It takes a lot of work for dropshippers to put their products into the hands of shoppers worldwide. Not only do you have to handle marketing and sales, but you also have to deal with mounds of data on the back end of your business.
Fortunately, electronic data interchange (EDI) makes it possible to automatically exchange data between your eCommerce site, suppliers, and customers.
Processing data with EDI can significantly speed up your business, but you’ll handle several different EDI documents as a dropshipper.
Your suppliers might often use an EDI 945, which is also called a Warehouse Shipping Advice document.
Read on to learn what EDI 945 is and how it can streamline your dropshipping business.
As a dropshipper, you work with suppliers to store and ship goods to your customers. Those suppliers will send you an EDI 945 Warehouse Shipping Advice document to tell you that they shipped goods to your customers.
This report also verifies that shipment quantities match order quantities, so you know that customers will receive what they paid for.
In the past, suppliers had to manually send shipping confirmation letters via fax or email. Fortunately, a third-party logistics provider (3PL) can automatically send an EDI 945 when goods leave their remote warehouses.
You can then take the tracking number from the EDI 945 and give it to your customers so they know where their order is at all times.
Every EDI 945 is different, but they usually include:
As a dropshipper, you’ll send your 3PL an EDI 850 Purchase Order to kick off the order fulfillment process. When the warehouse receives the EDI 850, they’ll reply with an EDI 855, which acknowledges your order.
Internally, the warehouse will generate an EDI 940 Warehouse Shipping Order. When the warehouse ships the order, they’ll send an EDI 945 to you to verify the information about the product shipped. Depending on the supplier, they might also send an EDI 856 Advance Ship Notice.
After your system receives the EDI 945, you’ll reply with an EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement, which tells the shipper that you received the EDI 945.
EDI 945 matters to dropshippers because it provides the all-important tracking number. You can use a platform like Spark Shipping to automatically share that tracking number with customers to improve the shopper experience.
EDI 945 will also tell you if your 3PL had to change your order. It will explain if there were any out-of-stock products or substitutions on the order.
Without EDI, you would have to communicate with your suppliers over the phone, email, and text. That introduces delays and errors in your business, so EDI is a must to streamline any dropshipping operation.
The EDI 945 document type is helpful because it:
The last thing you want to do is send customers the wrong product or the wrong number of products. EDI verifies that the 200 rubber duckies the 3PL shipped match the order for 200 rubber duckies.
When using EDI, there’s no need to mail or fax anything to your suppliers. Your systems are integrated, so all transactions happen almost immediately. That means your customers get their tracking information faster, which is a big win.
EDI 945 verifies that your order matches what the supplier shipped. Plus, everything is documented in writing so you never have to worry about misunderstandings or errors between you and your supplier.
EDI documents contain many elements. They’re often hard to break down because they’re designed for machines, not people. However, if you’re trying to quickly find information in an EDI 945 document, these are some of the most common data contents:
Dropshipping isn’t easy, but EDI is a great way to simplify your business.
It would normally take some time to set up EDI, but with Spark Shipping, you don’t have to worry about that. We set up, automate, and execute EDI for dropshippers.
This helps you to run a more accurate business, improve supplier relationships, and give customers the service they expect with automatic EDI integrations.
See how Spark Shipping simplifies EDI for dropshippers: Get a demo now.