From textile EDI to a Collective internet platform for data exchanges


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These pages are intended for anyone wishing to quickly learn about EDI andits evolution, without having to understand the technical aspects. They are of course by no means exhaustive; we invite those who wish further information,consult the specialized sites.


EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is used to automatically exchange information between two computer systems, using standard communication (tools and technology, languages, coding) and standard messages.

In the textile industry, EDI started timidly in the 1990s at the same time as the “just in time” organizations, to reduce both stocks and delivery dates.

The significant costs of EDI projects in those years were a major obstacle to the widespread practice still reserved for large groups. The advent of the Internet and the progressive availability of new standards of communication and security tools then enabled SMEs to access to EDI.


The use of EDI enables organizations working together (companies, associations, institutions, ...) to limit human intervention in the communication and processing of information, even though they each use different applications. The use of paper (mail, fax) is no longer necessary.

Example: Orders, delivery notes, invoices, ... but also technical data sheets, specifications, bank records, etc ...

In the 2000s, following the widespread of internet, dematerialization joined the initial objectives of EDI by the provision of documents in digital format.

Exchange of information by electronic mail proliferate and replace the sometimes awkwardly central information systems, without any security.

In the 2010s, when people start to work connected and collaboratively using cloud-computing, web platforms appear and offer services for exchange and sharing digital data, built on fundamentals such as:

In the textile industry, traceability requirements, historically appeared to quality issues, and more recently, in response to different types of certifications, have forced companies to manage more important volumes of information. Exchange of digital data enabled them to bear this burden without requiring additional structures and costs.

Hosting and document sharing services also allow, for example, a company to provide these customers their quotations, order confirmations, delivery notes, invoices, etc. ... via a secure access to the platform.

Mobility services, allow itinerant staff synchronize their mobile embedded applications with the information system of their company.

In France, TIC & PME 2015 program helped , among other projects, to create the platform in partnership with the UIT (Union des Industries Textiles) and industrial drivers, partially funded DGCIS (Direction Générale de la Compétitivité, de l'industrie et des Services).


EDI, in its primary form, basically brings greater speed and reliability in the transmission of information. This results in gains for each stakeholder in terms of:

Exchange and sharing digital data through collective platforms provide professional also :

It has been demonstrated in several sectors using these new tools, surprising results on their overall performance and hence their competitiveness in the global economy.

Professional platforms allow, in effect, to move from the era of simple customer / supplier relationships to that of the extended enterprise.

Among the immediate benefits include:


In the European textile industry, projects have gradually emerged, such as :

Others :


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Responsible for drafting : Alain Stoll

Responsible for publication : Francis Jacob

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Last update : July, 22d 2014