Value-Added Network

The VAN network acts as an 'intermediary post office' for the EDI system (Monczka et al.)

Information about Value-Added Network

Traditionally, VANs have been central to the use of EDI solutions (Sommer, 2003; Williams and Frolick, 2002) where EDI is defined as the "technique based on agreed standards, which facilitates business transactions in standardised electronic form in an automated manner directly from a computer application in one organisation to an application in another" (Lysons and Farrington, 2006: 188).

An EDI transaction is the process of transmitting a single electronic document which consists of the following (Monczka et al., 2009: 683): (1) A standard form (EDI standards), which includes the basic rules of formatting and syntax agreed upon by the users in the network. The American National Standards Institute ACSx12 series of EDI standards and the United Nation’s EDIFACT (EDI for Administration, Commerce and Transport) are the two most widely used and recognised standards; (2) Software which translates the organisation-specific database information into EDI format ready for transmission; (3) A mail service (EDI network) for transmitting documents.

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