Finding the Right Purchase Order: EDI 850 vs. EDI 875

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Back to basics: What is a purchase order?

A purchase order is typically the starting point of your supply chain. It is a legally binding agreement between a trading partner and a buyer, detailing items that the buyer would like to order from the trading partner. It contains prices that both parties have agreed to, including discounts, as well as delivery terms. Once a purchase order has been sent to the trading partner, then the whole life cycle of the order begins.

What is an EDI 850? What is an EDI 875?

The EDI 850 is simply called a Purchase Order. The document contains the requested items, including the details such as description, UPC item or case code, and unit prices. It contains the agreed-upon terms of sale, such as payment terms, discounts, and requested delivery date. Everything you’d expect about a purchase order.

Now, the EDI 875 is called the Grocery Products Purchase Order. It contains all of the same information as the EDI 850. The only difference is who is submitting the order. 

Common segments of the 850:

  • BEG – Purchase order number
  • DTM – Delivery date: The date by which the retailer wishes to receive the ordered products
  • N1*ST and N1*BT – Ship-to and bill-to DUNS: A 9-digit code identifying each physical location of your company
  • PO1 – Item details: UPC, quantity, retailer item number, and others
  • AMT – Total amount: Calculated total price of all units

Common segments of the 875:

  • W05 – Depositor order number: Usually the purchase order number
  • G62 – Delivery date: The date by which the buyer wishes to receive the ordered products
  • N1*ST and N1*BT – Ship-to and bill-to DUNS: A 9-digit code identifying each physical location of your company
  • G68 – Item details: UPC, quantity, retailer item number, and others
  • G76 – Total weight

How do I know which purchase order to use?

As you can see, many of the segments have different names, but they contain similar data. Functionally, there is very little difference between the two transactions. The main difference is who is sending the files. The EDI 850 can be used by all retailers wishing to purchase goods. However, the EDI 875 is specifically for grocery stores and wholesalers. Here is an example:

Your company makes organic gummy bears that have fun flavors, such as lemon-lime or strawberry-kiwi. You want to reach a wide array of customers, so you sell your product to many buyers, such as Stater Bros. Markets, TJ Maxx, and UNFI. When setting up your EDI, you will have to contact these buyers to begin the process of your integration. Stater Bros. is a grocery chain, so they have decided to only create the EDI 875 documents. However, TJ Maxx is not a grocery store, but they do sell snacks. They would not be able to create an EDI 875, so they would go with the EDI 850 instead. UNFI is a distributor of natural foods to all sorts of stores, so they will typically use an EDI 850 as well.

Related Reading: B2B Integrations, Demystified: EDI vs API

What about invoicing?

Purchase orders and invoices are typically the beginning and end of an order’s supply chain. Once the order has been created, boxed, shipped, and received, then an invoice can go out. There are EDI documents for invoicing as well, and they couple with the type of purchase order used. The standard is an EDI 810 that is simply called an Invoice. This document is used with the EDI 850 as its payment transaction. However, the EDI 875 does not use the EDI 810 as its correspondent. Instead, it uses the EDI 880, called a Grocery Products Invoice. Again, the data sent is very similar. 

Other documents that go with both the EDI 850 and EDI 875:

  • 855 – Purchase Order Acknowledgment: used to confirm you can meet the requirements in the purchase order
  • 860 – Purchase Order Change Request (Buyer Initiated): used to request an update to the details on the original purchase order
  • 940 – Warehouse Shipping Order: used to authorize a shipment of items from a warehouse
  • 945 – Warehouse Shipping Advice: used to notify the trading partner of a shipment
  • 997 – Functional Acknowledgment: used to confirm receipt of the 856

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