Electronic Data Services
We want to help you increase efficiency. And we know you can achieve this with the right tools in place. That's why we offer the following electronic data services to get you going in the right direction, or to simply keep you on track.
Advance Ship Notices (ASN) & Sales Order Confirmation
As an added value service to our customers, our brands can send advanced ship notices and real-time sales order confirmation emails. A sales order confirmation is sent as soon as we enter your purchase order. Advanced ship notices are sent when your order is released to the freight carrier. Emails include helpful information such as:
- Sales Order Confirmation: item product code, item description, quantities, list price, your discount, net price, total price, taxes, and freight terms.
- Advanced Ship Notices: items shipped (including product code and description), waybill and carrier information, number of packages, and shipping weights.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Creating, Moving and Processing Business Documents Electronically
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the automated electronic transfer of standardized business documents between trading partner systems that have traditionally moved by mail or fax. Using EDI, business documents are created electronically using industry standard formats for common business document types. The EDI documents are then passed over fast and secure networks to a trading partner’s system where they are received, validated, and processed electronically. EDI allows trading partners, suppliers, and customers to prepare and send a broad spectrum of common business documents electronically that historically required costly and error-prone human interaction. These standard documents include, but are not limited to: Purchase Orders, PO Acknowledgements, Advance Shipping Notices (summary and detail), and Invoices. Exchanging data in this way reduces transaction costs, improves productivity, accelerates throughput, and improves document accuracy.
Benefits of EDI
- Reduced Costs. Industry experience has proven that when document creation and receipt processing are properly integrated into electronic business systems, the administrative and labor costs of producing and processing an EDI transaction is conservatively 75 percent less than the cost of creating and processing a manual transaction.
- Increased Productivity. Employees previously involved in preparing and processing incoming business transactions are now free to engage in other value-added tasks. Human intervention is only required to deal with the small percentage of transactions that are flagged with errors.
- Accelerated Throughput. The time required for producing, sending, receiving, and processing the majority of business transactions is reduced from days to seconds.
- Improved Accuracy. EDI eliminates keystroke errors, enabling transmittal of more accurate information. In addition, unlike human processors, once the information is recorded correctly in the electronic master file, it will be reapplied consistently without variation or error each time a new transaction is prepared.
Watts EDI Offerings
We currently accommodate the majority of customer EDI requirements with a combination of the following EDI document types:
- Purchase Order – EDI 850
- Purchase Order Acknowledgement – EDI 855
- Invoice – EDI 810
- Advanced Ship Notice (summary and detail) – EDI 856
We also understand that more advanced EDI customers may have unique requirements not addressed by any combination of the above document types. We will work with customers to accommodate reasonable requests outside the customary offerings.
Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI)
Sharing Inventory Risk for Mutual Gain
The Watts Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) service is a software-enabled collaboration between Watts and our U.S. channel partners. This partnership inverts and radically changes the traditional ordering process. Rather than having channel partners send hard copy purchase orders, your business system electronically transmits daily demand information. We use that data to calculate and generate replenishment orders for you based on inventory position and demand. In this model, Watts takes responsibility for managing the demand and replenishment of our products for you.
The Benefits of VMI
VMI eliminates inventory management problems of the past while reducing overhead by transferring your inventory management, order entry, and forecasting to Watts. Consider these benefits:
- Improves inventory turns up to 13 times/year – by carrying and investing in less inventory, you gain access to greater working capital
- Provides better service levels – improve fill rates and decrease stock-outs and inventory levels
- Increases sales – provides better service to end user by having correct items in stock when the customer needs them
- Reduces admin burden – improves efficiency for handling additional sales volume
- Requires less distribution space – increases product coverage and material handling efficiencies
- Greatly reduces data entry errors –virtually eliminates human errors through computer-to-computer communications and generates POs on predefined basis
How VMI Works
The Watts VMI process begins with mutually agreed objectives regarding your inventory levels, fill rates and transaction costs.
The VMI is then configured to align our mutual business objectives and streamline supply chain operations. As demand data is received, it is automatically analyzed and orders are placed consistent with predetermined mutually agreed business objectives. The VMI process assures product availability and replenishment quantities on a schedule that keeps your stock levels at optimum efficiency. VMI automates and even eliminates many costly and time-consuming manual functions while improving service and cutting transaction costs.
Industry Data Pools
We provide product data to several industry data pools. These data pools collect and standardize product data for trading partners to use in their business systems. We encourage our trading partners to use these services to meet their data needs.
Data Synchronization & the GDSN
Providing accurate and complete product information is an important part of our business. Our diverse product offerings can be described or characterized in a number of different ways. To organize and store this product data, we implemented a Product Information Management (PIM) system.
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