Target's Synergy 101

Target's Dispute Portal, Synergy, is the app for submitting and monitoring your Target deductions. Join the SupplyPike team to learn how to navigate Synergy like a pro.

Transcript

Target's Synergy 101 

Jessica Varon: again, welcome. As I mentioned before, I am the retail Insights manager here at SupplyPike. Fun fact, I was actually a former client of the companies. I actually manage, used to manage a revenue recovery team at the CPG company, Harry's. So I have a unique perspective as I used to be on your side of the table or on the supplier side of the table, managing deductions and compliance as well. 

Today we are gonna dive into the topic of Target Synergy 101 and we are joined by Clint Rhodes, our resident Target expert here as a pro product manager for Target here at SupplyPike, who will take us through today's content. Today we're gonna talk really, high level, a little bit about what are Target deductions going through. 

Our agenda here. Also identifying specifically what are those AP deductions for Target and what kind of documentation you'll need specifically for disputing diving into actually disputing those AP deductions. And then of course, how do we track those disputes once they've been filed and understanding where they sit on the Target end. 

And then after that questions and open discussion. A couple of just quick some housekeeping things before we get into content. Feel free to take notes but we will be sending this deck out to all of you within the next three or four days, so don't worry if you miss something. You'll receive the content via email. 

And of course at the end you'll receive some of our email information as well if you need to reach out for any questions. And then if there's questions during the webinar, please feel free to enter those questions into the q and a tab on Zoom. This would be the easiest way for us to see your questions coming in, and then the chat area is really just used for any feedback or insights or comments you'd like to make into the whole group. 

We will have an hour of content here today that Clint will be walking us through, and then a Bo bonus demo here at the end of our SupplyPike software. And then just jumping into who we are, if you don't know who we are today. Just wanted to introduce you briefly to our company as we are a software company, but we're also, create cloud-based tools to help consumer product good companies CPGs reduce revenue loss by automatically detecting, resolving retailer compliance issues. 

We work with over 400 plus CPG companies representing 25 plus billion dollars plus in retail impact across 50 different product categories. Any questions about this? Of course, as well. Please feel free to reach out and ask questions. And we're happy to really answer anything here today as we will be focused on Target synergy information here today. 

So today jumping into the content here, Target Synergy App is within the PO Partners online portal for Target. So feel free, again, any questions you have, please feel free to put them in the q and a and we will go ahead and have Clint jump into the content. Thanks Clay very much. Yeah.  

Clinton Rhodes: Yeah, deductions at Target, there's often kind of two types of deductions out in the wild. 

Depending on how you wanna label them the word deductions or chargeback or disputes, a lot of these things get mixed up here and there. So for Target, we like to lay it out like this accounts payable deduction, that's where Target's accounts payable department, they send you a check. 

And on that check there are check lines. I. Hopefully it's only them giving you money, but sometimes there'll be a check line that has a negative amount, and that's when they're withholding money, so they're taking a deduction out of paying you back. There are other types of chargebacks out there. 

So if you work with Walmart, they will sometimes send you an invoice to pay them for a fine or something based on a compliance issue. Target doesn't really do that, so usually when we say deductions at Target, we mean like they've actually withheld money from a check. And speaking of compliance Target does do deductions for compliance fines and lately the past year or two, and we expect to see this continuing in the future. 

Retailers and supply chains, they're only getting more complicated. I feel like a lot of the world got very educated on supply chain and some of the challenges during the pandemic toilet paper and the Was it the ever given or the Evergreen, the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal or somewhere? 

That and the downstream effects from all that. So as retailers are trying to figure out how do we make sure that you know what's on the shelf is at the right place, at the right time, at the right cost, so that people like us when we're shopping, just, you have what you need. So that's part of what retailers are trying to do with these compliance programs is ideally is, it's helping incentivize efficient supply chains doesn't always work out that way. 

Sometimes you get bog compliance fines and so they do offer you a way to dispute those in the event they've made a mistake, thankfully. So for Target especially they've got this compliance policy Word document. You can go search for that in Partners online. It's pretty helpful. They give you scenarios for valid reversible. 

Oh yeah, it looks like Jessica's just dropped a link in the chat there so you can check out some of that related content there. But yeah, compliance policy, check out that document in Partners Online, use those search icon in the top right corner of Partners online and it'll be the first kind of result that comes up there. 

But yeah, if you're curious about compliance deductions we're talking just about how to dispute them today and it's a very similar process depending on various types of deductions at Target, anything that goes through Synergy, pretty much it'll be a kind of a similar process. We're mainly focused on AP deductions around like shortages or cost difference type things here today. 

But just know this is relevant for compliance as well. And we've said partners online a few times, so if you're a new supplier to Target hopefully you've got your own p o l account or partners online account, and that's Target's ecosystem. That has all of their apps and reports for vendors selling. 

Sorry again. So if you need to set up your shipments you'd go through an app within Partners online if you need to track your shipments or track your sales or your inventory, your on shelf if you want to track yeah, your compliance fines or if you wanna track your contracts with Target. All that stuff lives there. 

If you need to set up your item information, all that's in there. So it's a really great portal as far as managing your business for Target. So highly encourage everyone to make sure you've got your own account you've got access to all the apps you need. And yeah, dig in and if you've got questions feel free to, drop 'em in the chat or email 'em us after the webinar and I'm happy to meet with anyone and kinda dig in and figure out problem solve any p o l issues you guys are having. 

And yeah, so what's it use for all those apps? It's your home base. Definitely make sure you're checking there at least once a week. Target does post helpful updates on the news and updates section. It's the landing page for partners online. So hop in there at least once a week. Sometimes they have blocks on compliance fines. 

So let's say a DC there is a weather event or it's too full, which happens and, they can't, they physically cannot accept more TRX and more product outta dc. So they'll tell you that and usually, and they'll say, Hey, we're not gonna issue any on time fines for this DC during this period because you know of issue X, Y, and Z. 

So just make sure you're checking in there at least once a week. Check all those news and updates. Oh, and one more. Relevance update around compliance for Target. They are moving to a new set of dashboards. They say starting next week. So starting June 5th, if you've ever accessed the V R C or the vendor report card or the s p m, the supplier performance management apps within p o l, they're getting rid of both of those at the end of June, and they're replacing those with a single app starting in beginning of next week. 

That's the plan on paper. So hopefully that goes through. But if you start seeing warnings that, hey, this is going away, just know they're replacing that with something called the supplier performance management dashboard or the SP m d in their documentation. So that's something to look forward to and to start getting into next week. 

Cool. But we're here to talk all about Synergy today. So Synergy is the app within p o l that lets you dispute deductions and check in on the status of those. It used to be called V D T or vendor dispute tracking. They rebranded it, relaunched it the beginning of 2021, I think. So hopefully everyone's caught up with V D T and Synergy. 

Those are the same thing these days. And yeah, that's where you dispute just about all of your AP deductions. But like it says here, to get your proof documents and other things to support those disputes, you've gotta dig it to other places. Some of those other places. Accounts payable, domestic. 

So this is where you can see your checks. So like we said, they'll issue you payments on checks and those checks have check lines and that's where you can see, oh, this check paid these 10 invoices and took these two deductions. That's where you can see that information. They also tell you about upcoming payments or if you've disputed something and they've approved it to pay you back they'll sometimes tell you about those approvals there and then you can wait to see those hit a check line. 

They'll also give you a heads up on certain deductions in the open credit memo section so you can see a heads up on what has not yet been deducted, but what will likely be deducted in the future. And when you're trying to check in on the specific details for a deduction, they've got a credit debit memo report. 

And that's where you can paste in like your chargeback number and see the proof documents for those other apps. So like we mentioned, the vendor report card, so used to track compliance and shipping performance. So yeah, definitely recommend getting there if you have any alignment with your company's logistics or compliance disputing or if you're just trying to check the health of the business. 

It's a great app to get into. It's also where you can get proof data to dispute the compliance deductions and if you are looking for data to request an exemption. So that's to prevent a compliance fine. That's where you can get it. Got a question, Jessica?  

Jessica Varon: I was just gonna jump in. From my experience as well vendor report card's a really great tool to make sure you're pulling some of those reports out weekly to as Clint was mentioning, check in with your supply chain, let them know what you're seeing is actually coming through from Target. 

'cause it might be different than what they're expecting is going on based on what they're shipping. And then you can sync on maybe what happened and how can we fix what's going on from a root cause perspective. So a great place and tool to make sure that you're fixing any potential disruption that's happening within the supply chain. 

Yep.  

Clinton Rhodes: And same thing here with the supplier performance management management, the S P M it's just like V R C, but the. Purchase order format, these two apps service is different. So S p M handled the modern one, as you can see down there at the top of those two bullets. V R C uses the legacy. So the 4 7 4 format. 

And like we mentioned a few minutes ago, both of these S P M and V R C are being replaced starting next week per Target with the S P M D or the supplier performance management dashboard. And that's gonna combine both of those purchase order formats into one spot. So that's nice. Now you don't have nine reports over here, nine reports over here. 

You just have one place for all nine, not 18. So something to be aware of. That's why that change is being made. It was quite inefficient to have to figure out what was the PL format. Okay, what's the app? That's a good change that they're making here. And yes, same thing, just V R C. 

This would be the place to check your compliance, share that logistical data with your team's data on those root causes. Jessica said, other apps where you can track things that might have data related to deductions. Inspectio. So this is a third party use by Target to track owned brand sourcing development responsible sourcing. 

So if you're getting deductions or audit related deductions for that kind of stuff, like if you're doing private label for Target this could be a place that you'd wanna check in to make sure that you're not having deductions go under the radar just because they have a strange format or you're not sure where to go get the data. 

Target vendor income. So this is where Target you manage your contracts with Target. So it could be like a sales based contract or something related to promotions. Yeah, helpful link there in the chat from Jessica. So definitely check that out. If usually these are managed by the sales team at a vendor. 

Not always, but typically. So they'll normally be setting up the contracts, Target approves the contracts, and then those get executed somehow and they can have different calculations and different sales Targets or inventory based Targets. So it's a little complicated, but a good thing to be aware of. 

And deductions that say V C N A or V C P N or V O N L things like that. Those are Target vendor income deductions. They should be expected deductions, but if they do sneak up on you or you wanna question the validity of the deductions Target vendor income, that app within p o l, that's where you're gonna want to go to start digging into those. 

Cool. So let's talk about identifying them and identifying AP deductions and getting your documentation. So it depends on the type of deduction, but like we've mentioned, AP domestic Vendor report card or the SS p m and starting next week, S P M D and T V I Target vendor income, those are gonna be the main sources for most deductions for most suppliers. 

And I see we've got a question over here from Anna real quick, so I'll go ahead and answer that. If we currently use the Legacy PO format, will our POS be updating to the new format and when would that happen? They're not they're not changing the PO formats, like if you're already, if you're on Legacy, it's gonna stay legacy. 

They're just rolling in legacy and modern into one dashboard. You'll be able to track 'em in a single place. So if you've only been using V R C and you never used S P M you'll just use S P M D now instead. And if you've been using both, you'll just have one spot. Or if you've just been using S P N, you'll just go to S P M D now. 

So you'd still get the Legacy PO format. It's just gonna be showing up in a new app called S P M D. Lemme know if that doesn't take care of it. And and, but hopefully that answers your question. 

Cool. So common deduction codes. Setting aside compliance or vendor income type deductions, there's two big buckets to kinda be aware of. The invoice match type and the return damage defective type. And that's Target's terminology. Invoice match I think makes a little sense. Makes sense because they're checking the details of your invoice and they're comparing that to the details of what they received at the dc And if those match, great if they don't match, that's when deductions typically start to get issued. 

And the most common one is definitely a zero thirties. 36, 38. 1 7 6. So we'll be digging into those in a little more detail here for your return Damaged effective ones, those are generally store level returns. Not always. You may get like an A 0 35 or an A 0 37 back from a dc. But mostly return damage effective or r d for short. 

Those are gonna be store level ones and I assume that's Jean. So can we dispute compliance claims through Synergy, or do you still have to use the support ticket? If you're disputing a compliance deduction, like it's already been deducted, then you would go through synergy. If you're in that two week preview window where they haven't yet deducted it, but they're telling you they're gonna deduct it, you want to request an exemption that goes through the supports ticket so that doesn't change, that process doesn't change. 

Exemption requests still go through the support ticket once a compliance deduction has been made. So it's like one of those, it starts with VC and then a bunch of numbers. Those compliance deductions you still dispute through Synergy once they've been deducted. So hope that answers that question and let me know if not yeah. 

So like I was saying, return damage perspective, RD ds store level returns. There's not gonna be like a purchase order or an invoice related to those because it's coming from a store. So definitely know your return policies. Return policies live in a few places in Partners online. They can live in vendor management and maintenance. 

That's where you can see the department level. Launchpad and item maintenance, those two apps, that's where you can see the item level policies and so definitely check those out. Anytime you get a zero, zero fours, see what's the item, check that item level return policy, and then you can establish validity and at least a few things like, Hey, was this the correct policy? 

Should the vendor pay for it or should Target pay for it? Was it actually our item? Sometimes it's not your item and was it de deducted at the correct cost? Maybe the cost of the item was $3, but Target issued the deduction at $3 and 10 cents or something. So if you've got hundreds of items rolling up in those a 0 0 4 aggregated store return deductions, that 10 cents can make a difference. 

Definitely check those and make sure it's your item, it's the right policy and it's the right cost. But we're gonna dig into more of the invoice match side. These bolded ones here. So a zero 30, like I said, most common one. And it's also the most common one that gets disputed and paid back. So that's a good thing. 

And these are deductions that get issued when, like I said, the details of your invoice and the receipt don't quite match. And sometimes there can be more than one issue, but Target will assign at a zero 30 when the majority of the difference is due to a carton shortage. So you could also have some cost difference issues on a chargeback document, but if the majority of things are related to Target saying, Hey, I ordered a hundred, you sent me 90, I'm short 10. 

Then if that majority is the 10, then that's what's gonna determine that code there. To dispute these you wanna get the credit debit memo detail report. It's a mouthful, but that's your copy of Targets chargeback document, and you get that out of accounts payable domestic. It's really helpful to have a copy of your invoice if you've got a packing slip or a pick list. 

Those are super useful as well. And if you've got your assigned proof of shipments, like your b o l or if you've got a proof of delivery or even Targets delivery receipt, those are also really useful. We'll get into a little later here. Target's process for reviewing documents, but for now just know that these are the best practices for what you wanna have. 

When you're disputing these. If you can get all this stuff on hand it should help your case cost difference. So we mentioned this a moment ago, but that's when, like I said you get a deduction because. Target on their receipt. Maybe they were expecting a cost of a certain amount, like $2 and 50 cents. 

They thought they received product at something like, $3 or $2. Some other amount than what they expected. And so they'll issue a deduction to, to care of that difference to dispute these chargeback copy, right? So you get that from accounts payable. If you've got a copy of your invoice, very helpful. 

If you also have a copy of the purchase order, that can be helpful, not required. And if you can get it, so oftentimes there is maybe some miscommunication around timing of cost changes. So we sometimes that happens. Or if there are like off invoice Credits issued to Target any of that communication that isn't going through any of their apps attaching that or especially if you've got some sort of cost change approval from your merchant, definitely get those communications. 

Those can be really useful for overturning the cost differences. You don't have to have them in every instance, but if you've got it, definitely the best practice there. And I will say there's no penalty for disputing things. So if you're lacking certain documents, go ahead and try it. You might get approved anyway. 

Substitution. So it is what it sounds like, right? So they ordered U P C 1, 2, 3. It's the, cup that's in the color. It's the large size cup that's red. But instead they received the large size cup that's blue. So they may issue a substitution deduction because they didn't get exactly the item that they ordered. 

And sometimes that's, can be okay depending on what the substitution is. But sometimes, like I said, those details don't match between the invoice that they expected and the what they actually think they received. So little issue and deduction. So any documentation you can have to support why something was or was not a substitution and whether or not that substitution is acceptable, definitely helps Got a question. 

I was  

Jessica Varon: just gonna jump in from a root cause perspective, I know I dealt with this in the past a lot, and I think sometimes just labeling of the cartons could be something that it can be incorrect. So I'd say if you think it is potentially valid, definitely take the time to work with your GC or three PL or logistics team or sourcing teams, whoever manages labeling within the warehouse to make sure that there's differentiation between different colors of product types and whatnot. 

And that's typically sometimes could be one of the reasons why you're getting hit with this kind of deduction.  

Clinton Rhodes: And we've also seen some vendors having success disputing these substitution charges when they. Get information out of the item maintenance app within Partners online. So that one's, it's the I am in for short. 

So check your app, see if you have that one. But you go get the the dimensions of the packaging for the item and you share that with Target and say, Hey, here's the dimensions of the packaging. And help 'em understand the math of this, the sizing of what was delivered and maybe the weight of what was delivered. 

Sometimes people are getting substitution charges overturned by using that kind of data as well. And auto chargebacks. So these cause people some confusion sometimes 'cause it's just an a 1 76 auto chargeback. And it can be one of five different reasons, right? It could be a shortage, could be a cost difference. 

It could be a substitution, it could be a case pack issue, or it could be a combination of any one or multiple of those. So you couldn't have shortage and costs or all four of them. 99% plus percent of the time it's a shortage or cost difference. Or both. And ultimately Target doesn't care too much. 

'cause when you just submit the dispute, we'll get to this in a moment, you have to pick a type. They don't care too much which type you pick for these auto chargebacks. Just as long as if you're gonna dispute it, you just provide the right explanation and proof to go with it. So just know if you get an A 1 76 auto chargeback, you wanna make sure you look at the details of that chargeback, copy that, the credit debit memo that you get from accounts payable domestic, and take a look at the item level details to see, okay, was this a shortage chargeback or was it a cost difference or was it both? 

'cause that's, Almost always what it's gonna be, I think in several thousands examples of these, less than 10 times has it been not a shortage or a cost difference. So it's definitely gonna be one of those. And similar to disputing any of the previous ones, chargeback copy, invoice, copy, really helpful packing slip or picking list, b o l or p o d or Targets delivery receipt, another version of the p o d and any sort of like case pack information from item maintenance or elsewhere. 

We've also seen people, like Jessica mentioned earlier the labeling. Like we've seen people share their copies, like digital copies of the actual carton labels that went through. So that can also be helpful. And those are, we've seen success with getting some of these overturned when it's like a substitution or type charge. 

Okay, so the actual disputing part, so timelines you've got about 18 months for almost every deduction. Compliance ones are separate. So compliance deductions, you have two weeks to request an exemption. If you miss that or they deny it, then you've got, they deduct it and then you've got 90 days or three months to dispute compliance ones. 

So those are separate. For any of the ones we were just talking about, the a zero thirties, 38, 36, 30 fours or the return damage effective ones, you've got 18 months to handle those. Collect suppliers have a little wrinkle where if the cause of the deduction is the fault of the carrier. They picked up from your warehouse and Target picks the carrier, right? 

You and the reduction is the fault of the carrier. Then you only have nine months to dispute those. And that's because that's Target's window to issue a dispute with their carriers and consolidators if those carriers or and consolidators are the party at fault, right? So something to be aware of. 

You can, if you are a collect supplier and you do have deductions older than nine months, you can still dispute them. Sometimes you might need to be persistent because Target may deny you and say, oh, it's older than nine months. You're collect, we're not gonna we're not gonna work this case. Be persistent. 

Try again. You can redi dispute. There's no penalty for disputing unless, maybe after six or seven tries they ask you, please stop. Which does happen. If you've got proof that. Maybe it wasn't the carrier or consolidator faults and Target mis received your inventory, then it could be worth your time to, build a case and try to work with Target to resolve any of those kind of misre receiving issues and associated deductions. 

But generally, you should have 18 months to dispute most things. 

Okay. Oh yeah, and Jessica shared a helpful link there for Target's new process with Ship iq. Something to be aware of that if you've been using V R S or vendor Ready to Ship, Target has been phasing that out and replacing it with a new app called Ship iq. It's been going in waves, so if you haven't heard of it or your team's not using Ship IQ yet you're fine. 

Keep using v R s. Target will reach out to your teams at some point and ask you to start setting things up in Ship iq. They give, they generally give you like three to four weeks, I think to kinda get things up and running, and you can have a little bit longer if you need. But just know that's a process that's coming. 

Yeah. So once you've submitted disputes Target has a stated s l a of 30 days to give you some decision. We see on average that takes about 26 days. If you're disputing something like an unpaid invoice, those tend to move a little faster. For compliance disputes. Those tend to also get approved and responded to a little faster because there's a separate team that works that. 

So Target's got a dedicated synergy team that works like all these a zero thirties, the carton shortages, those types and like the R D types. And then they've got a, their SS p M team, which handles the supplier performance management, right? They handle all the compliance ones. 

They tend to work a little faster. But for the kind of carton shortages, those most common ones, about 26 days for the actual disputing in partners online. Go to your apps and reports at the top. Scroll down, they're in alphabetical order. You will find synergy. You can click that launch into it. They do give you a link for info and training that'll have some of this information. 

But it's all just text. So if you want to talk to someone, feel free to email one of us. Happy to hop on and walk through it with you guys. Create a new case. So this is where you're gonna actually start the dispute process. So you click that dropdown, you can use dispute or you can also do the request for copy info. 

That's where if you wanna. Ask Target like, Hey, what is this? Sometimes they don't tell you the the items they're deducting against, which isn't very helpful. So you can request more information or you can request a copy of the delivery receipt. So that's Target's proof of the delivery. That can be useful because sometimes they just couldn't find it. 

So if they dig a little, they'll find it and then they say, oh, actually there was no shortage. Sorry, we just didn't match this delivery with this receipt. So now that we've made those match, here's your money back. Can be as simple as that. Sometimes once you click dispute you have to enter the document number. 

This is where you're gonna put in that CB number, and then you have to pick a type. Usually they'll auto-fill, so if they know a CB number in this case like that 1, 4, 4 8 ending there, they say, oh, this is a deduction, it's a match chargeback, and it's an A zero 30. You're disputing it because it's a carton shortage. 

Now you can add a brief explanation for why you're disputing this. And this is where you're making your case right? You're essentially going to court to say, I have my proof. This is not right. Please pay us back. Then you can guide them with that explanation. After you've entered that information in, then they're going to give you a little bit more summary information where they've hopefully pre-filled some of this. 

If they didn't have a record of it, you may have to type in some of this yourself. So like the document amount, in this case, $310, they should fill in the department and the PO and the location, but if they don't have those, you can fill those in yourself. And if you're choosing to dispute the full amount, then just check that box for dispute full amount. 

If you are disputing a partial amount, you can also do that. It won't let you do something more than what you've listed as the document amount. So if you're trying to Do some aggregated, disputing, like you wanna do multiple with one dispute. They don't really recommend doing that. They may deny you and tell you to split out into multiple cases. 

So just something to be aware of that you're gonna have a limit on kind of the way they want you to work with the software. Once you've gone through that section, they'll, they may have some of these documents ready for you. So like in this case, they say, Hey, we've found this delivery receipt associated with this PO in this location at that date. 

We also have the chargeback document copy here. You can attach those. That's the best case scenario. Doesn't happen a lot of the times. But if it's there, great. If it's not there, that's when you'd have to go source those things from, the chargeback document comes from accounts payable domestic. 

If you've got your B O L or your p o d, those can stand in place for Target's delivery receipt. If you've got their dr, that's also good to have the DR and the B O L for example. And then you'd wanna make sure you pick the right type for these. And you can take a look at 'em just to make sure okay, I've labeled it, here's the name, here's the type. 

Just make sure it's the right thing. And once those are in you click the submit button and you've got a few more attachment types, like if you wanna add some spreadsheets, you can do that. We do see some suppliers, like when you're disputing, Jessica mentioned earlier Hey, go get your data out of V R C or S P M to show Target some of their own shipment and receiving data. 

You can do that and you can attach that here as proof. And yeah, just a recap of helpful stuff. P o d at b o l invoice, any email communications, those are really helpful. And like we say the success rate does depend on largely who's working the case at Target. If you can guide them in your explanation, Hey, make sure to look at page two of the b o l, the third row, right? 

That level of detail can be helpful if they're going to read it and review it. And that doesn't always happen. And so sometimes you have to dispute multiple times. So just something to be aware of that persistence pays when you're disputing with Target and don't always take the first response that you get back from them. 

They are highly variable. It does seem like you get different results at different vendors. So be persistent. Have your documentation, give detailed explanations when you can. And also just be prepared that sometimes they'll prove things that you don't expect to be approved, and sometimes they'll deny things you don't expect to be denied. 

Just be prepared for many and varied situations with them. Cool. So you've submitted some disputes. You wanna track them. You click the cases link when you land in synergy, and there's a few filters that are gonna be useful for you. The new filter that's gonna be something that you have submitted, but they haven't taken a look at it yet. 

And that's when you've got that 26, it's a 30 day window, but usually it's about 20 something days. It'll just sit as new and then suddenly they'll work through several of the cases at once and you'll see them flip to either awaiting info or in progress, which aren't used too often. 

Usually when they work a case, they very quickly make a decision and then they'll flip it to close and resolve, which we'll look at here in a second. Looks like we have a question. When I have a u p. Yeah. U p s proof of delivery. Confirming all cases received, Target accepts only the DR count. How can this be disputed if the DR is incorrect? 

When you're saying you're saying Target's only, I'm gonna assume you're saying they only accept their DR counts. So not, they're not accepting the count from u p s. So if you've got any, that's where if you've got more documents a little further up the a little earlier in that process. 

So if you've got account from your warehouse or you can use Target's receiving data that you get out of V R C or S P M, those can be helpful there. But it's also worth. Noting that they don't have to only trust their own Dr. Like we mentioned, it can be variable in who looks at like the people working the cases for Target, who looks at what and who considers what. 

It can be a frustrating process, but I'd say if you're getting denied, give a little bit more context. Be very specific to, Hey, look at this number on this document this and explain Hey, this is the carrier that brought it and dropped it off at Target. Sometimes it has to be that literal and that specific because the people working the cases may not have Direct experience or kind of understand what they're doing, they're just meant to work the case. 

So something to be aware of. But Jessica, you had something to add?  

Jessica Varon: Yeah, I was just gonna add as well, I think in general, Clint you nailed it, but I think in general, just a tip, if you're able to get a contact with the supplier performance management team, this is another great resource at Target. 

If you have that contact information, whether through your buyer or if you were assigned an s p M this is a great person who can help give some feedback to that exact example for what Target would really receive, I think in the best case scenario there. But I think as Clint mentioned, the more proof, the more documents possible to prove your case is only gonna help you win that dispute. Clinton Rhodes: Yeah. Good question. So moving along here reopened status in synergy. That one's very uncommon. But, if they're going back and maybe they made a mistake or they're reworking a case, you might see that status, but it's very rare awaiting info. It's been very rare. Lately it's becoming a little more common the past several weeks. 

And this will be a situation where you've submitted a dispute and it's been. Probably 20 something days and Target will send it back to you and putting it in this awaiting info status. And they're kinda asking you for some more information to say, Hey, maybe they didn't see the b o l or they didn't see the right page. 

So this would be where you'd want to check and say, okay are they missing it? Do they need some guidance to look on a specific page or to look at a specific file? Is there request for some additional information? Legitimate? Can I get that information? Or do they just need some more context with a explanation? 

So you can add those. You'd find the ones that's awaiting in post status, click into that case. And then at the very bottom of your Synergy case page, there's a section where you can add notes and you can add more attachments if needed. So becoming more common, but historically very rare. And we've got another question. 

We will get to those. I'll get to that one here in a minute. So resolved this is usually when, if you see something in resolve status, it means Target has agreed to pay something back. Not always. Sometimes they resolve things with an amount of zero, but usually it's greater than zero, and that means you're getting money back. 

So those are good. And closed usually means they're denying your dispute and you're not getting paid back. But they don't always stick to their definitions between closed and resolved. So it's worth your time to click into any closed or resolved case, or if you can see it on the, kind of the list of all the cases, just check that resolution amount and make sure it's, check what is the amount, because if it's zero, okay, it's been denied. 

Sometimes they mark it looks like it's been approved, but if they approve it for $0, It was still denied, right? Or sometimes they close things and it is, should have been a denial from their point of view, but they closed it with a positive amount. So just something to be aware of. Yeah. So some that are closed have been resolved, but not all closed have been resolved. 

Okay. Live q and a. Looks like we had another question. Don't worry for multiple questions. We love questions. So over 800 direct to store invoices from December, 2022, which are unprocessed and p o l. Is there a process to add the invoice and p o d to Synergy as a group, or must they be individually submitted? 

You can try to submit them as a group. Target would prefer you to do them individually. That way they can pick and choose what they approve. You can try to do it as a group. We have seen that. Work, but it more often than not, does not work. If, so these are invoices that are sitting in unprocessed status and kind of greenfield in the accounts payable domestic app. 

That's what that sounds like. If they're past their due date, yeah, you definitely want to dispute those somehow. And synergy's probably the fastest way to do that. Yeah. But yeah, it, if you're using our software individually, it could be done very fast. But if you're, yeah, if you're not using our software, then you could try it as a group, but you'd be prepared that you might be losing some days appears the invoice po receiving match wasn't completed at the time of receipt. 

It's time consuming to do each one. Yes it is. Yeah. Yeah, so we automate that part where we, I. Pull in like proof documents to match those together. So yeah, you can try it in bulk, but you might waste most of a month waiting for Target to deny it and telling you to split it out. 

So I'd probably start by splitting it out. That's the more, I think that's the more surefire way to make sure you start to get some payments rolling in through disputing unpaid invoices. Yeah,  

Jessica Varon: agreed. They don't make it easy.  

Clinton Rhodes: Yeah.  

Jessica Varon: So I think there was one more question too that came through Clint wanted to ask as well is just I think for suppliers that are dealing with multiple retailers, what a typical win rate on deduction disputes are for Targets specifically, and do we have any visibility to that? 

Clinton Rhodes: Yeah It's highly variable. Some suppliers have like crazy high win rates, like 80, 90%. Some have like single digit win rates. The average win rate for Target is about 30 to 40% depending on exactly what you're looking at. But that's like just taking one stab at it. 

If you, like you said, if you're persistent and you're disputing multiple times, you should be getting more paybacks. But yeah, you're looking at hopefully somewhere in the 30, 40% as an average, and hopefully you're on the top side of that average, closer to the much higher percents.  

Jessica Varon: Thank you. 

Super helpful. Also just if there's questions that you're not thinking of right now that, once we send the deck out and there's additional things that you wanna reach out to Clint or myself on, please feel free to email us. There's information in the deck for our email specifically, or of course if you can find us at SupplyPike dot com whichever you prefer. 

And we're also gonna jump into just a brief demo of the tool as well, if you're not familiar. So feel free to stay on if we're interested in that information. If not, feel free to hop off. And then oh, it looks like there's one more question here. And it would be helpful if Synergy could send an email notification when a dispute status is changed or resolved. 

I think more just a comment, but yes. I think a lot of things that we would hope Target would do to make the supplier's life a little bit easier. Yeah. For sure.  

Clinton Rhodes: They will tell you if they do send an email, if they put something as awaiting info status, say Yep. Yeah, they're requesting more information. 

You do get an email for that, but yeah, like once they resolve it or close it or something else. Yeah, they don't, you don't get any communication on those that would be nice. Yes.  

Jessica Varon: Any other questions? Please still feel free to put them into the q and a. But for now I think we'll jump into a brief demo that Clint's gonna walk us  

Clinton Rhodes: through. 

Yes. If you guys have already, seen our app, yeah, feel free to hop off. But for anyone that is familiar with it, I hope this is useful for you. So we're looking at our app here that it's a demo version, so it's all fake data. You can tell by our silly fake item names here, like cotton hats and soft shoes and steel gloves, and wooden gloves. 

We, we made this up. It's based on real data, but it's all made up. So landing on our dashboard, we give you a lot of really cool aggregations that are really hard to do when you're just working on your own. So we track how much have you disputed through SupplyPike, what have you won back? If you're, if you've got your auto dispute, which we have auto disputing, that's really cool. 

How many of those have gone through for how much money if you're bulk disputing. So doing more than one at a time. Checking that out. I will tell you how many documents we've aggregated for you that contributed to those auto disputes. What's your average stays to dispute? So how long are deductions sitting out there before they get disputed? 

What's your deductions as a percent of what you're invoicing Targets? So what's that impact to your business? And then how much have you taken care of out of what could be taken care of? So taking a look at this idea of inbox zero. So how much have you done? So in this case for our demo, we've done about 37% of what could be done. 

So we've got an extra what is that 63% that we need to go do. And we give you this breakdown of how much have you received in deductions, what's actionable? So what can you still dispute? It's less than 18 months old. How much have you gotten back? And then a win rate calculation based on what you have disputed, giving the same information visually to you. 

Here's how much is outstanding that has not been disputed. If you, this is what's waiting on Target right now. Target research, here's what's been approved, here's what's been paid. We've actually seen proof of payment come through. Just because it's unapproved doesn't mean it's been paid yet. And then how much has been denied. 

And you can take a swipe at some of these denials to try and move that money back over to research and then approved and paid. Hopefully we'll give you aggregations by your reason Codes we'll tell you hey, what's the highest count? What's the highest amount? Sometimes those are a little different. So we can see here, oh, unpaid invoices. 

While they're not the highest count, they're the highest amount that makes sense. Usually a whole invoice is worth a lot more than one single deduction. We will give you these breakdowns by your bucket sizes oh, okay. Do you have a lot of paper cuts or are they all pretty big? So it looks like in this case, they're all pretty big. 

Track your deductions over time. See like your counts versus your amounts. Okay. We had a spike of stuff in February wow, what happened there? So that's something that you can dig into. You can filter all this data by okay let me dig into yeah, the beginning of the year. 

So I'm just looking at 20, 23 year to date and I wanna see, okay, this spike, is that mainly unpaid invoices? It might be based like those track there, or is it kind of our carton shortages? No carton shortages sparked in March. They, yeah, they spiked in March, not April. So it looks like that spike for February is primarily unpaid invoices. 

I can clear that filter. I can look at my deductions by items. I can look at my deductions by DC Looks like this DC 87 0 3 in Huntsville, Alabama. They're our top problem child, but these seem fairly evenly distributed. But let's say you had one that was standing out here and it had the vast majority of deductions, you could share that with your team and figure out what's happening when we ship to that dc Is there a particular carrier involved? 

What's going on? Is there anything in our side that we can do to prevent those deductions? So can be helpful for starting kind of a root cause process and you can export all this. So if you need to take any of these aggregations that are really hard to do on your own or tedious to do on your own, you can export it. 

We'll give it to you in an Excel file, and all the data will be ready to chart. So you don't have to manipulate the data to chart it up. It's all just sitting there. It's ready for you to just highlight it, tell Excel or Google Sheets. Hey, produce a chart and it's gonna look just like ours. As far as Excel could do anyway, So that's our dashboard. 

I really like it 'cause I love aggregated data, so it's a lot of fun. Over on the deduction side, this is where the action happens. So we've got the really fun thing here is the ready filter. So I can click this and it's gonna show me anything that is ready to dispute. That means it has the recommended proof documents that you need for the type. 

So in this case, these carton shortages. We've got the details of the shortage okay, here's the document number. It's a shortage. It's from March. It's for this much. These are the items. You can get a little more detail here if you need. What's that U P C in name, style Target's, D P C I, info, quantities. 

Here's the difference. Target thinks they are short five. In short 11 on this one. Here's those costs and here's how that stacks up. On the amounts we have the order information. So this was the po, the date, the invoice and its date Here was the invoice amount, the net amount. This was Target's delivery receipt number at this dc The deduction was from this check on this date. 

So you can see all that information here and we can see, okay, I've got the chargeback document, it's recommended check. I've got the B o L recommended check and I've got my invoice check bonus points. I've got Targets, delivery receipt and the p and the PO because we scrape not only all this information, but also the e d I for PO and invoice from Target's side. 

So we've got their copy and we make a P D F of all of these things. And we have a really cool shipping document integration that pulls in your ols. So that. The software has aggregated all this stuff into one single easy to take care of dispute. So we've got all the information we need so I can just hit submit Dispute. 

Got it. It's on its way. Awesome. Okay, and so I'm gonna hit next 'cause I know I've already filtered for ready. I'm gonna send another one and I'm gonna send another one. Okay. So I've just submitted three disputes. That's cool. Could I submit more disputes though? So I'm gonna check this box, or I'm gonna change my page Nation here to a hundred and check the box to do multiple at once. 

So I am filtered for ready. So all of these are ready to go. They have all their proof documents and I can submit a hundred of these at once. Submit disputes. Yes, and now they are on their way. They have been queued for dispute. Sweet. So now I've just got 32 left. I could go ahead and dispute those based on what's ready. 

Let me take a look at what's not ready. So I'll filter for not ready. Let's see what we've got. Okay. Just 29 deductions. So we've got some return damage Defectives. Those might be returned from a dc They because they're a 0 32, they could also be store returns. I think I saw a 36. Yeah. Cost difference. 

That might need some communication. Perhaps. So yeah, there's a few things that wouldn't be ready here, but for those ones we disputed they will be over here in the in progress tab. So they will show and the Target research status and let's see if we can sort by the dispute date. Yeah, so some of these are rolling in here now. 

So we've got quite a few of those have already been created. And so now you've got your Synergy case number. So we created that case in Synergy and we've pulled in the case number over here. So if you wanna look at it in Synergy, you can know which one it is. You can also track it by the CB number here. 

And ideally these get, these all get paid and they will roll up into your dashboard in this paid amount or this approved amount. And you can see previously we had it was like 39 thousand deduction or 39,000 in Target research. Now we have 208 since we just disputed quite a bit. And yeah, we did a hundred of them through bulk. 

So that's why this number has gone up here. We've got a question. We'll be able to dispute the damage deductions. Yes, you can dispute the damage deductions. They're always, you're always going to want to take a look at some of the details for certain ones. So for damages, right? Sometimes Target's Dr. 

This example isn't gonna have it, but we'll just take a look at it for the sake of talking. But this would be a copy of Target's still very receipt. Whenever those are available, we pull those in for you. So they're here with the deductions. If they've got some sort of note over here on the comment section in the Dr. 

Notating oh, a portion of this was received damaged. Some you'd want to, be aware of how your operations are working. But if it went through like a consolidator, like this one, chances are things might have been damaged in transit. That would one, that would be on the consolidator or the carrier at that point, not you as the collect supplier because it was fine when it left your warehouse. 

Something happened in transit. So you might have to push Target to put that on the carrier, but, or they may ask you to go open a or they may deny you, but maybe you can go dispute with the carrier and you've got Target's, copy of that, delivery receipt, notating the damage to support that dispute. 

So you can dispute them. We'd recommend starting with Target, but yeah, they may push you back to the carrier. So something to be aware of. How far back can you dispute a chargeback? So you can go back 18 months through Synergy. And so our software is aggregating, we're pulling data from several different apps when the partner's online so that it can be really easy to dispute through Synergy. 

So we're creating those cases on Synergy on your behalf through the software. So you don't have to do that. 'cause as we just. Spent the last, hour or so going through, it's a little manual. So we're trying to take care of as much of that work for you as possible with the software. 

That way if you need to come in here and provide context or you need to do something a little manual, at least 90% of the effort has been done and you just have to do a little bit to push it over. But yeah, so it's yes, software's great to help save a lot of time, but yeah, 18 months is the max. 

You can do that if you've got something like an unpaid invoice. So we do show those in here as well. You can check those out. We recommend, like even if you've got some older ones, let's see if I can find some, oh, we've only got paid and denied here, but let's see how early we've got some examples. 

We do recommend, like even if it's older than 18 months, you should, and it's an unpaid invoice. Target has your product on the shelf, or maybe they already sold it, but they didn't pay you for it. That's not right. So you should still try to dispute those. We do provide a contact list of various departments in Target's, accounts payable. 

So we'd recommend if you don't have a direct AP contact at Target, start here and reach out to them to start that conversation with your proof of, Hey, we sent it, you received it, we didn't get paid. Let's figure that out. But yeah, and disputing unpaid invoices works very similar to Disputing deductions. 

So we'll look at what's the invoice and what's the due date. And we if the due date isn't listed on an invoice, we'll calculate that due date based on Target's payment terms that you each vendor has agreed to and vendor management and maintenance. And we list that due date here, and then we add seven days. 

So if it's been more than a week past the due date and Target hasn't paid you, that's when we mark it past due. And then you can come in here and dispute it and we'll provide an invoice copy if the e d i data is available and we'll with our shipping document integration, go find your proof so that you can dispute that and get paid. 

But yeah. I think we're maybe a little over time here. Jessica, were there any other questions or closing thoughts or anything?  

Jessica Varon: No, obviously I was a client so I know how much this tool has helped me and save time for my team. But thank you Clint, so much for walking us through that demo and all the content today. 

Thank you for everyone for coming and attending this webinar and as we mentioned before, please feel free to reach out to us. We will be sharing the deck with you all and I hope that you all have a great day. Thanks everyone.

Hosts

  • Clinton Rhodes

    Clinton Rhodes

    Product Manager

    Clint leads the product teams for SupplyPike-Target and-Kroger, software products built to help suppliers manage deductions.

    Read More
  • Jessica Varon

    Jessica Varon

    Senior Retail Insights Manager

    Jessica is SupplyPike's Senior Retail Insights Manager. Her industry expertise helps our teams build the best experience for our clients.

    Read More

Presentation

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Target's Synergy 101

Download the Target's Synergy 101 slide deck and learn how to make disputing claims and invoices a breeze.

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SupplyPike makes disputing retailer deductions more streamlined and efficient by automatically retrieving, organizing, and storing your shipping documents in one place. Integrating with all major retailers and shipping companies, SupplyPike makes finding any POD or BOL simple. Learn more about how SupplyPike can cut your disputing time down from 30 minutes to 30 seconds

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