Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. If you adhere to the trading partner specifications, which pertain to EDI documents as well as many other items like packing lists, carton label placements, etc. Many partners publish a list of their chargeback items and costs in their trading partner documents.
The majority of modern EDI solutions primarily operate on the cloud meaning it’s software running on servers. EDI solutions that run on the cloud bypass the need to install EDI programs on your computer or dedicated EDI hardware in-house.
EDI solutions that don’t operate on the cloud will run software on the existing computer equipment you have, such as a PC with an internet connection. EDI software communicates with your customers via the internet or a VAN where all of your EDI data is saved for your use in an Electronic Mailbox. The EDI data must be translated and printed or interfaced with your Order Processing System.
If your EDI solution includes shipping labels, you may need to purchase a Thermal Printer to print the UCC-128 labels if you do not already have one.
The receiver of an EDI transmission is responsible for sending back an administrative EDI document called a Functional Acknowledgment (FA). In its most common form, the FA simply identifies the received transmission by its sender-assigned control number, document type (e.g., PO, invoice, etc.), and number of documents sent. It is the sender’s responsibility to follow with the intended receiver if an acknowledgment has not been received, usually within 1 business day.
Many retail companies will not conduct business with you unless you have implemented an EDI solution that complies with the retailer’s EDI requirements. If you are not EDI capable, you lose an opportunity, which can be costly.
By using EDI and integrating it into your order processing system, you will save money on:
1) Avoiding costly chargebacks due to EDI non-compliance and bad EDI data transmissions.
2) Reduced labor costs by automating data entry.
3) Preventing data entry mistakes caused by human error.
4) Reducing overhead and improving speed.
Many retailers assess a penalty for not abiding by their EDI specifications. Chargebacks can be levied because documents are not sent or are sent incorrectly, or because shipping labels are missing or are not positioned on the cartons correctly.
Some companies will reverse the chargeback if you let them know that you have fixed the problem and it will not occur again in the future. Pay close attention to your partner’s EDI requirements document and you should avoid most chargebacks.
Each of your trading partners will provide you with a set of their specifications. These will be a sub-set of the standards for that electronic document. Most partners trade the EDI PO, Invoice, and ASN (Advance Ship Notice). The UCC-128 label is usually required along with the ASN. Your partners may also require other EDI documents which will all be described in detail in the Trading Partner Specifications document.
This label is a standard 4“ wide x 6“ long and is affixed to each carton. Each partner’s requirements are a little different, but most require ship-from, ship-to, carrier, PO number, UCC-128 Carton number, carton contents, etc. Although you can use a laser printer to produce the labels, it is better to use a thermal printer. Even the smaller, less expensive models are faster than the laser. The label stock has an adhesive on it which also saves time. There are programs that will let you create and print the label, which can be linked with your shipping EDI program to directly produce this label.
Most retailers, large manufacturers, automotive companies, the US Government, and many health care providers require that their suppliers be capable of doing EDI. All the companies on our website require EDI from their vendors and we are adding to the list daily.
Many EDI systems send one ASN per carton or one ASN per Sales Order. This is required if the shipment is to the store or being sent by small package carrier. If the shipment is not sent by a small package carrier and is shipping to a DC, the customer might require a consolidated ASN. This consolidated ASN would contain information for all cartons on a single truck going to the same location even if the cartons were Marked-For-Store. If there were more than one truckload going to the same destination, there would be one ASN per truckload or Bill-Of-Lading.
Many purchase orders are sent with SDQ segments, which allows the customer to order a group of items and then send a breakout by store or ship-to location. This order is turned into multiple orders (one for each location). Each order results in a separate invoice. If the customer requires a consolidated invoice, the individual invoices must be consolidated back to the original Purchase Order.
A VAN (Value Added Network) is a communications service that is the vehicle for the exchange of EDI documents between trading partners. The VAN is the home of the EDI trading partner’s electronic mailbox, which is identified by a unique EDI ID that serves as the trading partner’s EDI address. Interconnects among VANs allow for the exchange of EDI documents between EDI trading partners whose mailboxes reside on different VANs.
Many of the segments and elements defined in the standard are optional and there are many different ways to interpret the standard. With five companies designing a specific document you will most likely end up with five different documents.