EDI with Rona: mandatory supply chains transactions

EDI with Rona: mandatory supply chains transactions

EDI with Rona and its Supply Chains EDI Transactions

 

Doing EDI with the retail industry is no easy feat!  EDI is quite complex and maintaining EDI compliance is not without its challenges.  However, if you are setting up an account with Rona, you do need to become EDI compliant and be able to transmit the required EDI transactions and meet EDI supply chain requirements.

Rona is a Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home improvement and gardening products, operating a network of over 700 stores across Canada.

This blog will touch on key information regarding Rona’s EDI transactions as well as some of the business rules you should be aware of when undertaking an EDI initiative with Rona.

Where do you start?  What do you need to know?

 

What are the EDI transactions required by Rona ?

For starters, what is EDI and why does Rona require it? Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) refers to the structured transmission of data between organizations electronically. Benefits of transmitting documents through EDI will be seen in many areas, including reduced time and payment delays, reduced labour costs, improved data and inventory accuracy, increased information accessibility, and ultimately, facilitated business activity.

The following are Rona’s required EDI transactions:

edi_diagram22b

 

How does the EDI transactional flow work?

What do these EDI transactions actually mean?

The EDI 850 is a Purchase Order transaction set, used to place an order for goods or services. The 850 generally provides the same information you would typically find in a paper Purchase Order (PO) document.

Upon receiving a Purchase Order (EDI 850) and preparing your shipment, you will need to proceed with creating and sending an EDI 810 (invoice). The EDI 810 Invoice transaction set is the electronic version of the traditional paper-based invoice document. Payment processing of EDI 810 invoice is naturally faster than that of paper based invoice as data entry and manual processing is avoided.  In fact, Rona may charge up to $40 per invoice, for having to manually process your paper invoice in their system, should you fail to comply and not send your invoices through EDI. Should you require to apply a credit to an already processed and transmitted invoice (EDI 810), you actually could do so as Rona allows for the receipt of credit invoices (EDI 810). Once Rona is in receipt of a compliant EDI 810 invoice, they will issue payment accordingly. This will complete Rona’s EDI transactional flow. It is important to note, however, that Rona may implement in the future a new EDI transaction, such as EDI 856 Advanced Ship Notice, which you will then be required to comply with.

So now that you are slightly more familiar with Rona’s required EDI transaction sets, let’s discuss in a little more depth Rona’s flow of EDI transactions and business rules!

 

How to test your EDI compliance with Rona

Once your set-up for EDI with Rona has been completed, you will need to complete a testing cycle, directly with Rona’s EDI department.  It is quite common for retailers to require mandatory EDI testing whereby they test both incoming and outgoing EDI transactions sets (EDI 850 and EDI 810) in order to ensure your data is EDI complaint with their specific EDI requirements and business rules.  Having tested and approved all the required EDI transactions, Rona can guarantee a degree of compliance, or at the very least hold you accountable for any EDI non-compliance errors, once you are fully deployed to EDI production.  You will not be moved to EDI production, and therefore, will not be able to receive production purchase orders (EDI 850), until all the required EDI transactions have been tested successfully and deemed compliant by Rona.

Depending on your in-house EDI capabilities, you will be able to either complete the required EDI testing directly with Rona, or opt to acquire the services of a third party EDI provider, such as EDI Gateway Inc for example, to manage the testing cycle on your behalf, using its fully EDI compliant tools. Third party EDI providers typically embed validation maps in their back end systems to allow the tools they use to detect EDI non-compliance errors and, therefore, ensure that the outgoing EDI data that is transmitted to the retailers is 100% EDI compliant with the latter’s business rules and EDI guidelines.

Rona will transmit two EDI 850 (purchase order) test files, and will expect two EDI 810 (invoice) test files back, one invoice (EDI 810) per purchase order (EDI 850). It is important to note that you cannot consolidate multiple purchase orders on the same invoices.  Each invoice (EDI 810) must correspond to a single purchase order. Finally, Rona allows for either charges or allowances to be applied to EDI 810 invoices.

 

EDI application in Rona’s supply chains

Rona has two EDI supply chains- DC (Distribution Center) and DSD (Direct to Store).  The two are not mutually exclusive.  As a Rona supplier, you may be set-up as either one or both, depending on your business agreement with Rona.  When it comes to EDI testing, you will only be required to complete the testing cycle associated with the supply chain you were set-up for by Rona.  In other words, if you are set-up as a DSD vendor, you will only be required to test the EDI 810 DSD invoice.  As a regular DC vendor, you will need to test the EDI 810 DC invoice.

Distribution Center invoices (EDI 810) are EDI invoices that correspond to an EDI 850 (purchase order); a DSD (Direct to Store) invoice does not have an EDI 850 (purchase order) associated with it.  DSD invoices are for orders initiated at the store level whereby a paper purchase order may be sent directly by the store, not through EDI. The outgoing invoice (EDI 810) is sent to Rona (not to the store) and so it does require to be sent through EDI, not paper, as an EDI 810. DSD EDI 810 invoices are transmitted per store.

The 810 EDI data and structure is somewhat different for both DSD and DC invoices as some EDI segments may be required for one but not the other.  If you are set-up for both of Rona’s supply chains, it would be highly recommended to read the vendor manual and familiarize yourself with all the different business rules associated with each EDI supply chain. This is especially important if you are integrated and are using your in-house EDI system to transmit EDI documents to Rona, so to be able to avoid unnecessary non-compliance charges.

 

Why integrate your EDI transactions into ERP system

Speaking of integration!  Vendors often entertain the possibility of integrating their invoices  when it comes to DSD supply chain set ups due to high volume of EDI transactions, through their accounting package or ERP system, or even using FTP file transfer.  This option will allow them to generate invoices and transmit EDI 810 invoice files through an automated process, without manual intervention, while achieving 100% EDI compliance, increasing productivity and reducing EDI transaction costs.  This especially rings true when it comes to DSD EDI 810 invoices as they are transmitted one DSD EDI 810 per store.

Once EDI testing with Rona has been successfully completed, you will be moved to production mode, allowing you to begin receiving Rona purchase orders (EDI 850) and sending invoices (EDI 810) through EDI!

Having access to relevant EDI information, as well as the business rules you need to comply with, will allow you to navigate through the challenging world of EDI with much more ease.  We trust that this blog has been informative and we wish you luck with your EDI initiative with Rona!

 

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Sharon Barr

With over 16 years of experience in the EDI retail industry across both Canada and the U.S, Sharon Barr is part of EDI Gateway’s EDI lead team, where her lead role is primarily in EDI integration.

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