Walmart EDI FAQs and answers
Today’s post covers basic Walmart EDI FAQs and information about EDI cooperation with Walmart.
What is EDI process itself?
Simply stated, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the electronic exchange of business documents between suppliers and retailers. EDI is comprised of two components: translation and communication. During translation, a business document is changed—or “translated”—into a standardized EDI format.
There are various EDI standards (or formats) that a company may use. Once a business document is translated into an EDI format it is communicated— or electronically sent—to the intended recipient. There are several methods of EDI communications available, but the method utilized by Walmart and its suppliers is AS2.
Which transport protocol should be used for Walmart EDI?
EDIINT (EDI over the Internet) is a set of communication protocols, introduced by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in 1995, used to securely transmit data over the Internet. Although EDIINT was initially designed to transport EDI data, it may also be used to transfer non-EDI data. One version of EDIINT is AS2 or Applicability Statement 2. The UCC (Uniform Code Council) has facilitated the development and interoperability testing of the AS2 standard. AS2 supports EDI or other data file transmissions over the Internet using HTTP/HTTPS. AS2 is a specification about how to transport data, not how to validate or process the content of the data. AS2 specifies the means to connect, deliver and receive data in a secure and reliable way. AS2 is not an asynchronous or FTP solution; it is an Internet Protocol based solution that uses standard HTTP/HTTPS communications to transmit data.
How is EDI data formatted?
The information is formatted using EDI standards. Walmart currently supports:
- ANSI X12 (American National Standards Institute):
- UCS (Uniform Communications Standards)
- VICS (Voluntary Inter-industry Commerce Standard)
- EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport).
Walmart stays within the VICS and UCS guidelines for major documents within the United States and Canada. EDIFACT is only used for suppliers outside of the US and Canada and those that will be directly importing merchandise for the company.
What about translation software?
Walmart does not require suppliers to have specific software for EDI translation. Walmart’s only requirement is that you connect to the network using an interoperable-tested AS2 communication package. The cost of your EDI translation software is determined by your company’s needs and by individual software suppliers. Some software packages are bundled with EDI translation software.
How is EDI accomplished?
Business documents are translated into a standard EDI format as defined by industry standards. The data is then pushed to the receiver via the AS2 communications protocol. To exchange EDI with Walmart, you MUST BE AS2 COMPLIANT.
Is EDI the only option available to trade purchase orders and invoices?
This depends on how many invoices your company does per year. If your company does more than 5,500 invoices per year you must do true EDI through AS2 communication protocol. If your company does less than 5,500 invoices per year you may choose to do EDI through AS2 or WebEDI. WebEDI is a free, web-based solution that allows suppliers to receive purchase orders and send invoices without the expense of an EDI package. If a supplier chooses to use WebEDI, they must remain on this system for a minimum of one year. WebEDI is not used as a temporary EDI solution. If you company meets the requirements for WebEDI, please review the WebEDI documentation available at request at Walmart to be able to make an informed decision regarding which system would best suit your company’s needs.