Data Synch and EDI for VMI

EDI + Data Synchronization in VMI


Product data like GTINs, UPCs and other catalog information should match between retailers and vendors. Before beginning, product data should be reviewed and differences in product data should be resolved. A process for communicating the product data changes should be established.  The EDI 832 is often used for this purpose.

Make sure vendors are set up in the EDI system. Cycle through inbound and outbound use cases. EDI testing is an iterative process and should be done covering all possible documents exchanged and for all types of products.

Data Exchange

There are normally two types of data exchanged between retailers, and suppliers when setting up VMI. The first is a one-time exchange of a retailer’s sales history to a point enabling the supplier a baseline for the inventory. The second data exchange is ongoing product activity data exchange via EDI 852 traffic. Product activity data exchange primarily contains quantity on-hand, sales volumes, back orders, transfers, and returns. Product activity data exchange can be daily/weekly depending on the need.  ANSI ASC 852 (various versions), is the EDI document that is most used for product activity exchanges.  Most VMI data is carried by VANs (Value Added Networks).  

EDI Documents used in VMI

EDI is a mission-critical piece of the VMI process. Here are some of the common EDI transactions used in VMI below:

  • 852 Product Activity
  • 850     Purchase Orders
  • 855     Purchase Order Acknowledgement
  • 856     Advance Ship Notice
  • 810  Invoice


Ordering & Invoice Matching

Upon receiving the EDI 852 data, suppliers compare store activity against the reorder point (ROP) for each item based on the movement of data, and any overriding requirements. The difference, with modification based on planning across all items and locations is converted into orders. The created orders will be communicated to the retailer using the EDI 850 document. Some partners use the EDI 855 (PO acknowledgement) in addition to the EDI 856. Once the shipment is off, the invoice is sent based on the retailers requirements. 

Once the retailer receives the product, invoices are matched, and payments will be made accordingly. The important point in VMI is the ownership of the inventory does not change during the entire process.

Let’s talk about how we can help increase efficiencies for your organization.
  • Use the Retail EDI Value Added Network as your supply chain partner to manage the actual EDI e.g. Orders and ASNs etc. across retail and other EDI-based channels.
  • Use our advisory and integration services to deliver automation and insight to the rest of your supply chain.