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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 32
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper II.1

Data Exchange in Construction: EDI, MFE or IE?

A.N. Baldwin, A. Thorpe and C.D. Carter

Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University of Technology, Loughborough, UK

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
A.N. Baldwin, A. Thorpe, C.D. Carter, "Data Exchange in Construction: EDI, MFE or IE?", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Developments in Computational Techniques for Civil Engineering", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 11-15, 1995. doi:10.4203/ccp.32.2.1
EDI is only one of a number of data exchange technologies. There is no commonly accepted collective noun for these technologies and EDI is often used, incorrectly, to describe all types of data transfer. Industry experts and commentators have generated a number of names such as Multi Format Exchange, (MFE), and Information Exchange, (IE), to describe collectively the technologies available to industry.

This paper defines EDI, MFE and IE and describes a range of technologies that enable the electronic transfer of business and technical data. The paper includes results from an extensive literature review together with findings from surveys, interviews with some twenty industry experts and several case studies. Collectively these results represent a position statement of the current use of these technologies and an informed view of their future. The conclusions from this research emphasise the need for the construction industry to review the strategic implications of EDI rather than continue to focus on tactical benefits such as increased efficiency, productivity and cost cutting.

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