Electronic data interchange in construction

George E. Gibson, Lansford C. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


There is a need within the construction industry to electronically transmit standard documents between designers, owners, contractors, and material suppliers. These documents include purchase orders, requests for quotations, invoices, shipping notifications, materials lists, and payment transfers. Ideally, the transmission should be structured to eliminate or reduce the rekeying of transmitted data. This paper discusses the basic elements of electronic data interchage (EDI), a technology for document transfer that has produced documented cost-saving benefits in other industries. Through inexpensive translation software that uses industry standards, direct computer-to-computer transmission of most any type of document is possible. The fundamentals of electronic data interchange are discussed and an example of document translation using ANSI X12 standards is presented. A case study implementation effort that was examined as part of a research project funded by the Construction Industry Institute is also described herein. This case study illustrates the fact that EDI technology is inexpensive and that tangible costsaving benefits can be realized in a relatively short period of time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-737
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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