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Business transactions in a wholesale environment

I appreciate that you might already be wholesaling however are you fully aware of the business transactions that you might need to support?

Which of these business transactions might be useful in terms of the service that you are providing?

By adopting to trade via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) you might attract new business or increase sales as you make it easier for a retailer to trade with you.

Business transactions

Yep, I know, this is obvious, however what information and transactions need to be processed?


This transaction will provide you with the order details:

1) Who the retailer is

2) Where they want the order to be shipped to

3) What they want to be supplied

4) the retailers order number - please see

Within this transaction could be further information that you might need to process as well, such as:

1) The cross dock location, if cross docking is used - please see

2) Retailer part numbers which might be required on shipment labels or in the EDI Invoice

3) The expected price the retailer wants to pay for the article - this links to EDI invoicing

Order acknowledgements

Not an obvious transaction but for some retailers this transaction must be sent and sometimes within a short timescale. This transaction does a number of things:

1) Confirms receipt of the order

2) Confirms what stock you will fulfill or stock you can not fulfill

3) Confirms the price that will be charged - this links to EDI invoicing


The shipment process encompasses a number of areas as you have to consider:

1) The retailers packing requirements

2) The labeling, including:

2.1) Any cross dock details, if required

2.2) The retailer part codes

3) The shipment file will advise when the shipment leaves your distribution centre and what articles to expect by order


The invoice process needs to consider the requirements laid out by the HMRC - please see

If you have been validating the expected price to be paid you should reduce the number of invoicing queries which does save time and money

Again, the retailers part code could be required in this file

Other transactions to consider

There are three transaction I have not covered, these being:

Order change

This file could tell you of changes to be made to an order, however this does present some difficulties:

1) If the order has been allocated the order will need to be unallocated the the order change applied

2) If the order is with your distribution centre and is being picked you could say it is to late to stop the process


This file can provide product details and pricing including price changes, however this file can present issues such as:

1) Processing times if you are selling a large range of articles

2) Large files - could cost if your are charged per Kilo Character - please see

Credit notes

If you are validating your orders including prices you should limit the number of invoicing disputes and so keep the number of credit notes to a minimum. You will also need to consider the HMRC requirements, please see above.

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