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Walmart DSD Distribution for Dummies: What is EDI and Why Do I Need it?

EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, is a means of communication between businesses that uses a computer to exchange documents in a standard format. EDI has been around for decades and is the backbone behind most business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

In order for DSD (DTS - Direct to Store) or Direct to Warehouse,  distributors to get their products into Walmart stores via EDI, they need to be EDI compliant. EDI compliance means that the distributor is using an EDI solution that can create, send, and receive EDI documents in the format that Walmart requires.

If you are a direct store delivery distributor and want to start interfacing with Walmart, there is some good news - and some bad news. The good news is that Walmart has created a streamlined EDI process for distributors. The bad news is that not every distributor will require the same EDI transactions, so you only need to build what you need. In this blog post, we will give you an overview of the Walmart EDI process for most DSD Distributors, and help you determine which EDI transactions you need to build.

The 3 Most Common Types of EDI for DSD distributors

Option 1 - Traditional

  • Purchase Orders (850). The Purchase Order (PO) is sent by Walmart to the DSD distributor with the products they need to order. The Distributor will send an ASN following the receipt of the Purchase Order.
  • Sales Invoices (810). Sales Invoices are sent by the DSD distributor to Walmart to request payment for products that have been delivered. This EDI document includes information such as the customer's name and address, the invoice number, a list of products purchased, and the total amount due.

Option 2:

  • PFR (Pay from Receipt) is an EDI document that is used to provide payment information for a shipment. This EDI document includes the invoice number, the date of the invoice, the amount of the invoice, and the method of payment. It includes Credit/Debit Adjustments (812) and Application Advices (824).

Option 3:

  • DEX - DEXing (Data Exchange, Requires Mobile handheld device) sends an EDI document that sends the invoice to the store electronically. This is done at the store level during delivery. The driver uses a DEX cable or wireless Bluetooth connecting the distributor's mobile device running a DSD software app to Walmart's EDI system.

Also, in some cases, Walmart will send a Text Message - for Invoice Errors (864). This document will be transmitted via EDI along with your invoice acknowledgments for any invoice that fails to meet Walmart's data requirements.

Ways to Communicate

  • AS2 – a secure method to transfer data reliably over the internet. AS2 creates an envelope for EDI data that allows it to be sent securely using digital certificates and encryption. Walmart sends and receives EDI files with a direct AS2.
  • DEX via Cable or Bluetooth

To become EDI compliant with Walmart, DSD distributors need to use an EDI provider, such as IntegraSys, that can create, send, and receive EDI documents in the format that Walmart requires. Since IntegraSys primarily works with DSD companies, our EDI solution is built to handle the EDI transactions that are most commonly used by DSD distributors.

The best part is that you do not need to be an EDI expert! We will take care of the EDI setup and configuration for you and work directly with Walmart to setup the needed EDI documents. Just send us the EDI Transactions Walmart is requiring (purchase orders, invoices, payment information, etc.), and we will take care of the rest!

If you are ready to get started with EDI or if you're not sure which EDI documents you need or have any questions about Walmart EDI for DSD distributors, please contact us at (888) 550-4700 or

3 key takeaways from this blog post:

  1. You don't need to be an EDI expert! We can help.
  2. Every DSD distributor will have different EDI requirements based on business needs and Walmart requirements.
  3. IntegraSys can help you determine which EDI transactions are required by Walmart for your company and help you work directly with Walmart's EDI department to ensure a successful EDI implementation.