In today’s competitive environment, mass merchants are managing their inventory levels more carefully. This can lead to more frequent orders. With the use of EDI, your customer relationships improve. This is because EDI can speed up the process between companies and improves the accuracy of the information exchanged.
Large customers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target require you to be EDI compliant as a condition of doing business with them. Their sophisticated systems effectively manage all phases of the order cycle, using EDI for ordering, receiving, warehousing, and payment. All of this is done automatically with EDI compatible suppliers.
The EDI Order Cycle
An EDI purchase order (850) brings you orders quickly. It contains information on exactly what your customer wants and when and the Purchase Order Acknowledgement (855) notifies your customer that you have their order. You eliminate errors and provide yourself more lead time to plan production, packaging, and shipping. You may also be required to ship directly to end customers. EDI 850s are the only way to meet the on-demand delivery that consumers have come to expect.
EDI Advance Ship Notices (ASN’s or 856) notify your customer that their shipment is on the way. This allows them to plan their receiving and logistics. This electronic version of a printed packing list lets your trading partner know how the product is packed, the destination of the shipment, and delivery schedule. The addition of barcodes (GS1-128 formerly known as USS-128 labels) works in conjunction with the ASN. When scanned, it contains the supplier’s vendor number, ASN number, and carton number. This allows the customer to find out easily what the content of the package is before opening. This speeds up your customers receiving process, improves inventory accuracy, and most importantly records the shipment as received. The accurate receiving report is matched to your invoice, when ensures on time payment.
Getting paid accurately and on time is an important loop in the process. EDI Invoices (810s) provide your customer with precise information regarding your billing and speeds up their accounts payable process. It also minimizes billing disputes and delays in payments. Lost invoices are also reduced due to EDI acknowledgement informing you that your customer has your invoice.
Building your Relationship
Now is time to reach out to your customers. Let them know that you can received EDI orders, send EDI ASNs, EDI Invoices, and other required EDI documents. More than 800 companies are doing business via EDI and the list continues to grow every day. Data Communication Solutions can help you with the demanding EDI compliance requirements. Our DCS EDI Consultants are highly trained in the most commonly used EDI systems. Our no-cost assessment can provide you with an outline of the steps you need to take to improve your EDI. Contact us today!