What's a VAN? Get the Skinny on Value-added Networks

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When you think of “vans,” images of Sprinters or retro footwear may come to mind. But here we are going to talk about a different type of VAN — a value-added network. 

A value-added network is a third-party electronic data interchange (EDI) service provider that administers data exchange between its customers and trading partners — a private, completely secure service. VANs make communication simple by reducing the number of parties a business needs to interact with.

The VAN serves as a middleman when it links two companies that share proprietary data or data based on specific standards. According to Investopedia, “VANs are set up with audit capabilities so that the data being exchanged is formatted correctly and validated before it is transferred to the next party.” (Source: “Value-Added Network” by Jake Frankenfield, Oct. 28, 2019, www.investopedia.com.) 

In other words, a value-added network is a virtual postal service: The electronic data is the mail, and the VAN is the post office, ensuring the data gets to its destination securely and safely. A piece of mail needs to be addressed properly — and if it isn’t, the postal service kicks it back to the sender. The VAN acts in a similar manner, not allowing data to move on until it’s in the correct format and complete. VANs ensure all of the mandatory information is collected and given to intended receivers. This setup curtails the number of direct contacts the business has to execute on its own — a valuable timesaver. 

Using BOLD VAN’s value-added network means your data is hosted within secure data centers; all compliance restrictions and regulatory requirements are met for any industry. BOLD VAN is the only VAN that lets you pay by the trading partner — unlike other VANs that charge by the kilo-character — for one low price. (To learn more about BOLD VAN’s offerings, call 844-265-3777, email info@boldvan.com, or start your three-month trial.)

A value-added network might not be as flashy as vintage sneakers, but business partners looking to share pertinent information securely find it to be very en vogue.

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