- Which EDI transactions commonly have issues
- How to interpret an EDI error message from Kroger
- Avoiding common EDI errors
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.
The most common problems in electronic data interchange
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.
Interpreting an EDI error message
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.
Common Kroger EDI transaction codes
- Purchase Order (EDI 850): The EDI 850 is for a PO set used to order goods and services.
- Invoice (EDI 810): When one receives an EDI 850, then Kroger requires an EDI 810 invoice as a follow-up. Payments follow once the Kroger company receives the EDI 810.
- Credit/Debit Memo (EDI 812): The EDI 812 is a credit/debit memo used to adjust previously entered charges for products already delivered and invoiced. Kroger will use this transaction set to reset the price from a supplier if it finds a discrepancy or another situation comes up.
- Remittance Advice (EDI 820): Kroger typically uses the Remittance Advice for ETF (electronic transfer of funds) for payment of goods and any pending deals or adjustments. The EDI 820 contains details related to accounts, billed and paid amounts, and invoice numbers.
- Application Advice (EDI 824): The EDI 824 is an Application Advice, also known as an “Error Notification” set, since it involves communicating errors found in previous transactions. This transaction lets the supplier make corrections and retransmit the new data before risking a non-compliance fine.
Avoiding common EDI errors with Kroger
When a Kroger supplier receives an EDI 824, there will be two levels of errors:
- Minor Error: Kroger may handle these by defaulting to an alternate choice.
- Fatal Error: This error prevents the EDI from processing and is, somehow, in violation of Kroger’s compliance program.
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:
- Audit Errors
- Multiple Document Errors
- EDI 810 Invoice Errors
- Promotional Errors
- Price Change Errors
- Direct Store Delivery NEX Errors (Telephone Links)
- Problems were serial numbers or other IDs
- Missing Data
- Invalid Combinations
- And of course, everyone’s favorite, Undefined Errors or Unlisted Reasons
How do I avoid EDI mistakes and 824s?
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:
- Take note of all the required transactions to avoid missing data errors
- Always stay transparent and provide complete visibility of inventory
- Use all the suggested transaction sets to promote transparency
- When adding Kroger, value the company’s business and start on the right foot by creating a protocol to ensure accuracy
- Make sure to automate the protocol and customize it for the brand and Kroger, specifically
- If, and when, a chargeback happens, find the issue that caused it and fix it, instead of just providing the new information
- Know Kroger’s policies and rules
Avoiding common EDI errors for new Kroger suppliers
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.
Fighting EDI chargebacks
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For more information, check our SupplyPike and SPS Commerce partnership page!