Today’s post will offer some basic information regarding the new EDI requirements Walgreens has set for their suppliers. Although these changes were first made public by Walgreens in April of 2018, not every store is currently operating under these new requirements. Additionally, we will briefly define the new classifications that Walgreens’ suppliers will operate as.
EDI has always been offered as an option for Walgreens’ suppliers and distributors, however EDI compliance has now become a requirement. The catalyst for this change came in the form of a new partnership between Walgreens and a company called SPS Commerce, that specializes in EDI transactions. SPS Commerce offers Walgreens a full integration with their SAP accounting system and for the last few years, Walgreens has slowly begun implementing this change in all of their stores across the country. So as a supplier, what do these new requirements mean for you? When the Walgreens locations that you deliver to become live on their new SAP system, you will be required to become 100% EDI compliant and registered through the SPS Commerce platform. bMobile makes this transition easy for you by having the capability to become fully integrated and streamlined through this EDI process.
Moving onto the different classifications, Walgreens will now classify their suppliers into two categories - Auto-replenishment Suppler or Rack Jobber. If you are classified as an Auto-replenishment supplier through Walgreens, you will need a more complex and advanced EDI system, as you will be sending various forms through the EDI portal in SPS Commerce. To request product, each location will electronically send you a purchase order clearly detailing an exact quantity of each item they need. A positive attribute to this classification is credit processing by the supplier will no longer be required, as Walgreens will now be in 100% control over what is being ordered. A potential downfall to this new process is that drivers will no longer be able to sell additional product and will not be able to add any additional quantities to the order. Simplistically, what you receive via automated purchase order from each location, is what you will deliver. Any variances will need to be reported via the EDI portal within SPS Commerce.
The second classification will be referred to as a Rack Jobber. This classification is best explained as a standard scheduled DSD stop – a driver will arrive at the location, survey the shelf space, process credits and build an invoice. However, be aware that with this classification specifically, Walgreens will suggest upgrading to a Scan Based Trading (SBT) model system. Since many stores are beginning to favor an SBT model, bMobile has the ability to help you seamlessly implement this type of system. Transitioning to this system is currently not a requirement for this classification and as such, we suggest discussing this option with each location you supply.
bMobile offers solutions to help ensure you are 100% EDI compliant through SPS Commerce by utilizing all forms required by Walgreens. This includes 850 (PO,) 856 (ASN,) and 810 (Invoice/Credit.) By reviewing your classification as a supplier and your volume, bMobile can consult with you the best course of action. Contact us today to discuss available options!
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