Amazon has released more important consumables EDI updates and instructions for Q4 instock readiness. These practices are always important, but are particularly vital in the moths leading up to the holiday season. Read on to learn how you can stay compliant with Amazon and avoid pricey chargebacks!
Manage your Purchase Orders in Q4:
All orders in support of Lightning Deal and Best Deals that were submitted and approved by September 28, will begin on October 8 and will have a short ramp period. You can expect to see larger volume orders to support specific promotional orders between October 8 and October 20. These orders on deal ASINs for the key promotion weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday only, will have extra days added to the ship or delivery window to provide more time for processing, if necessary.
Let Amazon know as soon as possible if you are unable to support the submitted promotion by rejecting that PO line item through the PO acknowledgement process.
Amazon sends cancellation notices by email one week prior to the actual cancellation date if it doesn’t seem like they are going to receive your products. If you receive an auto-cancellation notice, update your expected delivery date or expected ship date by going to Vendor Central > Orders > Purchase Orders > Update past due PO items. If you have already shipped the product in question, ensure the ASN has the line item at risk for cancellation listed and resubmit the ASN if it does not.
Keep your catalog up-to date:
Ensure you receive actionable purchase orders by reviewing your catalog regularly via Vendor Central > Reports > Amazon Retail Analytics Basic > Vendor Catalog Listing.
If you need to make corrections to your catalog, go to Vendor Central > Catalog > Edit details. Ensure all catalog updates are completed before key peak ordering date of October 8.
If the inventory status of your product has changed, let Amazon know as soon as possible. You can do this by using their new Availability feature via Vendor Central > Items > Edit Products > Update Availability or through the PO acknowledgment process.
Forecasting Best Practices:
Download forecast from ARA reports every week and compare against your stock position. The demand forecast report contains forward looking 26 weeks of demand forecast.
Use Vendor Central Demand Forecast Training to learn how to use the Amazon Retail Analytics (ARA) Forecasting Report on Vendor Central to optimize inventory levels to fulfill Amazon orders.
Stay on top of shipments / Transportation Best Practices:
Whether you ship Collect or Prepaid, Amazon recommends that you take an active role in managing transportation.
Prepaid/They-Pay vendors: Carriers should request appointments as early as possible. FCs are busiest during business hours (Mon to Friday, 9-5) so your carriers can obtain appointments faster by requesting appointments during evenings or weekends. If the appointment is missed by 30 minutes or more, the freight will be refused and a chargeback fee assessed. Make sure your carrier has a physical BOL (Bill of Lading), the relevant PRO(s), the Amazon Delivery Appointment Number (ISA #), and a list of the POs on the shipment in order to avoid any additional complications if they need to reschedule. If your carrier is in danger of missing their scheduled appointment time, have them call the Transportation Operations Center hotline 1-866-203-8372.
Collect/We-Pay vendors: If you’re shipping truckload volumes, communicate to your carrier that you are able to support a weekend pick-up if possible, once your load is tendered. This will let the carrier know if they can accept an appointment at the FC that would require a weekend pick-up, which may reduce the risk of pick-up delay. In order to prevent delays, ensure you route at least 24 hours before your Freight Ready Date.
Note for We-Pay/Collect vendors: Amazon has updated the 7-day ship window restriction for Collect, so you can now route for received orders that are within 30 days of their ship window start. By routing earlier, Amazon can better secure freight and FC capacity. Route as early as possible to secure an on time pickup.
If you have a transportation case unanswered within 24 hours, or a carrier in danger of missing an appointment, you can call their Transportation Operations Center hotline at 1-866-203-8372.
Utilizing Direct Fulfillment:
If you have excess inventory in your warehouse that you want to make available for customer purchase beyond what Amazon has in its own warehouses, then you can setup Direct Fulfillment on these items. The Direct Fulfillment program enables you to provide inventory feeds regularly as your inventory position changes. This is a great way to unlock additional sales!
- To add a Direct Fulfillment warehouse, go to Vendor Central > Settings > Warehouse Settings.
- To update inventory available via Direct Fulfillment, go to Vendor Central > Items > Direct Fulfillment Inventory.
- For a more detailed onboarding guide on Direct Fulfillment, follow this SOP.
Other Best Practices:
If you have any questions, first reference Vendor Central Support when you need more information about Amazon policies, processes, or self-service options.
You can take training, search Help, or download forms and manuals including NA Vendor Shipments and Transportation Manual
If you need additional assistance, open a case through Vendor Central > Contact Us.
DCS Can Help!
Are you looking to make the most out of your EDI as you work with Amazon? If so, Data Communication Solutions (DCS) is your go-to resource! Our experienced EDI specialists offer development, managed services, support, training, and more. To find the best EDI solution for your business, contact us today!