partners
  • Using EDI mapping tools and cross-reference tables
  • Designs, codes, tests, and debugs programs
  • Works with APIs and applications consuming APIs
  • Analyze user requirements and propose IT solutions based on knowledge of existing infrastructure
  • Maintaining accurate records of transactions
  • Monitoring daily electronic information exchange and alerting issues
  • Reducing the risk of system errors

How do you become an EDI specialist? Skills & Knowledge

EDI specialists skills and knowledge required for the role
Skills needed to become an EDI specialist

An EDI specialist should ideally practice staying up-to-date with relevant tools and systems. They should take time to become familiar with the websites of the standards bodies to keep updated on changes in the standard that might impact the organization they work for. 

In terms of technical skills, it is important to be familiar with EDI solutions and portals such as:

  • GHX
  • HBS Pagero
  • Hubwoo
  • Ariba
  • Mercateo

As well as the common catalog management formats (Gs1, XML, BME Cat, Excel). Furthermore, a strong understanding of technical interfaces and processes in dealing with ERP systems is ideal. 

Skills required for an EDI specialist: 

  • A cross-divisional understanding of IT and relevant various business units
  • Working knowledge of EDI translation software packages
  • Understanding of EDI transaction sets
  • General knowledge of networking protocols and web architecture
  • Solid understanding of EDI standards and practices – EDIFACT, XML 
  • Strong communication and organizational talent
  • An independent, structured and responsible way of working
  • Expertise in data mapping and organization
  • Basic understanding of relational database structures – SQL, Oracle databases
  • Rest API, UNIX shell scripting, Linux, PERL
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, EDI comprehension, and Internet-based product navigation

Is there a demand for freelance EDI consultants?

Many smaller companies do not have an in-house EDI specialist since they find it difficult to justify the cost of a full-time employee. 

Hence, this opens up opportunities for freelance EDI specialists and consultants to offer remote services to such businesses. 

Background and Education

Most companies require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or any related IT degree.

However, a person can sometimes get an entry-level job with alternative education if they possess the right skills. Having 1 to 3 years of experience working with EDI technologies. 

An entry-level job typically requires less training and experience and is a great way for a person to start an EDI career.

In order to work as a senior EDI specialist though it is desirable to have a master’s degree.

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EDI Specialists Salary

The average salary for an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Consultant in the US is around $74,000 per year. For new graduates in entry-level positions, the salary is around $61,000. On the other hand, Senior specialists earn over $88,000. 

How much does an EDI specialist make?


How much does a freelance EDI expert charge?

Average hourly rate for Freelance EDI specialist as of June 2020

On average, a freelance EDI Specialist will charge you around $99/hr. Considering a full 8-hour working day, this equates to $792 per day. (freelancermap index, June 2020)

Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

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