Doing EDI with Kohl

EDI Compliance with KOHL

KOHL recommends its Vendors to be EDI Ready as soon as they start doing with business with KOHL.

What is EDI

To understand the basics of EDI and an overview , refer our earlier blog,  Basics of EDI that explains how EDI for a trading partner works.

What you need to know about doing EDI with a customer

The  basic questions to be addressed for any EDI connection are

  • How to connect to the customer system to receive and send EDI documents
  • What inbound and outbound documents are required to be exchanged
  • What EDI standards and format does customer require

KOHL EDI Conection

Kohl uses GXS as their VAN (Value Added Network) provider. Hence, all trading partners should be able to connect to GXS VAN system to send and receive EDI documents

Kohl EDI Standards

KOHL follows X12 4010 standards for its EDI Integration

EDI Documents Required for KOHL Connection

KOHL Requires the below documents to be exchanged with the trading partner.

Outbound from KOHL

  1. EDI 850 – New Purchase orders (Blanket and Release)
  2. EDI 860 – Purchase order changes
  3. EDI 864 – Text messages. Any errors or warnings will be sent through this.
  4. EDI 816 – Organizational relations ( Ship to Address)

Inbound to KOHL

KOHL expects the trading partners to send the below EDI messages

EDI 856 – Advance Shipment Notice

EDI 810 – Invoices to customer

Testing Process with KOHL

Kohl does not have a separate testing process with EDI certification. They will send  a live purchase order through EDI and expect the vendor to send corresponding EDI 856 and ASN document through EDI.

Third Party EDI Service Provider

Kohl encourages its vendors to become EDI compliant as soon as possible. Utilizing experienced EDI service provider like TPSynergy will shorten the cycle time to become EDI Compliant with KOHL




Why Forecast is an Important Tool in Supply Chain

Forecasts are future view

Forecasts are very important information in Supply chain. They tell everyone what to expect in the short and long future. But the key to the usefulness of information is only when it is shared. Shared with the right person at the right time.

How does supply chain uses Forecast

As the  name says, Supply Chain is a chain.  There are links in the front and links in the back. Customers are the links in the front. They create the demand for the end products that a company makes. Now, the end products in turn generate demand for the components and Sub Assembly.  `The entire supply chain is hungrily waiting for this demand information.  This in turn will feed the supply chain that is down the line.

What to make and when to make

The main use of Forecast is that it tells the entire supply chain, what to make and when to make it and how much to make it. Imagine, how important is this as the delivery windows are reducing all over the industry.  Product mix and short lead times are the mantra of the industry today.

Sharing the Forecast is Crucial

Information has no value if it is not shared to the right person at the right time. Forecast is information and it is needed to be communicated to the supply chain. But how to share the forecast information to the supply chain.

MRP need to be shared outside the company

MRP or Material Requirement Planning is a tool that converts demand to supply. It takes the demand from customers and tells the company what to make and how to make. It looks into the engineering details like Bill of Materials (BOM), sourcing information and tells how the demand is going to be fulfilled.

If it is necessary to purchase a component or part, MRP is going to suggest to place an order with the supplier who is supplying that item.

As the demand forecast is still fluid, the Supply chain manager may not want to release a firm purchase order as the demand may change at any time. But, he wants to give a heads up to the suppliers that he is likely to place an order in the near future.  This is done by sharing the forecast in advance to the suppliers.

Ever Changing Forecast

As the demand is always changing, forecast also will change frequently. Most of the companies will run MRP every week to revise the forecast.  This needs to be constantly communicated across the supply chain.

Vendor Portal for Sharing the Forecast

In our earlier post why vendor portal is important , we explained the order collaboration benefits of vendor portal. Same benefits apply to Forecast collaboration also. As MRP  results are not available outside an organization, companies should use a vendor portal to share the Forecast view as it comes out of MRP

Forecast collaboration process in a Vendor Portal

Below is the process of how the Forecast collaboration can be achieved using a vendor portal.

  1. MRP runs and creates suggested purchase orders for the supply chain.
  2. These recommendations are not ready to be converted to purchase orders but can be shared to the suppliers in advance.
  3. Raw planning output is sent to the vendor portal from ERP MRP output.
  4. Planners review the forecast once in the vendor portal and then publish the forecast
  5. Suppliers will be able to view the forecast on the portal and also download them to their ERP system.
  6. Suppliers will provide commits ( confirmation) to the forecast.
  7. The supplier commits in turn will get the feedback to the MRP system thus completing the loop.

As the full process is automated, effective communication of the forecast to the suppliers is achieved easily.

TPSynergy vendor portal provides full forecast collaboration features. Many supply chain managers have effectively utilized the benefits of sharing the forecast across their supply chain








Optimizing Business Output By Efficient Inventory Management System


Whenever you have a business, you will have a lot of stock to deal with. A fast growing business needs to know that how can it manage inventory. Inventory management is a key tool to increase the productivity and efficiency of the organization. If the inventory of the organization is not managed it will lead to inefficiency of the organization as the supplier and the vendor would not know what items needs to be ordered, which items are already present and which needs to be replenished. Hence, a vendor managed inventory needs to be set up in the organization in order to know the statistics of the system and what, when and where to stock needs to be ordered and dispatched.

A vendor managed inventory allow the system to see and do the analyses the system from within as how many stocks are already available and how many of them needs to be ordered or manufactured. This kind of inventory visibility allows the company to keep a track on the orders they make and also allows everyone to be updated on the items they are manufacturing.  In the vendor managed inventory the inventory visibility is a key part that needs to be known and understood. The major players of the vendor managed inventory needs to know the inventory status of the system and hence make accurate calculations accordingly. The major players of the vendor manager inventory are the suppliers that supply the product to the company, warehouse providers that store the inventory and small to bulk amount, transporters hat transport the product to different locations like the ware house, shops, retail stores etc. These three players need to know the inventory status of the system. The inventory visibility of these three players is essential because if the supplier does not know what amount he needs to supply it will create a problem for the warehouse management team. The warehouse management team will not be able to judge the amount of supply coming in from the supplier and they will not be able to manage their inventory which is already present and which needs to be dispatched. Same is the case with the transporter as if he is not given the inventory visibility he will not know how many reps he should be making to supply the inventory from the warehouse to the retail shops or vice versa. Everybody in the system should have a inventory visibility chart in the vendor managed inventory as it will make it very easy for the entire system to make sure that they do not produce in excess quantity. provides the inventory visibility tools for the organization. So, visit the website and have your inventory managed.

Supplier management is essential for consistent production

In a company which is trying to integrate new technology the biggest hurdle is if the people or its employees are going to accept the new technology or not. There have been many cases where when a company has tried to accept a new technology its employees have rejected it and it never came in to the light. Hence, the problem for new technology onboarding comes down to the manufacturer of the new technology. The manufacturer needs to make sure that the new technology is easy enough for the new employees and also easier than the previous technology the employees have already been working on.


The vendor managed inventory software that TP synergy has created is very easy to adapt and does not require very complex understanding. The supplier onboarding process for the vendor managed inventory is very easy to adapt as it gives a good idea to the supplier itself for managing the inventory. Order acknowledgment, receipt, delivery confirmation all these things are done by TP synergy and sent to the ERP system for acknowledgment. Supplier communication is very essential for supplier on boarding here, if the supplier is communicated about the benefits he can have by getting on boarded, it is actually going to save a lot of time and money for both the supplier and the company as well. The previously installed system in this case remains as it is all that is added to the system is the TP synergy’s vendor managed inventory tool. Hence, supplier onboarding through supplier communication play a key role in adoption of the vendor managed inventory. Get in touch with the TP synergy website and get to know the details of the vendor managed inventory system and allow yourself to cut down extra cost and same time and money.

One Stop Software Solution with Dynamic Result


TpSynergy offers ultimate supply chain to the potential customers. Take a look to our product range and get the information of the Supplier Portal. We will give you instant access to the suppliers’ site to know the current status of the products. We give you integrated customer experience with excellent data services. We offer robust enterprise security and help to leverage your previous IT investment. Our flexible front end solution includes complete portal with a skilled software solution. We have latest dashboard and advanced CMS and we create a good portal for the suppliers.

Build an Excellent Portal

Improve the profitability of your business by creating Vendor Portal Software. We help you to improve the performance of your organization. We give you end-to-end vendor management solution. We designed e -Commerce solution for a complete automation platform. Vendor portal allows vendors to connect online with a secure manner. This will provide you a web based platform. The main advantage of the vendor portal is that it will give service more efficiently with less operational cost. Suppliers and vendors can directly submit invoices into the vendor portal. This can be seen by the managers directly. This will reduce disputes and also it will give an answer to all the invoice payments of the vendors.

We help to create vendor portals and streamline all your information at one place. This will provide you a discount. We make sure that your vendor portal would be designed to give you the best service. We offer vendor management solutions. Our vendor management software simplifies the supplier data and ERP platform. Our supplier portal is automated and less time consuming. You can improve profitability of your business and get an error free designed portal. We give comprehensive portals to our customers.

Supply Chain Collaboration Is Crucial For Businesses To Achieve Optimum Operational Efficiency


Supply Chain has always been an integral part of any business. Supply Chain function is highly responsible for in – bound and out – bound logistics and moreover, the internal processes of the organisation. A supply chain collaboration enables the organisation to convey the accurate information to the distribution channels and also to enable the client or the final customer to track the processing and get the status quo of his requirement. Therefore most of the organisations have invested a considerable time and money to enhance their supply chain activities and thus achieve optimum operational efficiency. All the processes like taking quotation, sales order, purchase order, billing and e-mails have been completely automated to shorten the cycle time of each output.

A supply chain collaboration includes suppliers, customers, logistics and warehouse. Each and every business process is linked with them. Supply chain visibility becomes very crucial in case of e – commerce businesses where they take several orders and process them simultaneously. On time delivery of the product becomes very important and moreover, generating e – invoices and notifying to customer is an integral part of the process. A sound supply chain mechanism in an organisation enables end to end solutions for inventory management and logistics visibility. It enables monitoring and controlling of each and every step involved in the complete process.

Organisations like Amazon and e – bay flourish in the market due to their strong supply chain collaboration and logistics management. Their processes are highly efficient and therefore they are able to deliver quality services. There are various third party providers of end – to – end supply chain solutions to the organisations. Most of the large corporations outsource their supply chain management to these third party vendors. It is also profitable as these third party providers have expertise in providing services and organisations can focus more on their core competencies.

Implementation Of Information Technology Has Very Positive Prospects For The Organisations Across The Globe.


Today, it is highly essential for any business to deliver high performance. High performance includes its complete value chain. Business performance largely depends on how efficient its processes are. After all, a delay in shipment either from supplier to business or business to the customer can have a significant impact that would negatively affect the organisation’s credibility. Moreover, there is a very high probability of mismatch in the orders and quotations. Henceforth, most of the organisations across the globe are now implementing software like ERP to track orders and processes at any point of time and anywhere and providing end to end solution to all the stakeholders of the business and thus increasing its efficiency.

A business organization generally has many suppliers and third party vendors that meet the requirements of the business. However, tracking each supplier’s delivery is not an easy job. Moreover, especially in the e-commerce and manufacturing business, it is practically not feasible to process thousands of orders each day and create the invoices for the same. Therefore, these type of organisations opt for software based solutions that integrates the various departments of the organisation and provide real time status of the process and expected delivery time. Moreover, it also facilitates faster data exchange and information flow and thus it makes it easier to take decisions.

One of the most important aspect of this software based solution is EDI (electronic data interchange). As the abbreviation suggests, it is the exchange of documents between the stakeholders of the business such as suppliers, vendors, clients, etc. There are various advantages associated with it. Firstly, it reduces the data entry errors as the data is being checked in each process. Secondly, it reduces the overall process time to deliver a document as manual exchange is bound to take relatively much time. Thirdly, it reduces overall paperwork and consequently reducing the costs associated with it. Other benefits include better logistics planning, transparent communication and maintenance of data for long time.

There are various portals that provide a complete software based solution to the organisations for their overall value chain activities that include inbound logistics, manufacturing process, outbound logistics, sales and after sales services. TPSynergy is one of the online portal that provide these services. The services include supply chain collaborations, EDI integration and e- invoices where suppliers can create the invoices on the portal through ASN(advanced shipment notifications). Moreover, they also provide consultation services to the clients regarding their software.
Implementation of the IT (information technology) infrastructure has helped organisations grow manifolds and enhanced their overall operations. These vendor and supplier portals are thus very effecting in enhancing the overall business performance and reducing costs.

Why E-Kanban is replacing ROP ( Re Order Level Planning)

ROP Planning

Many of the ERP Systems use MRP based planning. One of the most popular method of planning is Re-Order Level planning also called ROP Planning.

In this method, for each item, a minimum stock level will be set in the system. When the actual on hand inventory reaches this minimum level or goes below this level, this item will be marked as ready to order. Next time when MRP runs, a purchase order will be generated. This is an automated mechanism to ensure there is always adequate quantity available.

When ROP Fails

Re-Order level planning is heavily dependent on the system on hand quantity being up to date and correct. But in real life, most of the times, system quantity will not match the actual physical quantity. It needs discipline to issue or receive material only  after doing the transaction in the system. But most of the times, physical material receipt or issue will be done first and data entry into system will be done much later in batch mode. We have seen in many companies that transactions are noted down in the paper first and then entered into system much later.

This is where ROP will fail

Visual Signal is the winner

Unlike ROP Planning, Kanban is not dependent on the system quantity. Here it is based on the actual visual prompt. When the supervisor in the shop floor sees that the container or bin is empty, he will trigger the signal for replenishment. He need not check what is the system quantity. The very fact that the bin is empty is the signal to start the re order process.


Traditional Kanban Vs Electronic Kanban (E-Kanban)

In traditional kanban, manual processing of replenishment signal is done. In the above example, the supervisor is supposed to put a red tag on the empty bin. The stores manager walks around the shop floor once or twice in a day and notes down all the bins that have the red card. He need to note down the part number and the bin size. After recording all the empty bins, he goes back to his desk to create purchase orders for the empty bins and sends the orders to supplier by email or snails mail. This process is also very inefficient and defeats the purpose of kanban. This is where electronic kanban comes into play


Mobile Apps and Instant Email are the In thing

In the modern way of doing things, each bin has a kanban card that has the bar code. When the supervisor notices the bin is empty, he takes out his mobile phone and scans the bar code on the card using the mobile app. This will trigger the signal to the supplier by email. Supplier ships the bin immediately.

This process removes the lag in the system and communication is instantaneous and efficient

Supplier ship Kanban card
Supplier ship Kanban card

TPSynergy E-Kanban system

TPSynergy is one such app that provides both mobile app and a cloud based solution to manage the electronic kanban process. Each item can be coded with a bar code and scanned with the mobile app. The card goes through the life cycle of New-> In Process -> Full. It is possible to adjust the size of the kanban cards according to the demand.






Kanban System for Hospitals


Kanban System

Kanban is the Japanese term for Just in Time Replenishment. This is a visual tool to refill inventory when and only when needed. As refill is done only when needed, there is no excess or shortage. Inventory is always kept lean and minimum.

Kanban two bin system
Kanban two bin system

Kanban System and Health Care Industry

Kanban system had been used successfully since 1940 in Manufacturing Industries. It had been adopted in Super Markets also. It is a common sight to see long racks where bakery items and milk are kept in the Super Markets. Items are stocked from the back as it is consumed from the front.

The same process can be adopted in Hospitals and Health care industry also.

Two Bin ordering system in hospitals

Important items like medicines, syringes can be put on a two bin in the rack. While the front bin is being used, there is a full bin waiting at the back. As soon as the first bin becomes empty, it will be pushed to the back. The full bin that was in the back will come to the front now and it will be being consumed.

How does the bin get re ordered?

When the bins are consumed, it is necessary to get the supplies from external sources like suppliers. They need to be communicated that the bin has become empty and need to be refilled. In traditional KanBan system, someone will take note of all the empty bins and then issue orders from their accounting system.

This is a slow and error prone process. The store keeper may forget to re order in time.

Supplier ship Kanban card

kanbancard with barcode
Bar coded kanban card


 Electronic Kanban (E-Kanban) System

An electronic kanban system automates this process of ordering. When the bin becomes empty, whoever consumed the last item and moved the bin to back, are supposed to scan a bar code with a mobile app or a mobile card reader. This will trigger the signal to the suppliers to start the refill process. Suppliers will get email or a text message that the bin needs to be re stocked.

Blanket Orders in Kanban Process

To cover the replenishment, it will be a good idea to issue a blanket order to the supplier authorizing them to deliver the supplies as and when they get the signal. This will avoid the need to issue lot of purchase orders at short intervals.

The blanket order can have the rate agreement and will have a validity of a quarter or a year. Every month, supplier will raise invoice for the quantity delivered. As each transaction is recorded in the system, it will be easy to reconcile the quantity delivered to the quantity invoiced.

Challenges in Implementing a Kanban System in  Hospitals

Hospital stores managers will be more comfortable in holding large stock of all the items to be on the safer side. But that will lead to excess inventory and expired items. Convincing them that a lean inventory system is safe and reliable will take time.

Getting the suppliers to follow the kanban process will need training effort. There should be discipline in scanning the card to record the transaction. The system used should have built in checks to avoid duplicate transactions leading to financial issues.

How to Start implementing a Kanban System

Start it simple with few items and few suppliers. Expand the scope as it scales well and all the parties are getting familiar with the system.

TPSynergy E-Kanban system

TPSynergy  is a  electronic kanban system that uses mobile apps and cloud technology to improve the process of automating the kanban process in hospitals. This short E-Kanban video will explain how this system works