Compliance – the act of conforming to, corresponding with or matching expectations.
What does this mean for suppliers who are selling goods to customers who require EDI?
EDI compliance is the ability to send and receive EDI documents in the format required by your trading partner (customer). You as a supplier are required to send and receive certain documents electronically in a standardized format, and follow specific business data rules in order to do business with that trading partner.
Where do you start?
Most large trading partners will have a vendor portal or website with the information you need to get started. The Implementation Guide is the place to start. The guide will contain the EDI documents specific to that trading partner. Read through the instructions and pay special attention to the document sets you will be required to send and receive. It is important to stay on top of the guidelines as requirements will change over time.
What if I am not compliant?
There are financial penalties for non-compliance with your trading partners’ requirements. These penalties are referred to as chargebacks or deductions. Many organizations treat them as a business expense, while some trading partners have been accused of using them as profit centers. It pays to be compliant and stay on top of your trading partner requirements.
How can I avoid Chargebacks?
- Stay on top of changes in your vendor implementation guides. Make sure that you are aware of changes and how to address them
- Certain translators manage changes in Trading Partner requirements as part of the service provided
- For those of you managing 20, 40, 60 or more trading partner relationships, the Retail Value Chain Federation (RVCF) offers a Compliance Clearinghouse to help suppliers stay on top of changes to requirements. RVCF monitors the compliance guides, websites and portals of around 140 retailers on a daily basis to keep the Clearinghouse up to date. A posting on their blog shares some of the struggles suppliers face. You can find more information on the Compliance Clearinghouse on their website
- Advanced Ship Notices (ASN or 856 document) are a big contributor to chargebacks. You may receive a chargeback if:
- ASN is late or never sent
- The label is incorrect
- On the wrong box
- In the wrong location on the box
- Damaged in transit and unreadable at the destination
- Verify, verify, verify that your ASN accurately reflects what is in each shipment in the correct format for the trading partner before you send it, and before you ship the product
- Know the important dates, such as cancel date and expected arrival date
- Understand your trading partners’ environment and know which stores/distribution centers are close by to enable you to send the ASN quickly
- Verify when you obtain an acknowledgement that your ASN was received
The goal of the chargebacks is to make the supply chain more efficient for the trading partner, who may receive hundreds of thousands of items in a given day.
Bottom line – know the requirements and verify that you and your team are meeting those requirements.
Questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.