Request for Routing Instructions and Response (Transactions 753 & 754). Improve Customer Service

DCS EDI Specialists Can Help Improve Customer Service

Mass merchants are moving towards greater logistics efficiencies due to rising fuel prices. The routing guide is being replaced, and vendors now must request routing instructions for each shipment. Failure to comply can cause Chargebacks.


Shipment routing guidelines are effective and are now being improved. For many years vendors called or emailed for routing instructions. The next step is automation of the request for instructions process. For example, JCPenney vendors are required to send an EDI Request for Routing Instructions (Transaction Set 753). In response, the T.S. 754 Routing Instructions is sent approximately a day before shipment occurs. While most responses are confirmations, the vendor must be able to change routing, carriers, changes of destinations, or even packing quickly.

To begin and to learn how the new procedure affects an organization, many companies start manually. A screen entry form with proposed shipment routing is completed (the Request). The information entered is for a routing best suiting the vendor, but within the vendor’s routing guidelines. The Request is sent approximately 48 hour prior to shipment. The Routing is typically received, printed, and hand carried to the shipping department. (The screen entry form can be pre-populated.)

Vendors with many shipments find automation makes sense. The difficulty is that automation may affect many systems – MRP, WMS, and logistics. No EDI vendor can come in with a boxed EDI solution without understanding operations. Sending a Request requires standard routings be ready in a database. After the Routing is received, the vendor then runs the Response against the business application, and then sends its shippers summarized instructions. As usual in EDI development, EDI changes are only part of the challenge.

As an interim step, a vendor can create a simple application that builds a database with the incoming POs (850). The Routing Requests (753) can be built from the existing orders. The incoming Routing Instructions (754) are used to update the original orders and shipment (if it has been created). This approach likely will not work if a PO has more than one shipping point.


Improved customer service can occur at an economical cost if a vendor starts deliberately – manually, small application, and then full MRP, WMS or logistics automation. As this method of improving logistics gains ground, a vendor with a sound foundation will gain a competitive advantage. DCS EDI consultants’ experience with vendors and carriers is invaluable. Learn more how you can improve your customer service with our free assessement.