EDI for pet product retailers and suppliers

by | Apr 10, 2018

EDI has helped a variety of businesses in retail and the retail supply chain. Its improved accuracy, communication and speed capabilities have played an important role in the growth and streamlining of grocery, cosmetics, sports, home improvement and other industries. EDI it can have a positive impact on the pet product retailers and suppliers vertical as well.

As more and more people treat their pets like family, there’s a growing demand for pet products and pet supplies. The pet store retail industry is booming – multiple sources project it to be a more than $70 billion a year enterprise, just for the United States. That’s a lot of opportunity to be had, and the market continues to grow

Whether you’re a pet supplier or are a pet product retailer, sell through an e-commerce website or simply have a pet department in your retail store, EDI can help with building efficiencies and reducing errors in your product supply chain, improving relationships with trading partners and growing profits as well as scalability.

EDI for pet product retailers and suppliers

EDI has already proven beneficial for other retail sectors, and the same qualities can be helpful when applied to the pet supplies and pet products market. It improves the accuracy, speed, collaboration and communication of your trading partner networks.

EDI is an acronym for electronic data interchange. With an EDI system, all paper documents, transactions and communications with trading partners can be standardized and transmitted instantly, digitally. Through EDI, documents including purchase orders, invoices, credit adjustments, advanced shipping notices (ASN) and more can be communicated between you and your trading partners using their precise, unique requirements. On the flip side of the coin, EDI can convert all documents you receive from trading partners into the correct format for your needs.

EDI automation can fix common issues associated with paper documentation and transactions. First, it decreases or eliminates manual data entry needs and the human errors that follow. EDI can avert stockouts, backorders, late shipments, payment delays, improper transactions and fraud. EDI can help dismantle data silos within your organization when EDI is integrated with your ERP, WMS, accounting software, carrier programs and other systems.

EDI improves internal processes within your organizations in a variety of ways. First, EDI aids in maintaining document accuracy, especially when it comes to order management processes and appraising invoices for payment. When all vital business documents and transactions are digitized and the information transmitted to the right destinations, even the most complicated order management and order fulfillment processes can be carried out correctly and efficiently. Similarly, when all transactions can be accessed, retrieved and and compared, it makes three-matching processes and other payment reconciliation routines a snap – never pay for an items you didn’t receive or accidentally bill a buyer for products they canceled.

EDI can improve your pet product supply chain. With the boost in speed and accuracy for exchanging information across channels and trading partners, you can keep closer track of your inventory needs. The data collected in the process could be used to make better forecasts for future inventory needs and sales, as well as discover where problems and opportunities may exist. EDI can help you run a tighter supply chain, and carry out more advanced tactics such as Just-In-Time Inventory. EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry/Advice in particular can be set to automatically trigger an inquiry and update on-hand and future inventory information from other trading partners. When its time to find new sellers or buyers to grow your trading partner network, EDI enables fast connections to new partners so you can begin trading with them faster than traditional sourcing and onboarding methods.

On that note, EDI improves the flexibility and scalability of your business. When you no longer need staff to carry out manual data entry tasks, you can redirect those employees to support other parts of the business. With EDI, it’s easier to introduce new fulfillment capabilities such as buy ship to store, online pick up in store, drop shipping through a distributors or third party logistics company and more. If a large retailer or a large brand demands EDI (as many large companies often do), you’ll be ready to meet their requirements.

Issues around pet products supply chain

The business of selling pet products and supplies has unique problems for its vertical and market. EDI can remedy some of those problems.

Of all the pet products and pet supplies that are sold, the most issues revolve around pet food and pet snacks. Consumers want to know about the ingredients and raw materials that go into the products that they buy for their pets. Grain-free, byproduct-free, all-natural, even organic and artesian products are more and more in demand. There have also been a number of pet food and pet snack recalls in recent years. An EDI system can enable supply chain traceability, as well as help you share these vital product details for product pages on e-commerce sites and other sales channels, so consumers can identify the products they truly want to buy.

The Advanced Shipping Notification (ASN) that EDI facilitates is also especially helpful when dealing with pet products and pet supplies. The ASN confirms that a shipment is enroute along with important information, whether it’s a delivery on its way to an end consumer or an entire truckload in transport to a distribution center. When the ASN is combined with a barcode scanner, receiving a shipment can be as fast as scanning off a barcode, with the products automatically reconciled against the ASN for accuracy and added to your inventory.

The purchase order acknowledgment (POA) is becoming more important. This is especially true when suppliers are shipping directly the consumer represent the retailer. In fact many retailers will use those as a trigger to the email alert to the customer on the status of the order. EDI supports timely POAs so if something isn’t working out, a solution can be determined sooner rather than later.

EDI and the ASN are also particularly useful for traceability of pet supplies, such as food and snacks. Just as with grocery traceability in the supply chain, it could be just as important for pet products. Much like food for humans, pet food and pet snacks are often revolved in recalls for a variety of reasons. The ASN can assist with traceability of products, including lot          numbers, expiration dates, manufacturing facilities, etc. In the even of a recall, EDI can support your reverse logistics plan to send the products back to where they need to go.

These are a few facts about how the pet products and pet supplies vertical can see a benefits from using an EDI system as part of supply chain operations. Visualize the possibilities of what could be accomplished when communication and transactions across your partner network are accurate and instant, with all sales channels linked, internal departments cooperating together and the inventory supply chain is visible.

If you would like to learn how to use SPS EDI for pet product retailers or pet product suppliers, please visit our website for more information. You can also speak with one of EDI experts who will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Streamline and improve workflows with EDI.

Streamline and improve workflows with EDI.

Enhance supply chain predictability and connect to the retail industry’s largest network with EDI.

Scott Bolduc

Scott Bolduc

Director of Supply Chain Strategy at SPS Commerce
Scott Bolduc is a multi-time winner of the Supply & Demand Chain Executive Pros to Know. He has worked with e-commerce retailers on their growth strategies and helped retailers transform their freight spending strategies to maximize efficiencies.
Scott Bolduc

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