What is EDI

What is EDI? Back to basics with the Support desk

Most foodservice operators find their way to procurement software through a frequent and similar pattern of problems to solve. The backbone of Caternet’s time and money saving features is live data. Because our platform uses EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) it must remain consistent with the rules of GS1 – the global standards for business communication. With its roots in barcodes, GS1 (a global not-for-profit group) has spent over 45 years streamlining processes from data capture to handling transactions. As a common language across ordering and logistics, it has spread to the clothing retail and healthcare markets.

EDI is not websites as you know it – it’s closer to the Internet of Things.

Choosing a procurement platform built to these standards allows for anyone in hospitality catering to;

  • trade with suppliers of any size
  • procure any goods (not just ingredients)
  • go paperless
  • watch their data update automatically (no re-keying)

As a Support desk, we’re in constant contact with our customers. One of our five key focus points is Technology, and recently we’ve asked both users and suppliers which features of EDI they find most useful;

  • Electronic Invoicing – Data is exchanged with more accuracy. A smaller margin for error comes naturally as invoices reflect exactly what has been dispatched, with the price paid on the day.
  • Easy to use for suppliers and their clients – By removing the manual aspect of keying invoices with every delivery, they can be processed, reconciled and paid more quickly, meaning less waiting time for the client and a happier relationship!
  • Efficient – EDI keeps clients automatically updated with acceptance and dispatch notes letting them know their order is on the way! Further, as soon as the delivery has been recorded the invoice can be sent – while the delivery is still fresh.
  • Removing manual processes – We’ve already discussed removing the manual need to type these invoices; on top of this invoices can be reconciled automatically without the need to adjust via credit notes.
Statistic: Year-on-year percentage change in out-of-home food service visits in the United Kingdom (UK) in the years ending July 2016 and July 2017, by type | Statista

Click and collect; one reason restaurants cannot ignore EDI


Interfacing with EPoS

EPoS stands for Electronic Point of Sale, which is more commonly known as a till system. With Caternet using the common language of EDI, most kitchen order tracking, stock management and EPoS systems allow for the sharing of live transaction data. As the Support desk helps implement these solutions, our customers share their benefits;

  • Real-time sales data – Having a sales feed directly from your till to a back-office system means a business can track their sales and see which products sell well and which do not.
  • Consumption: Profit & Loss – Till systems allow a business to track what they’ve sold and for how much, allowing them to calculate the cost of goods sold vs sales value.
  • Consumption: Stock Control – Till systems can control stock levels by updating any stock system with what has been sold, accurately reflecting stock levels which minimises the risk of stock selling out. This also removes stocktakes from the equation allowing a business to save time on stock takes every day!
  • Removes Manual Processes – Itemised receipts mean a business can keep a history of all that has been sold for a day/week to check against stock for variances as well as providing real-time data which eliminates the need to search for it.

Caternet has many years of introducing hospitality businesses to the benefits of live data with EDI. Get to know how we can help you with what we do.

Neil Shayle is Head of Operations

Schedule a demo today.
Call 023 8212 4099 or email us on sales@caternet.co.uk