How EDI can help your grocery business.

Unlock operational efficiency with a standard electronic data format.

Grocery’s secret weapon? Automation.

Low margins, stiff competition and digital integration are making it harder than ever to survive in the grocery and food service industries. If that wasn’t challenging enough, Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is really disrupting the industry.

There is good news: Short and long-term success is within your reach with EDI. The key to maximizing profit margins, competing with these online grocery giants and embracing digital disruption can all be solved with smart technology.

“Grocery is ripe for disruption. It’s also the largest consumer sector, weighing in at $712 billion.”
– Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business

EDI ensures that all of your business systems (and those of your vendors and logistics partners) are speaking the same language. Through a standard data format, EDI provides a technical basis for automated order processing and inventory management.

EDI truly has the power to transform an industry that has remained the same for decades.

Here’s how we can help your grocery business:

1. Achieve the enlightened state of complete order visibility.

With the short shelf life of fresh produce, it’s imperative to know when your products arrive and how soon they can be restocked. Yet many grocers and food distributer businesses can’t tell where their shipments are because there is no standardized method around this information. SPS automates and standardizes all of the supply chain documents (EDI, ASN, etc.) between grocers and their vendor community, giving them the power to know exactly where their products are at all times.

2. Eliminate the chance of out-of-stocks or overstocks.

SPS can help process purchase orders in days rather than weeks, creating an “endless aisle effect,” meaning items get to the shelf faster, reducing the fear of running out of stock. Imagine the disappointment of a consumer who visits your store to purchase a specific item only to find it’s out-of-stock. This negative experience is often enough to drive consumers to a competitor, sometimes permanently. Lets change that!

3. Advance Ship Notice (ASN).

The ASN is an electronic document that provides visibility to when an order has been shipped and what products are contained in the shipment. Supermarkets can use this information to better manage inventory, margins and supplier scorecarding. For these reasons, successful grocers are embracing the ASN. Walmart and Target are both long time benefactors of the ASN, which has enabled them to expand grocery operations.

4. Better visibility and traceability.

Restaurant chains such as Chipotle have made headlines due to recent E. Coli outbreaks. The situation was made worse because Chipotle couldn’t trace the origins or destinations of the contaminated food products and ingredients. The ASN makes it easy to track everything back to the original source, which allows food vendors better options in isolating and managing outbreaks or product recalls such as these.

By utilizing the ASN, grocers are equipped to meet the FDA regulatory data requirement for product traceability Food Safety Modernizations Act (FSMA) and Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

How do I know my investment at will pay off?

We know how important it is to ensure that technology investments will help your bottom line. With our industry-leading solutions and network of more than 105,000 trading partners that already have EDI connections, we’re confident we can help you grow, become more digital and optimize your inventory.

Here is just a small handful of grocery companies who’ve had incredible success stories after partnering with SPS:


We’ve found all of SPS’ services to be easy to use. Furthermore, many of our retail customers know SPS Commerce and suggested their services to us. Over the years, SPS has gained our trust and is one of our most trusted IT partners.”

SPS helped NEXT Proteins, Inc. exchange approximately 75 percent of orders received and fulfilled automatically using EDI. They can now exchange sales orders, advance ship notices, invoices, warehouse shipments and other required documents with trading partners around the globe.

Not sure? Trust the experts.

Our dedicated grocery team understands your unique challenges. We'll help you make smart technology decisions, so you can cut costs and improve operations.