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A Recap of the 2015 RVCF Annual Fall Conference

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 19, 2015
Updated: Saturday, November 14, 2015


Approximately 500 attendees representing retailers, merchandise suppliers and service providers – an attendance increase of about 10 percent from last year's event – gathered for the Retail Value Chain Federation (RVCF) Annual Fall Conference, held November 8-11, 2015 at the beautiful JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. The theme of the conference was "Consumer Driven Supply Chain" as industry stakeholders continue to look for better ways to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of the end consumer.

The Fall Conference featured 45 educational programs, a number of breakout sessions, and more than 700 pre-scheduled One-on-One meetings between retailers and suppliers. These fast-paced One-on-Ones, with the Sonoran Terrace serving as home base, gave trading partners the chance to discuss issues, identify disconnects, and open the door for improved communication. No other industry event offers this kind of opportunity for personalized collaboration.

Retailer breakout sessions allowed our retailer members to explain new and upcoming initiatives and outline requirements for suppliers. This helps suppliers proactively prepare for these initiatives and become better trading partners. Of course, networking and relationship-building were constant at the RVCF Fall Conference, whether attendees were chatting between sessions, during lunch and dinner, at the bar, or on the golf course. The goal of every RVCF event is to provide as many opportunities for collaboration as possible, both formal and informal, so problems can be solved and the industry as a whole can benefit.

Here are a few of the many highlights of the RVCF Fall Conference:

Mike McKinley of Alive! Alive! Associates delivered an inspiring keynote that truly focused on the title of the session – "Getting Back to Basics." Why are we here? Why do we do what we do? By asking these simple questions, Mike inspired each attendee to do some soul-searching and assess the purpose of not only their jobs, but their lives, discussing how daily behavior should be a reflection of professional and personal priorities.

In an informative retail-only session, Rob Oglesby of the Parker Avery Group discussed the logistical challenges of filling e-commerce orders from the store. Rob pointed out that inventory precision and accuracy are critical to omni-channel success and customer satisfaction, and offered ideas for improving inventory management and servicing customers who choose to pay online and pick up in store. Ken Lettre of Stage Stores and Jeff Eckel of OpenText/GXS also delivered a retail-only presentation about how a new web-based iPad solution can improve the processes of capturing and sharing compliance violations.

On the supplier-only side, Rachel Greer of Cascadia Product Testing Solutions provided valuable insight into the inner workings of Amazon, shedding light on the e-commerce giant's business practices. Rachel explained what suppliers can do to better manage compliance and navigate Amazon's Vendor Central and Transportation Manual. She offered recommendations for getting issues addressed, discussed why suppliers were experiencing problems with communicating with Amazon, and frankly outlined where suppliers will likely continue to see resistance.

The term "best practice" is often misunderstood and abused. In many cases, best practices are manufactured by consultants to ensure that best practices are aligned with their services. Focusing on retail consumer products, Jamie Tenser of VSN Strategies first helped attendees understand the true definition of "best practice" and what a best practice must support. Jamie then outlined and explained the five key traits of best practice in the retail consumer products industry – designed, conscious, realistic, measurable and customer-oriented.

In assessing the financial impact of drop-shipping, Annibal C. Sodero of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas presented the initial findings of a study being conducted jointly by RVCF, Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas. Annibal started by reviewing the market conditions and business reasoning that have been driving retailers to become increasingly dependent on suppliers to fulfill e-commerce orders directly to customers. He then outlined the research completed thus far via interviews with retailers and suppliers, explained the broad variations he has uncovered, and discussed difficulties experienced by both retailers and their supplier partners.

Leslie Montgomery of GS1 US led a workshop focused on industry initiatives related to the implementation of images and attributes guidelines and discussed the need for and benefits of these initiatives. By providing additional information required for extended attributes, ensuring that all product information is accurate and complete, and all images are compliant, you make it easier for the end consumer to make educated decisions about online purchases. This results in greater customer loyalty and satisfaction as well as a lower risk of returns.

Doug Cowan of Cognizant led a workshop and live demonstration that showed how to optimize SAP workflows and processes for accounts receivable and deduction management, incorporating real world applications and roadblocks from audience members into his presentation. Specific areas covered included dispute management, auto assignment and automatic write-off of reason codes, dispute workflow, and dispute correspondence.

EDI cost management required a double-length session and Kelvin Takhar of Edisoft, Inc. filled the program with valuable information. Kevin reviewed trends and challenges facing suppliers and retailers, such as omni-channel data management requirements, and laid out the five key principles desired in a high-quality EDI solution configuration – greater flexibility, full configurability, end-to-end modularity, scalability, and support for B2B or B2C compliance. The session then transitioned to a workshop format focused on addressing actual issues raised by audience members.

David Schneider of We Are The Practitioners discussed how collaboration and not the chargeback is more likely to result in a quantum shift in supply chain performance. This requires a change in mindset rooted in a genuine desire to better understand problems and perspectives – first between departments within the retail organization, and then with each supplier. This is how you enable proactive problem-solving based on communication and mutual respect.

From a global perspective, Karen Dickinson of the Polsinelli law firm and Deborah Weidenhamer of iPai Auction Company and Auction Systems Auctioneers and Appraisers discussed the ins and outs of joint-venturing in China. Karen discussed the cultural differences between the U.S. and China and how this impacts business relationships and practices, and explained the new five-year plan (2016-2020) for economic transformation and upgrading by the Chinese government. Deborah profiled the Chinese middle class consumer and emphasized the need for truly understanding this consumer when developing an e-commerce strategy.

Ron Marotta of Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc. and Kevin Smith of Sustainable Supply Chain Consulting discussed the factors to consider when navigating the sea of risk in global trade. After getting the audience up to speed on major global trade agreements and China's political and economic issues, Ron and Kevin laid out the primary risks encountered globally. These risks include changes in East and West Coast port volumes, increasing container capacity outpacing demand, Panama Canal expansion, the growing trend of "near sourcing," and driver shortages.

We at RVCF would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the Annual Fall Conference. What parts of the conference did you find particularly helpful or valuable? What topics or issues would you like to see us cover more comprehensively at future conferences? We want to hear your feedback!

CLICK HERE to return to the NOVEMBER 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  Collaboration  One-on-One Meetings  One-on-Ones  RVCF Conferences  RVCF Fall Conference 2015 

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Ask a 3PL Expert: What Did I Miss?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 19, 2015
Updated: Saturday, November 14, 2015

by Scott Weiss, Port Logistics Group

Advice on routing guide compliance, 3PL relationships, and domestic logistics topics creating supply chain challenges for your organization. If you have a question or challenge please send your questions to  

I missed the RVCF Annual Fall Conference. Can you tell me what themes customers were focused on this year?
-Scott, New York

We have been attending the conference as a 3PL for 12 years now and so we feel we are experts in the industry and RVCF conferences. There were a number of common themes that we heard over and over again from visitors to our booth this year, summarized as follows:

Inventory Accuracy. Many of the attendees were operations managers or directors. We continuously heard stories about 3PL's that are having a hard time keeping track of on-hand inventory. A customer might get down to two pairs of a certain SKU and when it comes time to pick that pair, the 3PL cannot find it. Some of our bigger DC's are storing 400,000 plus active SKU's, so visitors to our booth wanted to understand how we perform cycle counting and maintain inventory and order accuracy.

Correct GS1-128 Labels and Bills of Lading. A fairly high number of attendees were vendor compliance managers or directors. These visitors to our booth wanted to know what steps we have in place to audit outbound label accuracy and bill of lading requirements. We reviewed our auditing processes and steps we take to make sure routing guides are up-to-date.

Timely Ship Confirmations. We also had EDI specialists and credit managers stop by our booth. They expressed frustrations with ASN chargebacks from retailers because their 3PL's are not sending them the shipped confirmations on time. So we reviewed what steps we take to make sure shipped confirmations are sent back in a timely manner and with no down time.

Continuous Improvement/LEAN. There were a number of attendees whose jobs are to identify how to make the processes more efficient. These attendees were very interested in our continuous improvement and KPI (Key Performance Indicators) programs that we have in place. They were also interested in how we increase productivity and eliminate waste while not compromising safety to our employees.

Omni-channel Fulfillment. We met with a number of customer service directors who are faced with fulfilling orders from wholesale, retail, and e-commerce from the same inventory. As such, they wanted to understand how we satisfy each channel from the same inventory or multiple inventories and the benefits/disadvantages of maintaining a single inventory versus multiple inventories. This group was also interested in the KPI's we have in place to make sure outbound orders are filled on-time and accurately.

Networking. Most of the attendees mentioned to us that the RVCF Annual Fall Conference is THE big conference of the year for their position. They don't get out of the office too often and they really appreciated the opportunity to be there. We had several attendees also mention that this was their first RVCF conference, so this was a great opportunity for them to get out of the office, get up-to-date on new issues, and forge relationships with industry peers, competitors, and the many service providers in attendance at the conference.

All in all, RVCF conferences advocate collaboration and the exchange of information, ideas, and solutions. Attendees derive numerous takeaways that they can implement immediately upon return to their organizations – a win/win for all. Missing RVCF conferences leaves you behind in the pack and with stiff competition and bottom lines to protect, participation is a must.

As Vice President, Business Development, Scott Weiss works closely with apparel, footwear, and housewares manufacturers of all sizes to ensure compliance with retailer routing guide requirements.  Port Logistics Group is a market leader in gateway port logistics services, operating over 5 million square feet of warehouse space.  Services include port drayage, import deconsolidation, warehousing and distribution, retail compliance, local transportation, and store delivery in key port locations of Los Angeles/Long Beach, New York/New Jersey, Seattle, and Savannah.  Scott may be reached at or (562) 977-7620.

CLICK HERE to return to the NOVEMBER 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Conferences  RVCF Fall Conference 2015 

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Ask a 3PL Expert: Why Attend Conferences?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 8, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2015

by Scott Weiss, Port Logistics Group

Advice on routing guide compliance, 3PL relationships, and domestic logistics topics creating supply chain challenges for your organization. If you have a question or challenge please send your questions to

I am on the fence on attending the RVCF Annual Fall Conference. I have never attended before and want to go, but my boss is asking me why I think I should go. Can you give me some reasons?
- Paul, Los Angeles

A very timely question Paul. We live in a world where we all seem to be so busy. Seems like everyone has hectic schedules and not enough time in the day. A world where texting and e-mail exchanges have replaced the old fashioned phone call or face-to-face meeting. With the RVCF Annual Fall Conference upon us in November, this is a great time to think about the value of attending this conference and industry conferences in general.

  1. Fostering existing relationships – Maintaining close working relationships with a base of industry contacts is very helpful when you run into questions or issues that you cannot answer. Chances are someone within your existing network has run into the problem before and can offer up solutions for you. This conference allows you to connect in person with your industry peers.
  2. Cultivating new relationships – The conference is full of both longtime attendees and first-timers. You just never know when you will meet that new person that will be a true difference maker in allowing you to make a bigger contribution to your organization. Meeting a new person does not happen sitting behind a desk.
  3. Differentiating yourself from the competition – The RVCF Annual Fall Conference is unique in that you have the opportunity to have One-on-One meetings with retailers. Retailers generally have tens of thousands of vendors that ship to them and chances are a majority of those vendors do not invest the time or resources to have a member of their organization meet One-on-One with the retailer.
  4. Continuing education – The world of vendor compliance is constantly changing and as a compliance expert you need to make sure that you are staying on top of these changes. The conference offers up the latest in vendor compliance education.
  5. Best practices – You might think you are doing it great but no doubt there is someone out there doing it even better. There is always room for improvement and a conference such as the RVCF Annual Fall Conference allows you the opportunity to see who is doing it better and how. Every year, for the past 10 plus years, we have attended a presentation that really made us stop and think about how we can run our business better and provide even better service to our customers.
  6. New ideas and concepts – "This is the way we have always done it" is a common theme we hear when we meet with clients. But the world is changing and it always will. You have a responsibility and duty to make sure you are staying on top of the latest industry trends. Each year, the conference presents topics that are hot in the industry and that you need to know about and consider bringing to your organization. At every conference, we sit in on a presentation that makes us think about new services we should be offering to our customers.
  7. Industry leadership – Great organizations lead and do not follow. Attending this conference allows you to be proactive and make sure you are connected within the industry, following best practices, and staying on top of new ideas and concepts.
  8. Management by walking around – This is the habit of stopping by to talk with people face-to-face, getting a sense of how they think things are going, and listening to whatever may be on their minds. In previous articles, we talked about this concept in greater details and had a photo of Abraham Lincoln riding his horse through the battle fields. Whether you are on a golf course, grabbing another cup of coffee, or having lunch with a peer, it is just good business practice to get out there in the field and talk to people face-to-face and hear what is keeping them up at night.

Legendary UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden once said that "when you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur."1 When you improve learning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in learning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Attending an industry conference is just one of the many things you can do to improve a little each day so big things can occur for you and your organization.



As Vice President, Business Development, Scott Weiss works closely with apparel, footwear, and housewares manufacturers of all sizes to ensure compliance with retailer routing guide requirements.  Port Logistics Group is a market leader in gateway port logistics services, operating over 5 million square feet of warehouse space.  Services include port drayage, import deconsolidation, warehousing and distribution, retail compliance, local transportation, and store delivery in key port locations of Los Angeles/Long Beach, New York/New Jersey, Seattle, and Savannah.  Scott may be reached at or (562) 977-7620.

CLICK HERE to return to the OCTOBER 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Fall Conference 2015 

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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: Retailer Execs Have Their Say about the State of Collaboration

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 10, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In last month's issue of the RVCF Link, we unveiled a white paper in which executives of supplier organizations shared their off-the-record views on the state of retailer-supplier collaboration.

Now, it's time for retailers to have their say.

"The State of Retailer-Supplier Collaboration: The Retailer's Perspective" follows the same model as last month's white paper. We interviewed five senior executives from leading retail organizations to get their thoughts on current trading partner relationships. Are they getting better or worse? Is supplier performance getting better or worse? What is working and what is not to improve collaboration?

The goal of the white paper is to capture the insights that are revealed when the microphones are off and the spotlight is off. In some cases, the gloves come off, too. We invited respected industry executives to speak candidly yet constructively about what is really happening between retailers and suppliers.

As you'll see, different people have slightly different takes about the state of collaboration and where it is headed, but they constantly return to a single, universal truth. Ongoing communication is an absolute must if both sides are truly committed to solving problems, creating a more collaborative relationship, and becoming better trading partners. Period.

We invite all retail industry stakeholders to read this white paper thoroughly and use it as a springboard towards a larger discussion. Do you agree or disagree on certain issues? Did you hear any ideas that you think have legs? Did someone make a point that you would like to see explored more deeply on a conference call or at an RVCF event? Start a discussion on the RVCF forum boards or share your thoughts with us privately.

These conversations and insights tell us that RVCF still has much to accomplish when it comes to retailer-supplier collaboration. There are still many opportunities to explore and problems to solve. We will continue to bring both sides of the trading partner relationship together to promote an open dialogue and help the industry find better ways to do business. All of us at RVCF look forward to the challenge.

We hope you find this white paper helpful and thought-provoking, and we look forward to hearing your feedback!

(646) 442-3473

CLICK HERE to return to the SEPTEMBER 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Fall Conference 2015  State of Retailer-Supplier Collaboration 

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How to Get the Most from Your RVCF Conference Experience

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 10, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, September 9, 2015


The Retail Value Chain Federation (RVCF) Fall Conference, themed "Consumer Driven Supply Chain," is being held November 8-11, 2015 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. There is much to be gained for every organization that sends representatives to the conference – especially if they approach the event thoughtfully and strategically.

Who should attend an RVCF event? How many people should you send? What departments in your organization should be represented? What kind of approach should they take with trading partners and other attendees at the event?

We recommend sending a team of people so you can attend as many sessions as possible and bring as many ideas back to the office as possible. Turn it into a "divide and conquer" situation instead of expecting a single person to meet a bunch of trading partners and absorb tons of information. Send different people to different sessions of interest and compare notes each day.

Operations, distribution, vendor and customer relations, supply chain and compliance personnel are obvious candidates to attend an RVCF conference. However, presidents, CEO's, and COO's – the people who typically decide who attends conferences – should consider attending themselves. Many top level executives tend to focus on sales and could benefit from having a better understanding of the inner workings of these parts of their organizations.

At the same time, a company president who simply tries to throw their weight around, makes demands, and threatens to stop doing business with someone misses the point of the conference. In fact, anyone who goes to a conference for no other reason than to make money-related demands will only add friction to the trading partner relationship.

Don't focus on the money. Focus on being a better trading partner and the money will follow.

An RVCF conference is not about suppliers demanding settlements for chargebacks or retailers warning of higher deductions if requirements aren't met. It's about building a strategic, collaborative relationship. It's about trading partners working together to solve problems and find common ground.

For example, there's much more to chargebacks than a number on a piece of paper. There's much more that can be done with chargebacks than putting them on a spreadsheet, adding them up, and trying to get back a certain percentage. An RVCF Conference is about understanding what a chargeback is, how it impacts operations and customer satisfaction, and what can be done by both sides to prevent the chargeback in the future.

Remember, every problem raised at an RVCF conference has a solution. There is no issue that can't be addressed. The only way to uncover a solution – or figure out a better solution – is through communication.

Every session is an opportunity to learn, network and collaborate with a trading partner. Every minute between sessions is an opportunity to build a relationship or start a new one. One-on-one meetings and small group sessions give you the opportunity to learn about trading partner initiatives, expectations and concerns, and find out what can be done to meet each other's needs in a way that benefits all parties. You can accomplish in four days what would normally take months of travelling all over the country to accomplish.

You can read e-mails and manuals all day long. You can have conference calls a few times a year. But sometimes you just need to sit down and have a face-to-face conversation so you can truly understand the needs of your trading partner, understand how their systems work and why they work that way, and make sure you're both speaking the same language. Bring specific questions and problems, and use this time at the conference to come up with permanent solutions and build stronger relationships. That's instant ROI.

Use this opportunity to speak with and learn from peers during open forums and roundtable sessions. Position yourself as an authority by sharing ideas that help others solve problems. You may find that one of your peers has a solution to a problem that you never considered. You can go back to your organization and implement the same solution or modify it to work for you. That's instant ROI.

And remember, all of this can be accomplished at one conference. Imagine what could be achieved by attending the RVCF Fall and Spring Conferences every year.

The key is to make the conference about becoming a better trading partner, not about collecting money. Attend with the mindset that you're going to learn how to improve how you operate, identify the root causes of problems, develop and implement solutions through collaboration, and build stronger relationships. That's how you maximize ROI and improve sales.

For more information about the RVCF Fall Conference, or to register, click here.

CLICK HERE to return to the SEPTEMBER 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  Event Attendance  RVCF Fall Conference 2015 

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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: Supplier Execs Go Off the Record about the State of Collaboration

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 13, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What is said off the record is usually more interesting, honest and even helpful than what is said on the record. That applies to politicians, business leaders, athletes and movie stars. It also applies to retail trading partners.

When it comes to the state of retailer-supplier collaboration, what you hear from a presenter, panelist or attendee during a session at an RVCF conference tends to be very different from what you hear between sessions. The conversations at the bar, on the golf course, and on the buffet line are often more uncensored when the spotlight is off and people are willing to speak off script.

We at RVCF wanted to bring those thoughts and insights to light. That's why we decided to interview five senior executives from merchandise supplier organizations – off the record. We wanted these executives to share their views without fear of repercussions from their own companies or their trading partners. The anonymous contributors to this project did not disappoint.

We used the information from these interviews to create a new white paper, titled "The State of Retailer-Supplier Collaboration: The Supplier's Perspective." We invite all retail industry stakeholders to read it thoroughly and share your thoughts. Retailers, rest assured that your voices will be heard soon. A similar white paper that shares the retailer perspective is in the works as we speak.

It's important to keep in mind that our goal was not to provide a platform for a no-holds-barred airing of grievances. Collaboration can't exist with an "us vs. them" mentality. While it's important to get issues on the table, we wanted to find out what is working and what is not working to improve the retailer-supplier relationship and hear suggestions for creating a more collaborative environment.

We hope this white paper sparks a more frank, open discussion about industry issues and we hope to continue the conversation at the RVCF Annual Fall Conference in November. One of the great things about our conferences is that it gives trading partners the opportunity to schedule as many face-to-face meetings in a few days as they normally would in a few months. This white paper reinforces one fact that we all know – regular, open communication is essential to a strong retailer-supplier relationship.

We hope you find this white paper illuminating and we look forward to seeing you at the Fall Conference!

(646) 442-3473

CLICK HERE to return to the AUGUST 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Fall Conference 2015  State of Retailer-Supplier Collaboration 

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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: Look for a Deep Dive into EDI at the RVCF Fall Conference

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 9, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, July 7, 2015

After the New York Herald reported that Mark Twain was "grievously ill and possibly dying" in 1897, Twain issued his famous response (which is often misquoted):

"The report of my death was an exaggeration."

Mark Twain could have been talking about EDI 20 years ago. Many thought the Electronic Data Interchange, the standard format used by trading partners to electronically exchange information, would have disappeared by now, replaced by something more "cutting edge."

Obviously, predictions of EDI's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

EDI is still alive and well, but it has become somewhat of a lost art. A number of folks in the retail industry, particularly the younger generation, don't fully understand EDI. Many companies lack in-house EDI expertise and are using very old software that can't be updated to the latest and greatest version of EDI.

That's why the RVCF Fall Conference will take a deep dive into EDI communication in a number of sessions.

Michael Kotoyan, Founder and Instructor at the EDI Academy, will lead six workshops, each focused on a different type of EDI. Michael has more than 15 years of experience in EDI and vendor compliance and has provided training in EDI fundamentals and best practices for more than 600 companies worldwide. His workshops at the Fall Conference will include:

  • EDI for Finance. This workshop will show you how to implement EDI transactions such as the 820 RA/Payment and the 823 Lockbox. Finance EDI can help you improve productivity and reduce costs and errors in your treasury and accounts receivable departments.
  • EDI for Inventory. An inventory management system is incomplete without EDI. Learn best practices for EDI transactions such as the 846 Inventory Inquiry/Advice, 947 Warehouse Inventory Adjustment Advice, and the 852 Product Activity Data. This will enable you to provide inventory visibility to your partners and optimize inventory to meet goals for product availability and ROI.
  • EDI for Sales. Studies show that the data input for about one quarter of Business Intelligence and Decision Support comes from EDI transactions. Learn best practices for implementing the 852 and other EDI-related transactions and watch your sales department reap the rewards.
  • EDI for E-Commerce. E-commerce EDI usage is exploding. This workshop will show you how to avoid common pitfalls and master transactions such as the 855 PO Acknowledgement, 869 Order Status Inquiry, 870 Order Status Report, and 846 Inventory Inquiry/Advice. Successful e-commerce EDI will help you boost productivity, reduce errors and improve trading partner relationships.
  • EDI for Transportation. Transportation EDI is very powerful but underutilized. 3PL's, freight carriers, suppliers and retailers can benefit from learning how to manage transactions such as 110 Air Freight Details and Invoice, 204 Load Tender, 210 Invoice, 214 Transportation Carrier Ship. This workshop will show you how to use this information to track shipments and optimize your transportation management system.

Kelvin Takhar, General Manager of Edisoft, will also lead a two-part session entitled 5 Key Principles for Managing EDI Costs. Edisoft is a provider of EDI solutions that are engineered to work seamlessly with the native databases of the most popular accounting systems. Kelvin will share best practices that will help retail suppliers maximize the performance of their omni-channel initiatives.

Part 1 of this session will cover the five principles and how to align them with an effective omni-channel strategy. Kelvin will also discuss tactics used by leading suppliers to manage EDI transaction costs, and how these tactics have delivered measurable results in food and beverage, apparel, electronics, consumer goods and other verticals. Part 2 of this session will be an open forum that will feature discussions about the best way to apply the five key principles for managing EDI costs, and how to overcome three common supply chain challenges.

Another highly anticipated session will show attendees how to maintain accurate data flow when doing business with two of the world's largest online retailers, and Amazon. Suppliers wishing to work with or improve their performance with and Amazon are strongly encouraged to attend this session and understand the complexities of their requirements.

Using glue, string and Band-Aids to squeeze every last drop of usage out of old EDI software won't cut it anymore. To operate more efficiently and effectively, retailers, suppliers and service providers need to understand how data flows work and how to map them.

The great part about these sessions at the RVCF Fall Conference is that we have no hidden agenda. Our only goal is to bring all trading partners to the table to collaborate and share ideas so everyone can take full advantage of EDI. To learn more about these and other sessions at the Fall Conference, please contact Susan Haupt at or 646-442-3433.

(646) 442-3473

CLICK HERE to return to the JULY 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  EDI  RVCF Fall Conference 2015 

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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: Here It Comes - Our 15th Annual Fall Conference

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 14, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Yes, were back at JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, at the base of Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale AZ. This conference is shaping up to be our best ever! With 45 educational sessions and five workshops covering merchandise and assortment planning for stores and e-commerce and five EDI sessions including EDI for transportation, sales, finance, inventory, e-commerce and supply chain. Plus, we'll be going over improving Asian factory shipping practices; best practices for error-free documentation as it relates to and; RFID; product images and attributes; filling orders from the store and more.

We have a great keynote in Mike McKinley, who's a down-to-earth business man. He'll be talking about Change, Motivation, Maximizing Performance, Customer Service, Teamwork, Leadership and Balancing Work and Home.

Then we'll hear from Joe Mohorovic, Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), on some of the issues that the government is looking at regarding product safety. Joining Joe will be Quin Dodd, adding commentary to what retailers and manufacturers need to do to protect themselves as well as the public at large.

Next up will be Kevin Smith, former SVP of Logistics at CVS, and Ron Marotta from Yusen Logistics addressing global risk, especially in light of the port slowdown in California this past winter. They will go over what retailers and manufacturers need to do to plan for labor issues down the road.

Want studies? We have four being presented:

Accessing the Financial Impact of Drop Ship Practices Study: Annibal Solerno, Ph.D, with the University of Arkansas Walton School, will present a study on collaborative initiatives that involve forecasting and visibility with a focus on compliance and inventory management. It will 1) allow suppliers to improve their inventory performance in terms of higher availability and lower costs and 2) provide retailers access to reliable sources of drop ship inventory to meet their service level guarantees to end consumers. In addition, the study will develop a financial model that may be used by both retailers and suppliers to assess the performance of their drop ship operations.

ASN Accuracy Study: For over fifteen years, RVCF has strived to reduce supplier deductions and demonstrate ways to drive the perfect order, identified by the following four key elements: 1) complete, 2) on time, 3) accurately documented, and 4) damage-free. Brian Gibson, Ph.D., Professor of Supply Chain Management at Auburn University, will be presenting.

State of Retail and Supplier Collaboration: Dan Gilmore of Supply Chain Digest will be outlining the findings of this summer survey of retailers and suppliers.

Reshore or Offshore?: Harry Moser of will present "Reshore or Offshore: How to Objectively Decide." The increasing advantages of producing in America for the North American market is driving retailers and manufacturers to reshore. The Reshoring Initiative documents the reshoring trend (what, where, why, how much, etc.) and provides tools for comparing the economics of offshoring to reshoring.

Additionally, RVCF is working on one more study around returns from consumers that will be announced shortly.

So, not only is RVCF the top retail-supplier collaborative organization in the U.S. today, we also offer top notch educational programs. And, don't forget the 650 One-on-One-meetings between the nation's largest retailers and their merchandise suppliers! Add our popular open forums and topic specific round tables for both retailers and suppliers respectively, and you have program that's bound to provide multiple takeaways for all attendees.

Stay tuned for the complete agenda as we'll have it out soon.

(646) 442-3473

CLICK HERE to return to the MAY 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Fall Conference 2015 

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