EDI 101: Take a Dive into the 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement

By Molly Goad

The EDI 855 PO acknowledgement is an electronic document sent from a seller to a buyer confirming receipt of a purchase order (EDI 850). The EDI 855’s job is to inform the trading partner of the seller’s ability to complete the order. 

The PO acknowledgement communicates three different responses. First, it can let the retailer know that the PO has been accepted as-is. The order may proceed. The second response is the order has been accepted with changes outlined in the EDI 855. (See below for a list of common changes requested.) Finally, the document can notify the buyer that the order has been rejected.

Because this document is sent rapidly after the PO is received, buyers are alerted to the order issues immediately and the necessary changes can be made to prevent future problems with supply. 

Large retailers often require this document to be sent within a certain timeframe as a part of their EDI compliance. For example, Target Corp. has a rigid 30-minute window, meaning you need to send the acknowledgement within 30 minutes of receiving the PO. (If this increases your heart rate a little, take a breath and listen to my good news: BOLD VAN handles this tight timeframe and much more. You won’t even have to think about it.)

PO Acknowledgement Specifics

The EDI 855 is required to include details about a new order, including:

  • PO number, date, product information
  • Requested ship/delivery dates
  • Delivery location
  • Product number identifiers
  • Quantities accepted
  • Expected charges

It also notifies the buyer about changes, errors, or issues that need to be fixed. These include: 

  • Adjustments to the delivery date
  • Inaccurate product identifiers 
  • Price discrepancies 
  • Items that are out of stock and therefore need to be removed from the PO
  • Products that are backordered 
  • Discontinued items to remove from the PO

The Kroger Co. and EDI 855

Here’s an example of the 855 transaction set as required by The Kroger Co., owner of brands like Ralphs, Mariano’s, Home Chef, Fry’s, The Little Clinic, Fred Meyer Jewelers, and more. (As an aside, The Kroger Co. sits third on the National Retail Federation’s list of U.S. 2021 Top 100 Retailers with $131.57 billion in 2020 sales, behind Walmart with $430.82 billion and Amazon.com with $187.27 billion.)

Kroger also has a lot of EDI information on its corporate site for vendors to explore. 

But there is no need for you, as a supplier, to sweat all of this, because BOLD VAN handles the EDI details for you. We automatically update all mapping and trading partner specifications as they change over time.

Get in Touch

Find out what we can do to assist with EDI 855 compliance — call 844-265-3777 or email info@boldvan.com. Whether it’s EDI for Target, Kroger Co., Costco, Home Depot — I could go on — we have you covered. We offer a three-month trial and an EDI-compliant shipping module called DES.

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