January 4, 2012
Looking for Data in all the Right Places
The vast majority of larger retailers offer a point of sales EDI document (852).
While these documents are rich in detailed data, many manufacturers have attempted to process 852 data and either failed or quickly found it to be a significant drain of resources - both money and time. That’s because translating EDI (and other documents required in the process) involves scrubbing, synthesizing and applying business rules, formulas and algorithms, error checking and validation.
So we thought we’d take on a timely topic for this newsletter: alternatives to EDI 852 for capturing Point of Sale data.
While some enhancements have been implemented for certain retailers’ 852 Point of Sale documents, more effort appears to be plowed into improving the data on vendor portals. This does make sense. Why not provide the tools a vendor needs to help manage the business in the most accessible format?
A complication to this matter is fact that different retailers exclude certain information from either their EDI or their portal or both. For example, higher end department stores tend to exclude On Hand and Dollars from their EDI. Others, such as Dillard’s do not offer Dollars on their web portal or in their EDI.
If you are interested in a list what retailers do and do not provide in EDI and/or web portal, please click here to submit that request.
Since important information may be missing from either the portal or both, it is possible to marry the data from both. We are also looking into ways to automate the extraction of POS data from vendor portals, as we have done with their EDI.
Some or our clients have asked for the ability to enter Out the Door Dollars themselves. So far we have resisted this idea as we feel it to be dangerous. Any amount entered would be an estimate or guess or based on a survey of a limited number of doors. If this number is off and the vendor bases a discussion on it, they could jeopardize their credibility with their retail partner thus defeating the whole purpose of such analysis.
What do you think?
Please let us know.
Please feel free to email me at: email@example.com if you have any comments or questions you wish to share offline.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David Matsil heads up Business Development for Enhanced Retail Solutions (ERS), a company that focuses on the art and science of Point of Sale (POS) processing and the resulting interpretation and analysis of that sales data. ERS is deeply involved with retailers and supplier organizations across a large number of verticals. David reflects on that experience to share the trials and tribulations of this process.