Your EDI Resource

Aurora EDI Alliance's Greatest Hits Volume 3

Posted by Shandra Locken on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 @ 08:30 AM

tapes.jpgPicture appears courtesy of Asja Boros. Third in our greatest hits tradition comes an updated Greatest Hits list.  This list represents the 20 most viewed blogs from the beginning.  We found it fascinating to see how this list has evolved since we posted our first and second greatest hits lists back in 2014 and 2015.  We appreciate all of our readers and invite you to let us know if there is a topic you'd like to see a blog on.  We will do our best to accommodate.  Without further ado, we give you, Aurora EDI Alliance's Greatest Hits Volume 3.  


20. History of EDI Technology 

19. Macy's Begins Requiring RFID Tagging of Items Nationwide

18. Is EDI Dead?

17. Importance of EDI in the Supply Chain

16. EDI in Logistics: A Brief History

15. EDI Professionals Help Define Scope for EDI Projects

14. When EDI Outsourcing Makes Sense for Your Business

13. Five Ways to Calculate ROI for EDI

12. Five Common Mistakes When Setting Up an AS2 Connection

11. EDI and the Internet of Things (IoT)

10. What is an SDQ Purchase Order?

9. Why Replace EDI Software with Liaison's Delta/ECS?

8. EDI 856 Demystified

7. Is Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Replacing EDI Purchase Orders?

6. EDI in Healthcare: A Brief History

5. Walmart EDI: What Suppliers Need to Know

4. Part 1: The What, Why and How of JSON for EDI Integration Specialist

3. Doing EDI with

2. What is a UCC-128 Label?

1. The First Question is, "What is EDI Capable?" 

Click below to download our free eBook, EDI 101.

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Tags: EDI integration, EDI considerations, integration software, data integration, benefits of EDI, EDI basics, EDI compliant, EDI onboarding, hosted EDI, EDI history, vendor managed inventory

ComplyLink's Track & Trace: Granola Style

Posted by David McAlister on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 11:20 AM

ComplyLinkPhoto appears courtesy of JeffreyW.  Have you ever found illicit drugs in your granola bar? More on that later. This year marks my 20th year integrating EDI as a reseller. My audience many times has been both the small to mid-sized companies that did not have their pulse on those fancy tech tools and the big corporations that dictated their EDI compliancy. Our value brings these vendors into the fold with the best-of-the-breed EDI tools along with the fortitude to recommend and the experience to execute. The solutions can include hosting, an EDI translator, integration development tools, and shipping & barcoding packages.

As technology and automation continue to be the rule rather than the exception, organizations demand more and more upon their vendors - everything from vendor managed inventory (EDI 852) to electronic catalogs (EDI 832). Serialization (or Track & Trace) is just another vendor managed opportunity to add value throughout the pipeline, allowing product data to be collected, tracked and traced.  This track and trace activity has exceptional value to minimize loss due to recalls or inventory problems.  

Take the story of the Lady that finds Cocaine in her Granola bar. Really? YES! Last Thursday as a matter of fact...

ComplyLink by e-SupplyLink has been one of the value options we have sold and supported for many years. With serialization or Track & Trace, ComplyLink would be able to locate that granola bar in its database, provide the history associated with its processing, and provide the particulars of when and where. This information allows organizations to reduce costs in handling such situations to ensure quality of the product. In order for ComplyLink to stay in the game, they strive to keep up with the additional requirements customers impose on their vendors. The Track & Trace feature is just one more value to support the vendor arena.

ComplyLink supports many industries, including retail, automotive, pharmaceutical and consumer product suppliers who require EDI compliant transactions and labels via B2B Integration Platforms such as TrustedLink, Gentran, Trading Partner, Liaison's Delta/ECS or any other EDI translator. They support over 300 different trading partners including Cardinal Health, McKesson, Walmart, Kmart, Target, Sears, JC Penney, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, Meijer, Kohl's, Office Depot, Academy, Macy's, Loblaws Supermarkets, L.L. Bean and too many more to list.

Using their product brings time savings, increased accuracy, and reduced chargebacks. The package includes automated packing, labeling, and shipping software integrated with EDI platforms. Integrations can also include FedEx, UPS, shipping systems, financial, or ERP Order Management platforms. With a flat-file import/export functionality, integrations can be setup to suit an organization's needs based on their business practices.

ComplyLink’s interface significantly reduces data entry time by packing orders with simple look-up tables and click-through screens. ComplyLink prints GS1/UCC-128 bar code shipping labels real-time at the item, carton and pallet level, AND generates accurate EDI 856 Advance Ship Notices and EDI 810 invoices.  Reporting includes the bill of lading, manifest, packing list and carton contents.

If you are looking for well-priced quality products, consider our years of expertise to guide you through product selection and execution. Even if you are considering the hosting route, learn before you make the move and understand your options clearly.  You may find that making the leap into software may just be what your company needs to launch into that mid-sized category.  And be careful when you are tearing into that post-workout granola bar!

Read our latest case study and see how moved their business to the next level:

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Tags: EDI integration, EDI Technology, EDI considerations, integration software, EDI software, data integration, technology, EDI provider, EDI compliant, enterprise resource planning, ERP integration, vendor managed inventory, Liaison Delta/ECS

Aurora EDI Alliance's Greatest Hits Volume 2

Posted by Shandra Locken on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 11:54 AM

Aurora EDI Alliance's Greatest HitsPicture appears courtesy of Steve Snodgrass.  Back in November of 2013, we posted our Greatest Hits Volume 1 blog and we got a great response.  And having just recently hit the major milestone of having done 100 blog articles, we thought we would celebrate by posting another "greatest hits" blog.  Our Greatest Hits Volume 2 list represents the second 10 most viewed blogs on our site.  Again, we were surprised by this list and we love seeing what topics our readers are looking for.  Enjoy!


10. When EDI Outsourcing Makes Sense for Your Business

9.  Five Ways to Optimize Your EDI Operation

8.  EDI Professionals Help Define Scope for EDI Projects

7.  Have You Been a Victim of Supplier Enablement?

6.  Is Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Replacing EDI Purchase Orders?

5.  EDI in Logistics: A Brief History

4.  Importance of EDI in the Supply Chain

3.  EDI and the Internet of Things (IoT)

2.  EDI in Healthcare: A Brief History

1.  Part 1: The What, Why and How of JSON for EDI Integration Specialists

Click below to download our free eBook, EDI 101.

Download Free  eBook: EDI 101

Tags: EDI integration, EDI considerations, integration software, data integration, benefits of EDI, EDI basics, EDI compliant, EDI onboarding, hosted EDI, EDI history, vendor managed inventory

The Trials and Tribulations of the EDI 852

Posted by Shandra Locken on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 @ 01:25 PM

EDI 852Picture appears courtesy of D.C. Atty.  This week's blog was written Aurora team member Kim Zajehowski.  Many of our clients ask: How can I track our customers’ product sales and on hand inventory? The answer is the EDI 852, also known as the Product Activity Data transaction.  This document can be used to convey that very information to you directly from your customers. The 852 transaction is structured so the customers provide a report to you via EDI with inventory figures for week ending dates typically ending on Saturdays. The transmissions usually are generated by customers on Sunday-Tuesday for the previous week’s snapshot. Quantity Sold (QS), Quantity On Hand (QA), Quantity Returned (QU), Quantity on Order (QP), Quantity in Bonds (QF), and Quantity Inventory Adjustment per physical inventory (QT) are the standard quantities that you may see provided for by your customer. The two most used are the Quantity Sold and Quantity on Hand. The Quantity Returned or a negative Quantity Sold may have to be considered as reducing the overall Quantity Sold on a given product if provided.

Many clients use this data for sales forecasting as well as to post Month to Date figures, Year to Date figures, and related previous month figures as well. At month end, the figures are rolled into previous month’s buckets. The EDI 852 however, has its own share of “gotchas” unless you accommodate for a few scenarios.

First and foremost, you are only as good as the data that is being provided by your customer. Many times a customer may miss the fact that you do business with them under different vendor numbers, divisions, or even departments. When they transmit the 852 data, it is important that they are sending you all of your product data or your projections may not be as accurate as you think they are. Keep this in mind as you add new divisions, departments, and/or vendor numbers to existing customer relationships. You may have to revisit your 852 contact person to ensure that the new vendor numbers, divisions, or departments have been added to their process.

An important question to ask of your customer is: What are your EDI 852 processing rules? Some customers send a separate Quantity on Hand 852 transaction for each vendor/department for your company. Others only provide a Quantity On Hand for those items that they have sales for that week.  This can throw off your figures as they may still have On Hand quantities for items that have not sold and you may not see that if you don’t accommodate for it. Discontinued items may also be included in the 852 transmissions as the customer may have Quantity On Hand or even Quantity Sold on these items. You may or may not be interested in reporting those discontinued items.

The frequency of when a customer sends in Quantity On Hand figures is a factor in your processing as well. Some customers send you this information every week for all products that they have whether they are at zero inventory or not. Others will report only those items that have inventory so you must zero it out before you process their figures. Still others will only provide it on a monthly basis. There are few that will only send Quantity On Hand figures on demand or even yearly. It is up to you to determine when you need to reset your Quantity On Hand figures for that customer whether it be on a weekly, monthly, yearly, or based on when they provide Quantity On Hand data.  For those customers that provide the Quantity On Hand on a monthly or yearly basis, you may need to add to their Quantity On Hand figures with invoiced or shipped quantities for your products in order to have more accurate figures for forecasting for the month.  This will help you keep a running Quantity On Hand for that particular product. 

The format of the 852 data varies by customer. Inventory can be sent at high level, at a store level, or by different retail prices. Be careful with how the data is captured to be sure that you accommodate for those differences.

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) processing could be asked of you based on a customer’s 852 data. A customer expects their suppliers to use the 852 data to be able to determine whether or not a PO should be generated.  Oftentimes you have to create a PO Acknowledgement for them for each item that is at a certain level of On Hand inventory. This PO Acknowledgement (855) is sent to the customer. It is used to generate a PO to transmit for fulfillment. This process can get costly if your inventory figures are not accurate and they are cutting POs when they already have enough inventory or they run out when you think they have plenty on hand.  See this blog for more info on VMI.

So my recommendation is that while the 852 data can be a great tool for forecasting future sales numbers, it is also important to recognize that not all customers handle the transaction the same way and not all customers can provide this information to you. The numbers that are derived are based on your customers’ figures.  Again, you are only good as the data being provided. You have to accept the number as a ballpark estimate. You may find that you have to supplement the 852 process by using your system to keep a running On Hand figure by product for a customer based on your invoicing process or shipping process. I hope you find this informative as these are just the trials and tribulations of working with the EDI 852 transaction and my experience.

Click below to view our video, Thinking About EDI "Outside the Box" and become a rock star within your organization. 

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Tags: data transformation, EDI Technology, EDI considerations, supply chain, benefits of EDI, EDI ROI, EDI document, vendor managed inventory, benf

Is Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Replacing EDI Purchase Orders?

Posted by Shandra Locken on Sun, Oct 16, 2011 @ 12:37 AM

An emerging trend in the world of EDI is the disappearance of traditional EDI purchase orders.  This is due to a new way of doing business called Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI).  What does this mean for the supplier?  Before I address that, let’s look at what Vendor Managed Inventory is.  The website defines it as, “A means of optimizing Supply Chain performance in which the manufacturer is responsible for maintaining the distributor’s inventory levels.”  So what this means for the supplier or manufacturer is that rather than receiving the 850, which is the traditional EDI purchase order, they will instead receive the EDI 852 point of sale report.  Based on the sales information the 852 point of sale provides, they will send the appropriate product to replenish the shelves.  The retailer then receives an EDI 855 purchase order acknowledgement from the supplier, notifying them of the order.  Occasionally, the 856 advanced ship notice serves this purpose.

vendor managed inventoryOne of the implications for the supplier is that many EDI packages have turn-around documents that can easily be sent back in response to an EDI 850 PO.  In a VMI system, there is no EDI 850 which means transaction sets such as the EDI 810 Invoice and EDI 856 ASN must be from scratch documents (keyed in).  In a less automated system this means more data entry for the supplier.  Also, the data contained in the EDI 852 Point of Sale document MUST be accurate or the system will not work.  All this being said, Vendor Managed Inventory systems offer many benefits too.  A well managed VMI relationship results in better forecasting, therefore a more accurate inventory that matches the demand for the product.  This increases sales for both the retailer and the supplier, a win-win situation.  Also, because of the improved communication Vendor Managed Inventory offers, both parties benefit from stronger trading relationships.  The end customer benefits from always having product when they want it and the end customer is who everyone wants to please. 

Tags: EDI considerations, EDI document, vendor managed inventory