Vendor Central Shipping Workflow

Updated 1 day ago

Overview

Vendor Central is Amazon's program for qualified vendors to become suppliers of merchandise to Amazon. In this program you, as the supplier, will ship the order to Amazon. This article explains the shipping process in SellerCloud for the Vendor Central orders, including routing, carton labels, shipping labels, tracking, and invoicing. Click here for instructions on setting up the connection to Vendor Central, importing orders, and sending acknowledgements.



Definitions

TERMS

DESCRIPTION

Shipping Agenda

The group of orders for which you start the shipping process.

Shipment

The group of items, from various orders, that will be shipping together in multiple packages, cartons, or pallets.

Package

The individual cartons or pallets of the shipment.

Freight Type: Collect

Amazon pays for the shipping.

Freight Type: Prepaid

Client pays for the shipping.



Initial steps

  1. Contact SellerCloud Support to enable the following two back-end settings:
    1. VendorCentralCheckQtyDoNotSplitOrder and
    2. EnableVendorCentralShipping Agenda.
  2. Add an EDI contact in Vendor Central. Click Settings > Contacts
  3. Ensure the Vendor Central setting page (Settings > company > Toolbox > Vendor Central Settings > General Settings is configured correctly, including:
For Collect shipping, enter the UPS and FedEx account numbers and the UPS Postal Code of the third party bill-to.
  • When to authorize payment, which causes the system to reserve the inventory. Choose either:
    • Authorize Payment When Creating Orders to have the orders reserve inventory immediately.
    • Authorize Payment When Checking Availability to only have the orders reserve inventory once they are confirmed.
  • GS1 Code - the prefix assigned to your company by GS1 (required for printing SSCC carton labels).
  • The settings in the "Remit To Payment Information" section (required for the 810 invoice).
  1. Obtain the Address Number from Vendor Central following the below procedure:
    1. Log into Vendor Central.
    2. Navigate to Settings > Warehouse Settings.
    3. For each warehouse address click Edit.
    4. Copy Address Number - See Step 5b below.
If there is no value in the Address Number field on Vendor Central, you can enter a unique number or leave it blank and save the page. If the latter is chosen, Amazon will generate the unique number for you. The first time you click “Edit” on the warehouse, Amazon will generate the address ID but you MUST save the page in order to be able to use it.
  1. Set up Vendor Central Warehouse Mapping.
    1. Click Settings > company > Click Toolbox > Click Vendor Central Settings - Warehouse Mapping in the pop-up.
    2. Paste the Address Number from Step 4d above into the the Address Number column on the warehouse mapping page in SellerCloud.
You must enter the unique Address ID from Vendor Central for each warehouse you will be shipping from. This is NOT the warehouse code, but an address ID (see Step 4 above).


Importing orders

Follow these steps here to set up the connection to Vendor Central, download orders, and acknowledge them.

There are a few differences with this process when shipping the orders from SellerCloud:
a. You can choose when to authorize payment on the orders to cause them to reserve inventory (see above - Initial Steps, #2).
b. When confirming the orders (clicking Save on the Check Availability page), the backordered items will no longer be split to a new order. All items that are confirmed will be added to a shipping agenda. You can then separate the items into different shipments, depending on when they need to ship, which items need to ship together, etc.


Managing shipping agendas

To access the Vendor Central Shipping Agenda list (not from the Check Availability page), click Orders > Vendor Central Shipping Agenda.
If you don’t see this option, contact SellerCloud Support to enable the back-end setting: EnableVendorCentralShippingAgenda.

Adding open orders to shipping agendas

After checking availability on an order, the order will automatically be added to a shipping agenda and you will be directed to that shipping agenda's page.

Next to the Shipping Agenda grid is the Vendor Central Open Orders grid showing orders that are not yet on a shipping agenda.

Adding and removing orders to/from shipping agendas from within a specific agenda

You can add or remove orders from a specific shipping agenda.

  1. In the Shipping Agendas Grid, click ID for the desired Shipping Agenda. The Vendor Central Shipping Agenda screen appears.
  2. Enter the OrderID in Enter OrderID Textbox and click either Add Order or Remove Order.

Adding and removing orders to/from shipping agendas using the open order grid

Multiple orders going to the same fulfillment center can be added to the same shipping agenda.

When adding an order from the Vendor Central Shipping Agendas list page, you will be able to see the destination warehouse in the agendas grid and the open orders grid. Selecting an order to add to a shipping agenda, multiple agendas (if available), will be shown giving you the choice of which agenda to associate the order.

When adding an order from within the shipping agenda, the destination warehouse of that agenda will be displayed at the top of he shipping agenda page.
  1. In the Open Orders Grid, click the check box for the desired order(s).
  2. Click Add Order(s) to Shipping Agenda
  3. The Vendor Central Shipping Agenda Add Orders screen displays
  4. Add the open order
    1. To an existing shipping agenda by clicking on the Shipping Agenda checkbox, then click Add to Agenda button
    2. To a new shipping agenda by clicking on Add to New Agenda button.
  5. Before the order will actually be added to the agenda, you will be redirected to the Check Availability page to confirm the order. Clicking "Save" will add the order to the agenda you specified (or to a new agenda).
Even if a shipping agenda is already fully shipped, you can still add orders to it. The items will just need to be added to a shipment within the agenda.
Don't forget to send the 855 confirmation if you have not yet done so.

Adding quantities to new or existing shipments

At the top of the shipping agenda page, there is a list of orders and items that have not yet been added to a shipment. Each item will show the total confirmed qty as well as the remaining qty that has not yet been added to a shipment.

In the Items grid is a list of Orders, Product IDs, Total Qty, and Remaining Qty from all orders on this Shipping Agenda. A line item with multiple units can be divided into different shipments, and different orders can also be split among different shipments. The shipments display in the Existing Shipments grid and the remaining qty in the items grid will be updated as the units are added to shipments.

  1. On an order row enter a Qty To Add, and then choose New Shipment or an existing shipment from the Shipments drop-down. Click Add to add a specific row to a shipment or click Add All to add all the items at once.
  2. If you are adding all the items to a shipment at once, make sure all the rows are completed correctly prior to clicking Add All.


Routing & shipping steps

Routing Request (EDI 753)

Routing request will be for shipments originating from one shipping origin point to be delivered to one or more destination points. Information to be provided for this request will include, but is not limited to:

  • purchase order details [quantities, weights, and cube]
  • commodity classifications in shipment [refer to National Motor Freight Classification 100 series]
  • how load [unitized methodology] is being tendered to the pick-up carrier, pick-up date, time of availability
  • time of availability, and the applicable shipment contact details.

Routing needs to be requested per shipment. Before sending a 753 routing request, you must edit the shipment details and set up pallets/cartons.

  1. Click Edit in the Existing Shipment grid. In the pop-up window complete the following fields:
  • Ship From Warehouse
  • Stackable
  • Freight Class
  • Commodity Code
  • Freight Ready Date
  • and Shipment Type
  1. Click Save Shipment
  2. Click Manage link in the Number of Cartons/Pallets column.
    1. For Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipments, you will need to perform the following three steps. For Small Parcel shipments, perform step ii and iii.
      1. To add pallets, click Add New Pallets and set the weight (lbs/oz) for each pallet. Click Update Pallet(s).
      2. Click Manage Cartons and then Add New Cartons. Enter the Weight (lbs/oz), WidthHeight, and Length(inches). Click Update.
      3. Click Manage Items on each carton. A grid will display with all the items in the shipment, with the total qty to ship, and the remaining qty left to be allocated to a box. Set the box qty for all the items that will be included in this carton, and add an Expiration Date, if applicable. Click Save.
      Use the Select Carton drop-down located on the Manage Items page to switch between the cartons within the pallet.
      Vendor Central does not allow different units of the same SKU in the same carton to have different expiration dates.
      a. If units with the same SKU have different expiration dates, they must be shipped in different cartons.
      b. If units with different SKUs have different expiration dates, they can be shipped in the same carton.
      It is important that the weights and dimensions of the cartons (and pallets if there are any) are accurate as this information is sent on the 753 routing request and it is what Amazon is going to base the routing instructions on.” applies to both small parcel and LTL shipments
  3. Once the routing information and the cartons/pallets are set up, select the shipment and choose “Generate Routing Request and Upload”. (For testing, choose Generate Routing Request and Download).
If you send an EDI 753 Routing Request for a shipment, then have a change in SellerCloud and you need to re-send the routing via EDI, Amazon will ignore the additional 753 routing request(s). Contact Vendor Central if information changes for the previously sent EDI 753 routing request.

Receive routing instructions (EDI 754)

Routing instructions are used to communicate routing instructions to a supplier for a specific shipment. This is a response to the EDI 753 message. Amazon does not send the 754 Routing Instructions until the Freight Ready Date sent on the 753 (set in the “Edit” window on the shipment in SellerCloud). The 754 will be automatically imported by the Vendor Central service, and the SCAC Code (carrier code) and Amazon Reference Number will be saved to the shipment.

It can take Amazon 24-48 hrs to send the 754 via EDI from when the 753 was submitted, even if the carrier details are available on the portal before that, and even if the freight ready date is before that time.

You can also import a 754 file manually from the shipping agenda page:

  1. Click the Choose File button on the top right corner of the page.
  2. Select the file from your computer
  3. Click the Import Routing Instructions (754) button.

You can print carton labels anytime after setting up the pallets and cartons. Each label will have a unique Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) .

  1. Select the shipment and choose “Print SSCC Labels” from the Action Menu. A PDF document will be downloaded with one label for every carton.
For Less-than-Truckloads (LTL) orders, you can print the SSCC labels from the action menu on the Manage Pallets page.

Advance Shipping Notification (EDI 856)

Advance Shipment Notification can be used to list the contents of a shipment of goods as well as additional information relating to the shipment, such as order information, product description, physical characteristics, type of packaging, marking, carrier information, and configuration of goods within the transportation equipment. The transaction set enables the sender to describe the contents and configuration of a shipment in various levels of detail and provides an ordered flexibility to convey information.

In the Existing Shipments grid, click on the Ship link beside Ship Date.

Small Parcel Shipments:

You will be directed to the Vendor Central Shipping Agenda Labels page where you can see all the labels generated for this shipment. Click on the “Create New Label” link.

The Ship From Address is populated from the warehouse set on the shipment (see Initial Steps #4), and the Ship To Address is the Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Clicking on the number of cartons link will allow you to view and edit the cartons and contents that have been set up.

Select the options on the bottom (Amazon usually requires delivery confirmation) and click “Generate Label”. You will be directed back to the label history page where you can download the label PDF.

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments

You will be prompted to enter the Progressive Number (PRO) (as well as the Trailer Number and Seal Number if available) and then to print the Bill of Lading. This will mark the shipment as shipped. If the PRO Number is already set, you can also print the Bill of Lading (BOL) from the action menu on the Shipping Agenda page.

The 856 Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) will be uploaded to Vendor Central automatically for each shipment as it is shipped, even if it only contains part of an order. When the rest of the order is shipped, a separate ASN will be sent for those items.

Invoices (EDI 810):

Invoice is a commercial document issued by a seller to a buyer, relating to a sale transaction and indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller had provided the buyer. Once a shipment has been shipped, the invoice will be sent automatically for the items in that shipment. If the order has been split among different shipments, the items will be invoiced as they are shipped.



Testing EDI transactions

The 753 routing request, the 856 tracking, and the 810 invoice files all need to be tested before you can begin using them in production.

Testing routing requests (EDI 753)

Vendor Central does not have a testing portal for the routing documents. To enable the sending and the receiving of routing instructions for your account, you will need to open up a case with three 753 routing request files and ask Amazon to validate them. You can generate 753 files for any three orders, as Amazon will not actually process them as routing requests.

  1. Follow the instructions above for adding orders to a shipping agenda, adding the info required for the routing document, and then downloading the routing instructions. (Make sure to choose the download option from the action menu rather than the upload option.)
  2. Add all three 753 EDI files to a zipped folder, and then attach that folder to the case, asking Amazon to validate the files.
Once the files are validated and your account is approved for routing via EDI, you can still submit routing requests manually. Submitting the routing request via EDI facilitates Amazon processing the request and sending back the routing instructions via EDI.

Testing ASN tracking (EDI 856)

  • Seller Cloud pretest setting requirement:

For testing, you will need to manually enter some information on the shipment that would normally be populated automatically.

  1. In SellerCloud, navigate to Settings > Company > Toolbox > Vendor Central Settings > General Settings > Enable “Use Test Mode For ASN”
  2. Click Save Settings.
  • Vendor Central testing Process

In Vendor Central, navigate to: EDI > Self Service Setup > Choose the vendor ID you are working with and click “View EDI set up” > Click “Start” (or “Edit” if you have already started) on the “Advance Shipment Notification (ASN)”

Business Requirements: Read and then click “Acknowledge and continue

Identifiers: +

  • Message Format should be “X12”
  • Inherit identifiers should be checked, click “Save and continue

Settings: Select all check-boxes that apply to your account and click “Save and continue”

Test Environment:

  1. Review the settings in the draft column. Changes can be made to any previous steps.
  2. Click Promote and then Confirm, Wait for the settings to be promoted.
Click Refresh” until the settings have been promoted.
  1. Click Continue.
  2. Click “Start Test” and the “Refresh” until the details are populated.
  3. Click “Download Purchase Order” to download the 850 txt file.

  • SellerCloud Integration Testing Processes

The types of ASN’s required for testing may be different depending on the settings you have selected. The process is similar for all the tests

Test each scenario by downloading the PO order file, importing it into SellerCloud, creating a shipment, and then generating a tracking file.
The test marked “Small Parcel” should be processed as a small parcel shipment. All other tests, including “ASN license plate receive (SSCC)” should be processed as Less-Than-Truckload (LTL).
  1. Open SellerCloud and navigate to Orders > Import Orders
  2. Select the company to create the order in and “Vendor Central” as the channel
  3. Choose the file that you just downloaded and click Process Order. A queued job will be created.
  4. Click on the link for the job and wait for it to finish processing.
  5. Once it is completed, you will see a “View Orders” link towards the top of the page. Click on that to open up the order that was just created.
  6. Open the order details page and choose “Check availability” from the action menu.
The checkbox to send the 855 should NOT be Checked.
  1. Accept the full qty for both items and click “Save”. The order will be added to a Vendor Central Shipping Agenda. Add both items to the same shipment. (See Managing Shipping Agendas for detailed instructions.)
  2. Click the “Edit” link on the shipment
    1. Set the fields required for the 753 (see Routing requests above).
    2. Set the Amazon Reference ID - Any number can be used for this)
    3. Set the SCAC Code.
      1. Valid values for small parcels - UPSN, FDEG.
      2. Valid values for Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) - RDWY, ABFS, EXLA)
      This information normally comes in from 754 Routing Instructions, but since that step is skipped for testing, it needs to be set manually.
  3. The next step is to manage the pallets and cartons for this shipment. Click on the “Manage” link in the “Number of Cartons/Pallets” column in the grid and follow the instructions above to set up the pallets and cartons.
  4. Select the shipment and choose “Print SSCC Labels” from the action menu. This will create an SSCC code for all the pallets and cartons that do not yet have one. You do not need to send the labels to Amazon for approval, but the ASN does require the SSCC code so it must be generated.
  5. Enter the tracking info:
    1. For LTL test orders: Click on the “Ship” link towards the right of the grid
      1. Enter the PRO number (you can enter any number since it is just a test)
      2. Click Update and Print BOL
    2. For Small Parcel test orders:
      1. Click on the “Edit” link on the left side of the grid and enter one tracking number for each carton.
      2. You will also need to enter a BOL Number and check the “Include BOL # in Small Parcel ASN” checkbox. (Vendor Central requires the BOL Number on the Small Parcel ASN for testing only.)
In production, shipping labels will need to be printed and that will update the tracking numbers.
  1. Select the shipment and choose Generate ASN Tracking and Download.
  2. In Vendor Central, click “Upload advance ship notification” and choose the ASN file. It will take a few minutes for the test status to update.
Once all the tests have been completed successfully, click continue. On the following page, click “Schedule Promotion” and either choose “Immediately” or select a date and time and “Confirm”.

Testing invoices (EDI 810)

  1. In Vendor Central, navigate to: EDI > Self Service Setup > Choose the vendor ID you are working with and click “View EDI set up” > Click “Start” (or “Edit” if you have already started) on the “Invoice (INV)”
  2. Click “continue” on the first four steps until you reach the Integration Test section. Follow the same instructions as when testing the ASN to download the PO file, import it into SellerCloud, add it to a shipment, and mark the shipment as shipped.
  3. Select the shipment and choose “Generate Invoice and Download” from the action menu.
  4. In Vendor Central, upload the invoice file and wait for the test status to refresh. Once the test has been completed successfully, click continue.
  5. On the following page, click “Schedule Promotion” and either choose “Immediately” or select a date and time and “Confirm”. If you would like invoices to be uploaded automatically from SellerCloud, make sure the setting to “Enable Invoice Upload (810)” is enabled on the Vendor Central General Settings page.
  6. Parallel Testing: Vendor Central requires parallel testing for EDI invoices. This means that once you launch the 810 transaction and start sending invoices via EDI, you will still need to submit manual invoices. Vendor Central will validate the EDI invoices against the manual invoices, and once they determine that the EDI invoices have the correct data they will send you an email informing you that the manual invoices are no longer necessary. At that point, the EDI invoices will be considered in production.

Before launching

  1. Make sure the following are set as follows on the Vendor Central General Settings page in SellerCloud:
    1. ·         Disable Use Test Mode For ASN
    2. ·         Enable Enable Fulfillment Upload (856)
    3. ·         Enable Enable Invoice Upload (810)

Notes:

Even once a transaction is in production, you can still choose to submit routing, tracking or invoices manually for a particular shipment.
Inventory: Depending on the setting on the Vendor Central General Settings page, the orders will either begin reserving inventory as soon as they are created in SellerCloud, or once availability is checked (by marking the payment status as Authorized). The qty reserved will show in the inventory movement as a regular OrderReserve, even once it is added to a shipment. Once a shipment is shipped, the qty on that shipment will show as a CompletedShippingAgenda movement. If there is still some unshipped qty, it will remain as an OrderReserve.
Kits: Vendor Central only knows about the kit parent, so we cannot allow the user to split up the kit between shipments or even between cartons/pallets. Of course if there are multiple kit parents ordered, the user can split the kit PARENTS between shipments or cartons, but all the components must stay with each parent.


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