Your EDI Resource

EDI Testing Challenges - Lessons Learned

Posted by Shandra Locken on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 @ 08:30 AM

3716273172_fe716fbf1f_zPhoto appears courtesy of frankieleon.  This blog was written by Kristen Kearns, EDI Manager for Aurora Technologies. Who else does this happen to?  Mapping is done, VAN/AS2 connections are set up, you have gotten through testing with flying colors, and then you go-live and EVERYTHING falls apart.  OK, perhaps I’m being overly dramatic….maybe not everything. Sometimes it is just a minor thing, but other times you are blindsided by a major problem!

I just went through extensive testing with a large trading partner, we passed their testing with several documents.  We go live and BAM!  Come to find out there was a large amount of data missing or wrong when we went live.  I really do not know how they passed us.  And the specs were incredibly vague.  Getting slammed with chargebacks is not a great way to start out a new trading relationship.  We did not change a thing when going live, so why was everything so different? 

How can you avoid potential issues?

  • Get the latest specifications from the trading partner.  Sometimes a trading partner does not have specifications so you need to make sure you work with them ahead of time to find a solution.  You do not want to test through documents only to find out when going live there was additional information they wanted/needed. Work with your salesperson and their buyer to find out what type of documents you will be receiving/sending as well as what should or should not be included in them.

  • Sometimes the trading partner has several sets of the same document depending on the business rules.  Find out if you can just test the documents and the types of documents you will be actually trading.  That will also cut down on the confusion

  • Make sure you have the right people involved in the right pieces of the process.  Most of these projects are B2B (business-to-business) integration projects rather than just EDI implementations.  That means there are typically a lot of different business processes involved.  I just had a client who did not have the warehouse review the packaging requirements and they are getting hit with some major chargebacks for not placing the labels on the cartons correctly. 

  • Where data is concerned, the number one issue I see is item numbers.

    • First issue with item numbers is the trading partner tries to send you data with “dummy” item numbers but you cannot test that through your ERP system.  Just ask, most trading partners, even the EDI testing companies (i.e. SPS Commerce), will allow for real data.

    • Second issue with item numbers, is once you go-live, the trading partner doesn’t have all of your items entered, or entered correctly.  Make sure your people talk to their people and get the items correct between the 2 companies.

    • Another data issue is ship-to location codes.  Make sure you get their list of location codes and set them up in your system correctly.  Doing this ahead of production, will make for less intervention.

Click below to see how Wayfair leveraged the power of Delta/ECS and moved their EDI operations into the 21st century.

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Tags: EDI testing, chargebacks, B2B integration

EDI and Halloween: 7 Reasons They are Closer Than You Think

Posted by Shandra Locken on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 @ 02:35 PM

8149470331_2f0f5fae57_z (1).jpgPhoto appears courtesy of David Sorich.  This fun list was created back in 2013 in honor of Halloween.  We love it so much, we pretty much post it every year.  So once again, to honor EDI and all things that go bump in the night, we give you, "EDI and Halloween: 7 Reasons They're Closer Than You Think."  

1. EDI and Halloween are both scary.

2. They both have tricks and treats.

3. They both turn relatively normal people into witches and trolls.

4. They both involve copious amounts of chocolate or alcohol, sometimes both.

5. They both sometimes involve charge backs (remember when your parents raided your take for the night?)

6. Speaking of, big thank you to Walmart, for cheap costumes, cheap candy and EDI mandates.

7. Lastly, EDI and Halloween both involve séances (we have all tried to contact Edward Guilbert to thank him for getting us into this mess.)

Happy Halloween from the Aurora EDI Alliance!  Stay safe…

Click below to read our case study on our Quibids.com project!

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Tags: EDI basics, chargebacks, EDI history, EDI Technology

Purchase Order Confirmation Rates: Navigating Amazon’s New Chargebacks

Posted by Shandra Locken on Fri, Oct 07, 2016 @ 05:03 PM

3269874340_cdd9244475_z.jpgPhoto appears courtesy of Wendy.  This week's blog was written by Karen Blood from Aurora EDI Alliance partner, GraceBlood LLC out of Baltimore, MD.  Amazon recently announced a new type of chargeback that will initially impact Hardlines’ Vendor Central suppliers. While this might not seem to apply to you or your other trading relationships today, Amazon more and more (like Walmart in the past) is a bellwether when it comes to making demands on suppliers. The never ceasing effort to bring customers robust selection at competitive prices in a hurry puts the responsibility squarely on distributors and manufacturers to fill orders and maintain proper levels of inventory to support demand.

Your purchase order confirmation rate is the rate at which you accept or backorder the units ordered. Amazon is looking for your PO Acknowledgement (POA or EDI 855) to accept or backorder at least 80% of the quantity for each item they order. Failure to do so will result in a chargeback of 3% of the cost of goods sold for each item you are not either accepting or backordering.

You can reject fulfilling any item but the type of POA rejection code you use will either result in a chargeback (“soft” rejects) or may adversely impact Amazon’s ability to order the item in the future (“hard” rejects.) 

Here’s the list:

EDI POA Codes

 

Vendor Central Acknowledgment Codes

Hard/Soft Reject

AC

 

Accepted: In Stock

N/A

IB

 

Backordered

N/A

BA

 

Backordered: Not yet available

N/A

BX

 

Backordered: Not yet published

N/A

BR

 

Backordered: To be printed

N/A

IR

 

Cancelled: Temporarily out of stock

Soft reject

CA

 

Cancelled: Not yet available

Soft reject

CQ

 

Cancelled: Does not meet minimum

Soft reject

OS

 

Cancelled: Out of stock

Soft reject

IR

 

Cancelled: Temporarily out of stock

Soft reject

CK

 

Cancelled: Permanently out of stock

Hard reject

CX

 

Cancelled: Never published

Hard reject

CG

 

Cancelled: No geographic rights

Hard reject

CB

 

Cancelled: Not our publication

Hard reject

OP

 

Cancelled: Out of print

Hard reject

CP

 

Discontinued: Obsolete

Hard reject

KC

 

Cancelled: Considering reprint

Hard reject

R2

 

Cancelled: Invalid product information

Soft reject (but no chargeback)

R3

 

Cancelled: Temporarily suspend orders

Hard reject

Remember, an Excessive Backorder chargeback occurs if you POA backorder more than 10% of the units on Amazon POs in any given week. They will also assess the volume of products placed on backorder if you regularly enter a backorder code instead of fulfilling a purchase order. Skipping or issuing late POAs is not an option either due to other chargebacks like Unconfirmed PO Units and Late PO Acknowledgements. Fortunately, while Amazon is not famous for suppliers being able to discuss matters with actual Amazon personnel, with Vendor Central they do now have a much stronger platform in place for testing and self-monitoring, as well as many experienced and capable implementation partners like us.

To learn more about this new Amazon chargeback, sign in to Vendor Central and click Help. Then navigate to Vendor Operational Performance (Chargebacks) > Chargeback - problem with PO > About Purchase Order Confirmation Rate. Non-compliance notifications start this week with the new chargebacks scheduled for January 30, 2017.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, for doing business with Amazon or any truly customer-centric trading partner, continue to prepare your business for real-time, lights out trading, specifically:

  • Integrate EDI or other B2B transactions directly with your systems for Order Entry / Inventory / Fulfillment
  • Adhere to DWIAD “A Day’s Work In A Day” for realizing all other aspects of transactional activity in your systems
  • Implement daily, accurate Inventory Advice Feeds like EDI 846s while incorporating reasonable calculations for safety stock
  • Involve operations and sales to relentlessly incorporate processes and policies that support eliminating Chargebacks
  • Leverage your hard-won learnings and hard-spent initial investments across the organization with as many partners as possible

Click below to read our eBook EDI 101.

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Tags: EDI ROI, chargebacks, EDI integration, amazon, electronic data interchange, EDI document, supply chain