What is an EDIFACT PRICAT Message?
The EDIFACT PRICAT (PRIce / sales CATalog) message is used to distribute goods and services catalog data between a supplier and its customers. For example, a supplier could send a complete list of product descriptions, item codes, prices, and availability out to its customers, highlighting new and amended item specifics. This information is then used by the customer to aid all future purchases with this supplier. It follows the EDI message standard UN/EDIFACT and is a message type for the retail industries' electronic purchasing process.
The PRICAT message defines a wide range of information about the supplier's services, along with item specifics and the future delivery of these goods. In addition to product descriptions and prices, this could also contain additional customer-specific data, which is uniquely agreed upon between the supplier and this specific customer. Once a customer receives the PRICAT, they can then use this data to prepare future ORDERS with this supplier. PRICAT can also be used to in a large retail organization with many shops to roll-out retail prices to the PoS (Point of Sales).
PRICAT messages are generated via a supplier ERP system via their own ERP specific data format, such as SAP IDoc. This data is converted into the customer’s required EDI PRICAT structure via an EDI solution and sent. Once received, they will know what is being received on that specific delivery.
The PRICAT EDIFACT message can define information relating to both the items and services supplied by the supplier. These are then sent to the potential buyers as an agreement of what can be provided during a set period. An EDI Price Catalogue message is sent, received, and processed by an EDI solution. The solution can be an EDI Cloud Service or EDI software for in-house usage.
A typical EDIFACT PRICAT Message includes:
- Item / Service descriptions and codes
- Individual and bulk prices
- Delivery terms and conditions
- Packaging information
- Dates of availability
Once a customer has received a PRICAT message, they can update their internal ordering system and plan their ordering schedule with this supplier. The customer can then create an EDIFACT ORDERS message based on the received information and send this to the supplier.
EDIFACT PRICAT Example in the EDI Workflow
Within EDI, documents are exchanged between the business partners in a typical sequence of steps, dependent on the industry they are working within. The PRICAT would be the first message in this chain, and all future EDIFACT ORDERS would be based on this information.
Benefits of the EDIFACT PRICAT Message
Exchanging catalog documents via EDIFACT PRICAT brings benefits to customers and suppliers:
- Customers know exactly what is being offered and its availability
- Promotional or special offers could be highlighted
- Automatic updating of a customer’s ERP ordering system
- Syncing of data between a customer and supplier, to make all future orders seamless
- Swift roll-out to the PoS (Point of Sales)
Typical problems that appear with exchanging these files come from wrong or new master data. For example, if a specific item’s product ID is updated, a reference to the old one would need to be made so that the customer system knows precisely what is being amended. Also, if an EDIFACT PRICAT message is received but not expected in a customer’s ERP system, this may result in an issue that needs manual correction.