EDI with suppliers



We are planning to introduce a simple supplier assessment tool, to measure suppliers’ EDI performance. This will help us highlight which partners of ours support Bunzl best in maximizing EDI opportunities, and where is leakage. We will inform our suppliers in due course when and how this is happening.

We expect our suppliers to support our message types, standards and one of our communication methods.

The message types we need to exchange with our suppliers are:

  • from Bunzl to supplier: orders
  • from suppliers to Bunzl: order responses, dispatch notes, invoices (based on our orders).

The use of all 4 messages is mandatory for the majority of our companies, and suppliers need to be able to support all of them. Exceptions always must be discussed and approved prior.

Suppliers are of course free to choose to cooperate with us via their existing EDI service provider, pick a new one, manage their EDI connections in-house themselves or create a partnership with TIE Kinetix to use iVIP.

We recommend one of the below three options for our suppliers to engage in EDI with Bunzl. Using your own EDI solution and iVIP both qualify as a traditional EDI solution. The main difference is that for iVIP – after closing a contract directly with them -, suppliers commission the same EDI provider as Bunzl has, TIE Kinetix, with very favourable conditions.

If you are considering starting traditional EDI with Bunzl, please first check out our minimum data model. This explains what kind of data we must receive from you, so you can assess whether this is deliverable directly from your ERP. If not, you can still use our VIP platform, since that prompts you to provide the necessary values manually anyway.

Using your own EDI solution

This option presumes that the supplier already has an EDI provider. In some scattered cases suppliers employ in-house EDI developers instead. Their technical staff will analyse our requirements and create the necessary mappings and connections.

As a summary, Bunzl uses EANCOM messages according to the D01B version.

iVIP: EDI via TIE Kinetix

The unquestionable benefit of a supplier choosing TIE Kinetix as their EDI provider is that TIE Kinetix, based on an agreement with Bunzl, offers EDI services to Bunzl partners at a discounted price. Another is that due to the historic partnership with TIE, suppliers do not need to analyze or even download our requirements, as TIE Kinetix knows and handles them automatically. If you close a contract with TIE Kinetix, from a technical aspect they will only ask you about the specifications (ERP, output format, communication options etc.) on your end. The content of the contract between our suppliers and TIE Kinetix as their EDI provider is of course confidential and not disclosed to Bunzl in any way, and likewise, Bunzl is not responsible for it in any way.

VIP: via the Bunzl portal (FLOW)

Suppliers that cannot support all 4 message types via EDI directly from their ERP, or have other limitations in direct EDI communication (e.g. do not want to invest in EDI), need to use the Bunzl VIP portal to receive and send us all required messages. This a a widespread solution with sellers and resellers, and while it builds on a manual process, it is free of charge, hassle and almost instantly available for use.

Before you commit to any of these solutions, we ask you to first reach out to your local Bunzl representative to align ideas. Considering the return of investment, Bunzl will not necessarily embark on traditional EDI with all of her suppliers. When assessing prospective EDI projects, we take into account message volume and annual order amount with our suppliers.