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5: Managing invoices, orders and shipments using EDI

So far, we’ve shown how you can use GTIN and SSCC numbers to identify physical items including products, cases and pallets, using barcodes. But they do much more.

Retailers are increasingly using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to automate many processes that are critical for trading, including:

  • Ordering
  • Invoicing
  • Goods in
  • Stock control
  • Purchasing

Your unique GTIN and SSCC numbers are used in these processes, to ensure the right products are ordered, delivered and invoiced. Without this accuracy ordered and payments may be delayed or refused – or your customers may even cancel orders and choose not to return.

Automating your processes with EDI

EDI means you can exchange business documents faster, more accurately and at a much lower cost – removing the need for human intervention.

As most major retailers use EDI, they will generally require you to be set up to receive EDI orders, as well as send EDI invoices. Increasingly, retailers also insist on you sending ASNs (Advanced Shipping Notices) prior to product delivery.

The EDI data flow

Supply chain

To understand what you need to do, you’ll first need to understand your retailers’ requirements and then choose a solution provider who can help you implement the right system. We have a range of GS1 UK accredited Industry Partners who can help you do this; you can find these using our Partner finder.

We also offer comprehensive EDI training – highlighting its benefits and the ways you can use it to trade with retailers. You can read more about training in our next section or on our Training page.