EDI in Grocery

  June 26, 2012       By Ray Atia
EDI in grocery stores is making a comeback. Consumers are demanding it. However, the needs are a lot different in the grocery market because the grocery market uses a lot less vendors, the amount of SKUs is a lot more limited, and the rapidity of movement per SKU is quicker. However, from the success of mass merchants and wholesale clubs in the retail grocery food arena, it is clear that the principles of retail QR are moveable to the food industry as a whole. ECR is an acronym for efficient consumer response. It is a current movement in the grocery industry. It is where the cart is moving, to borrow a pun. Efficient consumer response is all about giving the consumer a lot more value, product quality, choice, options, and ease for the lowest price possible. These goals are important to the entire industry, and there are wholesale clubs and mass merchants that are warning to take away a large share of the grocery market. Margins are quite tight in the grocery industry, and the industry has found a lot of ways to reduce costs to make sure they can still compete and be profitable. UPCs and EDI, along with a tight working relationship between grocery chains and manufacturers, makes this approach possible. The grocery market uses ASC X12 and its subset UCS standards for the transmission of EDI documents, and these include purchase orders, invoices, announcements, maintenance, and advice. At first, EDI was a part of the grocery industry just for items that were stored through warehouses. There were large amounts of goods that were sent out to grocery stores directly from the vendor, and this process was referred to as DSD. Because EDI is sent out to DSD systems, it can have a positive boost on the bottom line.