In the fulfillment process, sales are often forecasted using the historical sales data. The retailer then tracks the sales, and inventory information (For example on-hand and available quantities), as well as any promotions, and forecasts the orders. The buyers keep watch on the data and push orders for their items. Many retailers also issue a primary, and ‘make-up’ orders monthly if it looks like more stock is being purchased than initially forecasted. The created purchase orders will be communicated to the vendor using the EDI 850 document over VAN networks (There are other methods that can be used).
A vendor looks at available inventory to determine whether or not the order(s) can be fulfilled. If the inventory is available, the product will be shipped to the retailer’s DC/warehouse, or store, and an “ASN” or “Advance Shipment Notification” (EDI 856) will be sent to the retailer. That’s not all that is sent though is it? There are Bill of Lading documents, as well as labels on boxes referred to as GS1-128 (UCC-128) shipping labels (SSCC-18 barcodes).
There should be one of these labels on each box shipped with the order – and equally important is the information on the label needs to correlate with the information on the ASN (Or EDI 856). An ASN blog post, here
Once the shipment and ASN are on their way, the vendor sends the invoice to the retailer using the EDI 810 document. These are consolidated or not, depending. Upon receiving the product, the retailer does the invoice matching, handles payment through their account payable systems and a remittance advice is sent back to the vendor showing which orders were paid with which check.
Check with each of your retail trading partners to ensure sure your team is using latest procedures across the process including; which docs to use, SCACs, shipping/routing, requirements, etc. This page only describes high level EDI touchpoints and does not touch on freight bills, Bill of Lading (BOL), packaging, or packing lists – each of which is a critical component to fulfilling a retail or wholesale order.