We’re pleased to announce that Ordoro now integrates with EDI systems, thanks to our partnership with TPSynergy. Haven’t a clue what EDI systems are? Let’s cover the ABCs.

EDI and Ecommerce

Ecommerce has helped many small businesses to become healthy online retailers in no time. Setting up an online shop is very easy these days due to popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and Bigcommerce. And with inventory and shipping management apps like ourselves, processing orders, and handling your backoffice across all channels is a breeze.

But many are left wondering how to do business with big box retailers like Target or Walmart. They use EDI systems, but it looks too complex, and they don’t have a team of IT gurus to create the integration.

Creating it is usually a cost of doing business with such large retailers. For example, many small retailers who are selling in Amazon Seller Central will reach a stage when Amazon wants to do large scale business with them and ask them to become a supplier in its Vendor Central system. This, however, means the merchant will need to have an EDI integration for processing orders.

It isn’t just big name retailers that use EDI, either. Larger suppliers tend to as well, making an integration especially useful for merchants hoping to dropship with them.

Anyways, let’s define what EDI (Electronic  Data Interchange) is, and how it helps online retailers.

How It Works

EDI is a standard communication tool for B2B orders and fulfillment. Unlike B2C orders, in B2B, payment is not made upfront. In the case of ecommerce, customers arrive to your website, look at your beautiful product photographs, punch in their credit card digits, and check out. All a retailer needs to do is fulfill the product. When it comes to B2B, the process is much longer and complicated.

Here’s a walkthrough of how the B2B communication works, using Walmart as an example:

  1. Walmart sends a purchase order (EDI — 850) to you through EDI
  2. You must send an Order Acknowledgement (EDI — 855) to Walmart with 24 hours
  3. After shipping the order, an Advance Shipment Notice (EDI — 856) needs to be sent to Walmart within 4 hours of shipping and before the material arrives at Walmart
  4. Each shipping package should have a bar coded container label in Walmart’s recommended format
  5. You must send an Electronic Invoice to Walmart (EDI — 810)
  6. Walmart will finally pay after 30 days or 60 days

Looks complex, right? But it’s usually worth the pain due to the high business volume in B2B. Plus, once established, it’s a recurring business with very little marketing. Orders keep coming in every week, and you just need to keep shipping and invoicing in time.

On Your End

Fortunately, the B2C side is a easier and far more familiar. Here’s another walkthrough:

  1. Customers place an order from an EDI using retailer, like Target, which are received by TPSynergy and directly pushed to Ordoro
  2. Just like ecommerce orders, EDI orders are also shipped from Ordoro
  3. Shipment details like tracking numbers are sent from Ordoro to TPSynergy and to the customer through EDI
  4. Invoices are created automatically and sent to the customer via EDI
  5. Inventory is kept up to date within the ecommerce platform

Seems pretty simple now, right? It functions as any other channel. Long story short, if you’ve thought about integrating with big box retailers and connecting the channel to Ordoro, it’s now a possibility through TPSynergy.