What is Walmart EDI?
As a supplier, there are few days as happy as the day you become a Walmart supplier. That's because with their reach, they can provide the type of market presence a supplier can only dream of. There are, however, some downsides to dealing with Walmart.
One of these is Walmart EDI; more specifically, the retail giant's insistence that its suppliers use a specific EDI configuration to exchange transaction data with them. This is what is known as Walmart EDI and it can be a source of frustration for new suppliers. Part of the frustration comes from the fact that to become compliant with Wal Mart EDI you will need to pass a series of tests that will ensure the retail giant that your organization has the requisite software and the requisite needs to ensure a smooth EDI exchange. Fortunately there are ways for a smaller operation to become Walmart EDI compliant that do not involve a great deal of expense or technical expertise.
Becoming Walmart EDI compliant
The quickest and simplest means of becoming Walmart EDI compliant is to simply use their web-based system that allows you to exchange transactions with the retail giant ensuring compliance. Because you are using their system this is the fastest and for many businesses, most affordable means of becoming Walmart EDI compliant. One of the issues that many suppliers soon face however is that they begin to realize the benefits of EDI and begin to explore using EDI with other customers. Once this happens using Walmart's own system is no longer a viable option since it only works with Walmart.
By using EDI software, either in-house or hosted, you'll be able to continue to operate with your larger customers and maintain your Wal Mart EDI compliance. As you begin to explore the option of using in-house software you should be aware of the fact that there are a number of ways to develop EDI software. Specifically, EDI software packages can be very basic - offering only support for the entire X12 standard - or very advanced - offering pre-configured kits that allow you to become Walmart EDI compliant quickly and easily. For the vast majority of business owners the latter are significantly preferable over the former.
Expanding on your Walmart EDI Usage
The first step of becoming Walmart EDI compliant deals with ensuring that you satisfy the retail giant's needs. But what about your own? More precisely, is there a way to maintain your Walmart EDI compliance but become more efficient in the process? The answer is of course; and the way of doing this is to enable your EDI system with full integration into your back-end ERP system. Through full integration any Walmart EDI orders that you receive will be processed, translated and automatically routed into your ERP system as sales orders. Once you are ready to ship the goods, the reverse will happen and your ERP's shipment slips and invoices will be translated and sent as Walmart EDI advanced ship notices and invoices.
Selecting your Walmart EDI Package
This form of integration can be achieved with a number of Walmart EDI compliant software packages, but you should ensure that the package you select can provide for such an option in the long run with minimal re-architecting of your Wal Mart EDI setup. In fact there are a number of Walmart EDI solutions available that wold require you to completely re-engineer your EDI operations to achieve integration. This type of approach while often less expensive in the beginning can become very expensive in the long run since it not only requires large amount of internal re-work, but can also put your Walmart EDI compliance at risk.