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EDI to API intergration for a distributed warehouse partner

“We want to continue to grow the brand on not only a national level but a global scale. And we want to make sure that we can navigate any scenario that the customer puts in front of us. We believe that the transfer and control of data are more critical now than ever, and we know that Kleinschmidt is a partner that can assist us in our efforts.”

Duncan Taylor
Senior Director
Business Engagement 

picture of warehouse with lumber

Business Challenge

Advantage Solutions provides customer service and support for clients and retailers, while relying on Kleinschmidt as an extension of their internal EDI team. When a new warehouse partner required API-based communications, Advantage turned to Kleinschmidt for assistance. 

As is common in the business messaging world, Advantage Solutions’ clients all seem to have slightly different requirements when it comes to data.  

“This project was a little more out of the ordinary and had some complexity since this client has a distributed warehouse ecosystem,” recalls Duncan Taylor, Senior Director, Business Engagement at Advantage Solutions. “In addition, we had some big internal projects going on, and we knew that handling it internally would be a bandwidth challenge that could take 6-12 months. Knowing that Kleinschmidt understands what we do and our data needs, and have proven that they can work with different partner’s needs. It was a natural choice to partner with them to get up and running faster.”  

Kleinschmidt had the experience and knowledge of working with Advantage’s systems as well as data handling for existing EDI connections, and was ready to pivot and work on an API connection with this new warehouse client. 

Creating the Solution 

The Business Analyst team at Kleinschmidt designed the connections, which included data validation programming and mapping. Through testing, more adjustments were made by the warehousing business.  

“We made sure that we understood the ecosystem that included warehouses that the [Advantage Solutions] partner owned, as well as outsourced storage partners—and that the electronic messaging would be distributed through that ecosystem and back to Advantage,” said Mike Ullrich, VP of Client Services at Kleinschmidt.  

The project included Warehouse Shipping Order (EDI 940), Warehouse Shipping Advice (EDI 945) and Functional Acknowledgement (EDI 997) documents and two-way communications that would allow Advantage Solutions to complete the order-to-invoice process for their client. Kleinschmidt also set up a validation for the 945 messages that automatically notifies noncompliant trading partners with a description of the error so that the data integrity would be consistent.  

Continued Support and Partnership 

Once the solution was fully tested and in production, Kleinschmidt continues to monitor messaging. As with many business connections, specifications change over time.  

“Sometimes Kleinschmidt reaches out to us anticipating a known change coming from a trading partner,” Taylor explained. “It’s great to have this close partnership that anticipates change in advance understand our business goals—working with Mike and his team is a high-quality experience.” 

About the Company

More than three decades ago, Advantage Solutions’ founder, Sonny King, saw the need for an organization that can bridge the communication and resource gaps between manufacturers and retailers. Today, Advantage Solutions works with more than 3,500 clients internationally. Learn more here.