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  • Steve Baus

What is the DEX process?

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

The DEX process, sometimes called a DEX session starts when the vendor initiates the sending of the transactions they have created, typically one or possibly more invoices and or credit memos. The vendor will connect their mobile device to the DEX port typically through a cable or blue tooth adapter and start the send on their handheld computer or mobile device. What is happening under the covers is the vendor computer sends across codes that tell the retailer who they, using a communication ID and what they want to do, which initially is a send. The retailer computer automatically checks the request and replies back with a response that is almost always a code saying OK but can also be a code saying they do not recognize the communication ID or specifying another issue with the vendors request. If the retailer replies with OK then the vendors computer automatically sends the actual data representing the transaction which are sometimes referred to as an 894 recordset or just an 894. At this point the vendor has simply plugged into the retailers DEX port and hit the appropriate button on their device to initiate the DEX process. The receiving clerk has not done anything.


The retailer now has the data that represents the transactions from the vendor and depending on the retailers process, the retailer can validate products, check if the product is authorized, if the vendor is authorized to sell this product, check pricing and allowances, all of which should be done automatically by the retailers computer. The retailer can also check quantities but this needs to be done by the receiving clerk. If quantities are being checked, the most common way this is done is the receiving clerk will call off the products that were sent across and the vendor will say the quantity and show the receiving clerk where they are in the stack of items they have brought in and the receiving clerk will enter in that quantity into their computer, which is often a mobile device. Once all the items have been checked, the receiving clerk will "close out" and the vendor will initiate a 2nd data transfer in which they request to "receive the response". Once again the vendors computer will send across codes identifying the vendor with the communication ID and what they are requesting to do, receive. The retailers computer will respond with either an OK or a code letting the vendor know there is nothing available to receive at this time. If the response is ok, the vendor receives what is called an 895 which is the retailer created data that specifies if the original data sent by the vendor was all correct or if something needed to be adjusted such as a quantity or a price. If everything was correct, the 895 is considered an acknowledgement and the process is over. If the was an adjustment the 895 is referred to as an 895 adjustment and the vendor must now either send another adjustment back to the retailer or they must send an acknowledgement. The policy with most retailers is if they send an adjustment then the vendor must acknowledge and any dispute needs to be handled office to office. The reality is most adjustments are related to pricing and the receiving clerk and sales rep are not going to resolve any discrepancy in the back door receiving area. Once one side has acknowledged, the process is over.


One option in some retailers DEX receiving systems is to automatically acknowledge. This is the ability to automatically create an 895 acknowledgment as soon as the vendor sends across the transactions. This still allows the retailer to be able to import in the data, update inventory and check pricing but without adjusting the transaction to the vendor at the time of delivery. The advantage to auto acknowledging is eliminating the need to have a receiving clerk involved in the process and the 895 is immediately available for the vendor.


The typical check in process for DEX, if the retailer is checking quantities, should last no more than a few minutes. If the retailer is auto acknowledging, the process should take the vendor less than a minute and have no human involvement from the retailer.

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