RC Willey keeps merchandise moving with EDI

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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A regional home furnishings retailer has minimized supply chain disruptions with a modern electronic data interchange (EDI) platform. 

Salt Lake City-based RC Willey Home Furnishings leverages the TrueCommerce-ecUtopia EDI solution to exchange EDI 850 purchase orders (POs) and EDI 855 PO acknowledgments with vendors.

Manual processes for exchanging supply chain data between retailers and their partners can have difficulty keeping up with product demand, a problem which has been magnified by surges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the retailer side, this can create bottlenecks in the order entry process, while vendors can experience backlogs in transferring manual PDF-based orders to their business systems. As a result, orders can be delayed by a day or two, enough to miss a weekly production cycle and be set back 10 days.

In addition, TrueCommerce-ecUtopia’s real-time visibility into the supply chain makes it easier for RC Willey to keep customers appraised of delivery dates, order changes and other important information. This helps ease customer frustrations with sometimes unavoidable delays.

RC Willey also utilizes the EDI solution’s drop shipping support, which can automate and accelerate sending POs and shipment data to vendors for individual consumer orders placed online.

RC Willey is in the process of extending its TrueCommerce-ecUtopia investment with support for EDI 856 advance ship notices (ASNs). The detailed delivery information in ASNs will further improve visibility into inbound shipments, provide physical shipment specifics to aid delivery preparation, further automate order tracking, and provide more accurate shipment arrival dates.

According to RC Willey, its online business has more than doubled in the pandemic-affected market, and is a key channel for advertising, promotions and brand awareness. The retailer credits the functionality of its TrueCommerce-ecUtopia EDI platform as helping to drive this growth.

“It’s easy for us to handle any kind of merchandise because it runs through our system the same way,” said Stuart Peterson, VP of supply chain, RC Willey. “It’s a SKU, it’s a vendor, and TrueCommerce-ecUtopia handles it all identically. Also, the transaction-based cost model really works for us.”

RC Willey operates 13 stores and three distribution centers in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and California.