“This has been a great year for us,” says LeAnne Williams, director of Dry Inc.’s marketing.
If you’re a supplier and you haven’t heard about the 753/754 forms, just wait. They’re coming.
The 753 (also known as a "request for routing") is required to be sent by a vendor to provide the hub with information such as weight, volume and carton count of each PO that its plans to ship.
The hub analyzes the received 753 and sends the supplier a 754 (also known as a “routing instructions”) which informs the supplier when to ship, which carrier to use, how the items should be loaded, and new shipping destination, if any.
This “just in time” scenario leaves the supplier scrambling. With 754 in hand, the supplier must make sense of the new shipping directions, reorganizing data, printing labels, and getting product out the door to new destinations – all within 48 hours.
For suppliers who aren’t up to the challenge, hefty chargebacks wait in
DIcentral has developed a solution that would enable a vendor to easily send the required 753 form for a number of POs.
And you won’t have to pay for new software or platoons of consultants to
be 753/754 compliant, either.
All you have to do with your readymade 753 online form is select your purchase orders (carton counts and other shipping detail is automatically updated) and transmit the form to your hub.
When the vendor gets the 754 back with routing directions, its ASNs can be automatically updated for transmission
We take “complaint” and turn it into
One of the ways vendors can minimize chargebacks is by mastering the technical side of EDI, says DIcentral business director Carl Padavano.
“Of course, the easiest way to do that is outsource that expertise to a company like DIcentral,” says Padavano. “We understand the technical challenges of the EDI documents.”
Using the example of the EDI challenges posed by JCPenney’s transportation management systems (TMS), Padavano presented in Newark, N.J., and Annaheim, CA, at seminars sponsored by the Vendor Compliance Federation, a group that facilitates compliance communication between the retailers and vendors.
This year, Dry Inc. began selling its popular Dry Cleaner’s Secret home dry cleaning kits to WalMart, Target, JCPenney, Bed Bath and Beyond, and a host of other distribution channels.
“Those kinds of customers all require shipping notices which are additional documents in EDI,” says Williams.
Luckily, two years ago because her EDI translator was not tied into her accounting system (which meant data had to be re-keyed to create advanced shipping notices), Williams started using DIcentral.
“As our company grew, we knew if we stayed with our original EDI provider, we would have had to hire a dedicated EDI expert,” says Williams. “But that idea ran counter to our policy of hiring people who have a broad range of skills. So we decided to use a Web-based system that was relatively easy to use.”
Because receiving and fulfilling orders is the lifeblood of companies like Dry. Inc., Williams’ company put DIcentral through rigorous due diligence tests.
“It’s important that each order get posted everyday on the bulletin board and that everybody knows where our sales are at any time,” says Williams.
Having an EDI tool for receiving orders and invoicing them has empowered Dry Inc. to take control of its business, says Williams.
Currently, Dry. Inc. has 30-plus trading partners, many of whom require advanced shipping notices.
At some point, says Williams, Dry Inc. plans to integrate its accounting system with EDI.
“Everyone knows, that’s the ultimate goal,” she says.
“DIcentral has been very responsive to me,” says Williams. “We used to create our own UCC 128 shipping labels. We had to print them here and overnight them to our manufacturing facility in Ontario, California. But we didn’t want our manufacturer to see our purchase orders. So DIcentral created a special “read-only” account for our manufacturing facility which sees only the information they need to see, and now they can print the labels there, which saves us a lot of time and money. So if I ask questions, I’m usually provided something by DIcentral to make my life easier.”
Dicentral customers now have the ability to combine mutiple label files in their outbox into one file and print them all with a click of a button.
“Batch printing is helpful and saves me time,” says West Coast Hosiery Group’s EDI coordinator Dora Rodriguez. “In the past, I had to print each label separately. Now I can print 50 labels at a time. This makes a big difference.”
Dora says West Coast Hosiery’s switch to DIcentral from another EDI provider represents cost savings.
“What used to take three days now takes five minutes,” says Dora. “I’m very satisfied with the service.”
Features like batch printing are a direct result of customer feedback, says Dora.
“DIcentral listens,” she says.
West Coast Hosiery distributes men’s dress socks to depart- ment stores like Nordstrom’s.
You can manipulate the data to your liking.
The data can be automatically loaded into Excel where the data can be further manipulated in pivot tables.
“It’s a great tool,” says Federico Restrepo, who heads logistics for Sequin, a New York based jewelry wholesaler. “I generate a report, export it into Excel, then sort so I can pick-and-pack by stores.”
For example, a supplier who gets orders for the same item from 100 stores can now produce a report that gives the supplier a bird's eye view of the PO number, DC, store, UPC, quantity ordered for that UPC for that store, a range of stores etc.
Small suppliers are working with DIcentral and DMS International for a complete solution to their order fulfillment needs.
DIcentral handles the EDI business and shipping documents. DMS can either provide integrated software for a supplier’s own distribution channel or handle the actual picking, packing, and shipping of open stock and prepack orders in DMS’ distribution center.
“Together, we’re the perfect solution for small businesses that wants two things: integrated, automated EDI and outsourced warehousing,” says DIcentral Sales Director Mike Neadeau.
“DIcentral is the portal through which an order is made,” says LaPointe, who designed DMS’ low cost, high tech warehouse management system. “I recommend DIcentral to all of my clients with EDI needs.
The best bang for your buck is DIcentral.”
Small companies don’t have EDI experts, says LaPointe, who has 17 years of logistics and distri- bution experience. DIcentral allows small businesses to be players in an EDI world. DIcentral dissects order data and displays it in a useable and readable format.
“The best thing about DIcentral is making EDI useable to the little guy,” says LaPointe.
DMS and DIcentral have been working together since February, 2003, when DMS developed an interface with DIcentral.
Whenever there’s a new initiative in EDI, the federation sponsors seminars to help educate the supplier community.
Padovano, a frequently requested speaker at industry trade shows and seminars, has been in retail EDI since 1986, developing and bringing to the market turn-key solutions for the global retail supplier community. His EDI and work flow process solutions are considered the developmental predecessors of today's most advanced EDI and ASN solutions.
Padavano lives in Mahwah, N.J., with his wife Linda and three teenage children.
Beginning this month, DIcentral customers can create customized reports of their purchase order data.
“This is a tool that enables you to receive a preconfigured format that you can populate with unlimited numbers of POs,” says DIcentral sales director Adi Zarhy.