Skip to the main content.





Paya Nuvei Logo 2


AvidXchange Logo USE


4 min read

5 Steps to Retail Compliance Requirements : Part 1

retail_compliance_regulations.jpg5 Ways to Master Retail Compliance Requirements

Suppliers to large retailers struggle to avoid chargebacks  due to some form of non-compliance such as an incorrect ASN, for example. Don’t let chargebacks lower your profit margins or negatively impact your scorecard performance with your most strategic accounts.

Since maintaining compliance is an area where most suppliers struggle, we hope these articles will help in your efforts to be more consistently successful.  Hopefully, you will be better equipped to keep your existing customers happy and to grow your business.

These best practices  were developed specifically for small to medium sized companies that are new to supplying national retailers, as well as for suppliers that are struggling with consistently meeting compliance requirements within their retail customer community.  Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series and don’t forget to download the guide at the end of this article.

1. Get to know your customer: Develop and maintain a thorough understanding of vendor compliance requirements

Each retailer will publish detailed vendor guidelines that are effectively the “rules of trade.” These guidelines can be quite extensive and are usually posted to a vendor portal for easy access by suppliers. It is essential that the supplier organization acquire sufficient knowledge of these guidelines in order to effectively adhere to them.

2. Get educated: Attend vendor compliance workshops

Even for suppliers that have a solid understanding of their retail customers’ requirements, attending vendor compliance workshops can provide many ancillary benefits. It demonstrates to the retail customer that the supplier is committed to the success of the business relationship.  This is an area where an investment of a little time and money can go a long way in building rapport with the customer.

Attending workshops is also an opportunity to get advanced information on possible upcoming changes that may impact the operation. This enables suppliers to weigh in on the issues before they become part of the established requirements. Finally, it provides an opportunity to network with peers to discuss best practices and to establish a trusted advisor group that can collaborate on future issues.

3. Be versatile: Establish cross-functional teams

Cross-functional teams consisting of a manager and subject matter expert from each core operational area (sales, customer service, information technology, operations, finance) should be established. These teams should jointly interpret requirements and implement required process changes. Having cross-functional teams ensures that all aspects of the business are considered and that changes are not made in silos potentially unexpectedly impacting other departments.
These teams should meet on a regular basis to review changes in the guidelines and to evaluate requirements for new customers. During these reoccurring meetings, the teams should also review all non-compliance events and chargebacks that have occurred in order to take corrective action when necessary.

The teams should be empowered to build processes that enable consistent support of retail compliance requirements. Members will also serve as the liaisons for their respective departments making sure that all members are trained in fulfilling their role in meeting requirements.

4. “Kill two birds with one stone”  Build compliance into the process

The surest way to guarantee that violations are avoided is to embed compliance activities into the core business processes. This begins upstream with the assortment and order management functions, continues through distribution operations, and goes all the way through to financial document reconciliation

Building compliance into the process will include both the information flow and the physical product flow. These two key components should be in synch and harmonized with one another. Building compliance into the informational/data flows will start with a best-of-breed EDI platform.  This ensures that each retailer’s EDI specifications will be configured into the system and when EDI documents are exchanged, they will always match the retailer’s specifications.

The same holds true for the product flows. A best-of-breed warehouse management system (WMS) will enable the supplier to build proper labeling and assortment handling into the receiving and put away processes.  As orders are received from specific retailers, the operations team can quickly and easily fill orders without having to break bulk and or completely construct orders based on retailer specific packing requirements. It will also ensure that all customer requirements are met upon shipment of orders, including customer specific labeling, packing slips, and shipment notifications.

5. Ensure endless process enhancement:  Consider retail compliance as a continuous improvement tool

Suppliers should take a critical look at their own operations as they work towards complying with retailer requirements. Changing processes to meet retailer requirements is a golden opportunity for suppliers to make improvements to their own operations. This helps to ensure that compliance is not just an added cost to the business, but that it also provides internal business value.

To be most effective, continuous improvement programs leverage the knowledge and ideas of the broader team. The team should be empowered to submit ideas on how compliance issues can be creatively solved. Team members that put forth effective ideas should be recognized and rewarded for their efforts. Rewarding employees for their efforts fosters an environment of continuous improvement where the people that do the jobs every day (and therefore have the deepest knowledge) will be the ones that drive process change.

Download the Complete Guide on Tips in Mastering Retail Compliance Requirements

About iCepts Technology Group, Inc. Middletown, PA

We are a Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partner offering implementation, service, and support for Microsoft Dynamics NAV in: PA, DC, DE, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, VA, WV, and the entire Mid-Atlantic Region. We also offer implementation, service, and support for Accellos One Warehouse Management Systems in: PA, DC, DE, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, VA, WV, and the entire Mid-Atlantic Region.

As experienced SCM, WMS and ERP consultants and value added resellers (VARs), we provide start to finish services for the solutions we represent Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Distribution and Manufacturing, Accellos Warehouse Management System (WMS), Server virtualization, open source VOIP phone systems and infrastructure and security. We provide services that cover process analysis, implementation, training, security and networking. Naturally, we also provide full ongoing support for years after implementation to help our clients succeed. We are your one stop shop for your business technology needs.

Phone 717.704.1000

Another version of this article was posted on iCepts Blog posted on April 26, 2016 by gmiles with iCepts Technology Group, Inc.,  A Microsoft Dynamics NAV Cloud ERP Partner:  Tips in Mastering Retail Compliance Requirements: Part 1

Image courtesy of by Stuart Miles  

ERP Implementation Partner Selection Tips and eBook

ERP Implementation Partner Selection Tips and eBook

How to Find the Right ERP Implementation Partner Working with the right ERP implementation partner will be critical to the success of your ERP...

Read More
Are You Outgrowing Your ERP Manufacturing Software?

Are You Outgrowing Your ERP Manufacturing Software?

3 Tips for Finding the Best ERP Manufacturing Software for Your Business If your manufacturing company is outgrowing your software the search for...

Read More
5 Ways a New Manufacturing ERP Helps Your Business Grow

5 Ways a New Manufacturing ERP Helps Your Business Grow

Grow Your Business with a New Manufacturing ERP Solution The economy is constantly changing, and manufacturing companies have been hit hard by recent...

Read More