Rapid-fire Retail Readiness

A quick guide to retail compliance preparedness


There are two universal truths about retail compliance in shipping: Every large retailer requires it, and no two retailers’ requirements are the same.

Sound complex? Well, it is, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. In fact, many of the most laborious parts of meeting retailers’ compliance standards can be automated through software you can implement now. Whether you’ve begun selling to such retailers, or plan to in the future, consider the following to ease that retail compliance burden: 

  • Get ready: you know it’s coming… 
  • Get set: how to ship to one or more large retail trading partners…
  • Go: Explore additional tools to take compliance automation to the next level! 

It’s coming. Any manufacturer or distributor with an ambitious sales team should keep an eye on retail compliance. Eventually, someone from that team will manage to break into the largest trading partners out there – like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, or Amazon – and operations needs to be ready. While it’s possible to use current workflows to prepare labels and paperwork for a single retailer, you will start to notice how much longer the overall process is taking (to say nothing of what happens when sales closes another similar account). When you see this starting to happen, it’s time to consider solutions like 3G Pacejet Shipping, which can automate much of the compliance process while integrating directly with Acumatica

Shipping time! If you find yourself at the point where you’re shipping to multiple retailers, you may experience some frustration. All have similar compliance characteristics, but the information needed, formatting necessary, and carriers required, differ for each. The right tools, however, can automate away much of the frustration, confusion, and wasted hours spent on:

  • GS1 labels. Yes, all major retailers use this standard, but as discussed, each has its own format. When dealing with multiple trading partners, there is the added burden of switching back and forth between label formats for each. Automating the process makes each label faster to fill in and effortless to switch between. 
  • Packing slips. Retailers also have specific formatting requirements for packing slips. These become even more important if retailers want manufacturers and distributors to drop ship on their behalf. In that case, the slip must appear to have come from the retailer, to avoid any customer confusion. Not only must formatting be correct, but all “from” information must also reflect the right retailer. This is another task better left to software to figure out – to avoid costly, embarrassing mishaps.
  • Carrier network. When you ship to “ordinary” customers, you pick the carrier you deem best for each shipment. But big retail trading partners are no “ordinary” customers, meaning they often dictate the carriers they prefer to receive from. Even if you already use shipping software, its carrier network will likely become a limiting factor. Only a package with a truly extensive carrier network will allow you to instantly turn on connections to your customers’ carriers of choice. 3G Pacejet Shipping, for example, has API connections to all major parcel and LTL carriers, with additional EDI connectivity available. It’s also an in-house network – not outsourced and subject to delays and errors outside of its control. 

Additional tools. As you begin the retail compliance journey, you’ll quickly lean the basics, such as the requirements discussed above. 3G Pacejet Shipping, along with Acumatica, can help automate away many of their challenges, but there will also be opportunities to further advance compliance shipping. EDI, for example, is the typical transmission mode for Advance Shipping Notifications – where you let the retailer know exactly what’s coming and when. EDI formatting is also partner-specific, but 3G Pacejet Shipping and Acumatica have the connections ready made to integrate EDI automation into existing processes (such as the mutual integration with EDI leader SPS Commerce). 

Wherever you are in your retail compliance journey, there’s always the question: Can software ease some of its burdens and free you to easily fulfill for as many partners as sales can close? While Acumatica will support the sales and account management aspects of working with major retail orders, very few shipping solutions have the level of ERP connectivity and compliance workflows of 3G Pacejet Shipping (and the broader 3G Suite – including 3G Transportation Management, the 3G Carrier Network, and the 3G Logistics Marketplace).  




Publish date

July 17, 2023



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