a2b understands the intricacies and challenges surrounding Retail Distribution. We cut our teeth in Retail and have honed rock solid processes that deliver outstanding results. Fulfillment to Retailers is a complex and technologically challenging undertaking. Each retailer has a unique set of guidelines and requirements that must be adhered to, including case and pallet specifications, labeling requirements, routing and transportation guidelines, and integration requirements via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).
Failure to adhere to these guidelines and requirements can result in expensive chargebacks by the retailer. In order to be compliant, you need the tools and experience to flawlessly execute each and every transaction.
We offer EDI connectivity with every major retailer making set-up a snap.
How We Do It
Retail Distribution typically begins with EDI. If we are providing our end-to end EDI solution (optional), we will connect directly with the Retailer. An automatic email notification will be sent to you alerting that there are new Purchase Orders for your review. You will log into our web-based EDI portal to review the accuracy of the price and terms of the PO and accept or reject it.
Upon your acceptance, the PO is moved into our Warehouse Management System (WMS) for processing. Our system knows which Retail partner the PO is from and automatically attaches a pre-constructed SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to the order. This SOP is the culmination of all of the requirements from that particular retailer, which our Retail Team has meticulously reviewed in advance. The SOP ensures that our associates are aware of each and every requirement throughout the process of fulfilling the order.
Our expert Retail Team picks, preps and stages the order per the specifications in the SOP. Items are scanned during picking and then again at packing to ensure accuracy. Pre-configured, Retailer-specific labels are automatically printed and applied to the cartons and pallets, as applicable. The order is quality checked by our QA Team, who will also take photographs to document the preparation and condition of the order in the event that we must later defend a chargeback.
Our Traffic Department then schedules the shipment with the appropriate carrier per the Retailer’s guidelines. Upon completion of the shipment, an ASN (Advance Shipping Notice) is automatically transmitted via EDI to the Retailer, notifying them of the impending receipt.
A final email notification is sent alerting you that the shipment has been dispatched and that an invoice to the Retailer is now pending. Through our web-based EDI portal, you will review the details and then transmit the invoice to the Retailer via EDI with just the click of a few buttons. *Note, this step can be automated if you prefer.