EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) errors result when there is a problem with communication and data transfer between two computer systems. In modern business, when there’s a transaction from one company to another (companies are usually called a trading partner), then information is transferred via electronic communication.
Most of these transactions are invoices and purchase orders. Historically, these documents were all on paper, but reducing paperwork helped accelerate data flow and ensure accuracy.
For EDI systems to operate effectively, the information must be standardized. Standardization alone prevents most errors and eliminates some manual steps involved in business transactions, like keying in data. Overall, standardizing communication technology cuts processing costs and improves efficiency and schedule time.
However, there are still several common EDI errors that occur. This article will review some tips on avoiding the most common EDI errors with the Kroger store chain.
Most commonly, EDI errors occur in purchase orders, such as a store communicating with a supplier or in a discrepancy with the invoice. There can also be problems with inventory shipments arriving at the warehouse and disparities in how many items shipped.
There are also growing problems with business-to-business (B2B) networks, and the volume received daily, given how many different companies are connected and what challenges standardization presents.
Greater volumes mean a greater risk of missing fields or using older EDI formats, and these can cause errors. For example, some companies might use CSV, HIPAA, ANSI, XML, and many other formats – and if one system can’t understand the other, it becomes a problem,
As opposed to manually catching the errors, automatic error detection has been the focus recently to help improve productivity.
Fortunately, when errors occur, trading partners or EDI providers will send messages that may contain helpful feedback for resolving the problem. Remember that the term EDI codes refers to individual elements in said electronic documents. EDI codes are EDI transactions, and so that’s where the confusion starts because EDI documents are not codes.
Kroger has been maximizing EDI technology for some time to help a new vendor and reduce time spent and operating expenses on both sides. They have a Compliance Program to ensure standardization and accurate transmission of EDI codes.
When a Kroger supplier receives an EDI 824, there will be two levels of errors:
The TED02 is a message describing the error in detail, with similar TED00 numbers providing other elements of interest. While the Kroger website devoted a whole page to error codes, common issues include:
Another standard message suppliers receive is an EDI 824 Application Advice, which is for direct B2B communication, with explanations, contracts, and notices not intended for automation. To avoid receiving error EDI transactions, try to remember the following avoidance procedures:
In short, incomplete notices and transactions will often lead to chargebacks – and Kroger won’t put up with it! Suppliers can face a chargeback dispute if they’re missing a receipt or if they missed the window to send an EDI transaction. If suppliers don’t follow the instructions exactly, they risk chargebacks and losing the Kroger business relationship.
While many trading partners have multiple supply chain contacts and do treat every company the same, it’s just going to backfire at some point. Kroger’s rules are specific, and the grocery giant can certainly afford to shop elsewhere for inventory. Kroger doesn’t even offer much in the way of testing the system before vendors begin.
It is no wonder then that many brands that depend on a working relationship with Kroger will hire a third-party EDI provider to handle the intensive process.
While it’s wise for suppliers to read the Kroger manual and do research anyway, hiring a reputable EDI provider will prevent mistakes – and is guaranteed to safeguard a relationship with a top brand name.
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