Standardization and simplification of trade procedures constitute an urgent need to line up the document flow with the goods flow in international trade. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a co‐operative inter‐organizational information system providing electronic exchange of messages agreed between trade partners. Outlines a possible implementation procedure for EDI. A first part consists of a six‐step feasibility study. If this study ends with a positive recommendation the implementation procedure can start. Discussions of this process concern several requirements: completely understand about EDI; agree on standards with business partners; modify existing systems; translate data: prepare communications; and management and audit of the whole process. Concerning the cost‐benefit analysis for the EDI application – a step which is mandatory in the feasibility study – gives further details on different types of cost (recurring and non‐recurring, direct and indirect) and on both quantifiable and non‐quantifiable benefits.
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