6.8.4. How to Integrate with Belk?

This "How to" should provide you with the necessary steps to implement a working integration with Belk from scratch using Babelway.

Figure 6.28. 


Preferred Protocols and Message Formats. As a Belk supplier, you will be expected to send X12 (version 4030) messages through a value added network (VAN).

Contact and Resource information. 

Exchanging EDI Messages with Belk

Before you begin configuring anything in Babelway, we recommend you complete Belk's EDI vendor profile form and return it to them. Using this EDI information the VAN network will know how to route Belk's messages to you. This configuration process can take some time. So the faster you send this information, the better.

You will find their EDI form here. After completing your contact information, you can complete the EDI information as follows:

Figure 6.29. 


In the first portion, you will have to communicate your production and test ISA identifiers [2].

We recommend you directly contact their VAN provider (GXS/Open Text) to make sure your Communication ID is correctly set up with them:

  • GXS/Open Text Customer Support: 1-877-446-6847
  • or email: cataloguesupport@OPEN TEXT/GXS.com

This process can take a lot of time, and it is only once you are known to the network as a user with such an ID that messages can begin to reach you.

Configuring your gateways

From a configuration point of view, VAN is one of our simplest gateways to set up. In Babelway, just create a VAN gateway IN and OUT. In your gateway IN, specify the communication identifiers you previously sent Belk. Do note however that such a connection can take a while to be fully active accross the network. It can take up to a few weeks before your properly deployed gateway starts actually receiving traffic.

Configuring your channels

You will have to automate the following flows with Belk:

Figure 6.30. 


Belk also supports the following integrations (mostly to support handling reverse purchase orders [3] ):

  • 212 - Manifest
  • 816 - Store relationships
  • 852 - Sales and inventory on order
  • 855 - Reverse purchase order
  • 860 - PO Change
  • 820 - Remittance advice (available from 2017)

If you wish to work with these document types you will have to discuss this directly with Belk's EDI team. Additionally, Belk intends on supporting the following transactions in the future:

  • 180 - Request for return authorization
  • 870 - Purchase order acknowledgement

If you only implement the mandatory flows you will already be configuring three channels to send content to Belk:

Figure 6.31. 


Make sure to reuse the same gateway out every time. Additionally, you will have to configure four channels to receive Belk content. One of these channels will be receiving functional acknowledgements. If you wish to correlate these functional acknowledgements with the original messages you sent out, you can check out Babelway's support for X12 functional acknowledgements. The other receiving channels will have to send back functional acknowledgements:

Figure 6.32. 


You can configure this using Babelway's 997 implementation. Again, be careful to share your VAN gateways IN and OUT throughout these channels.

Message definitions.  To configure your X12 (version 4030 - VICS [4] ) message definitions in these channels, you can use the samples provided in each of their document specifications. They are available on Belk's vendor portal. Belk's vendor faq contains additional tips concerning both the content of these documents, whom to contact when encountering issues and how often you should expect exchanges for this content.

Transformations.  In your mappings, you will need to define an X12 communication ID. This ID will allow the VAN to route the documents correctly to Belk. Belk uses different IDs per document type. See list below:

Table 6.2. Communication IDs per document type

Document TypesCommunication ID
212 - Remittance advice08-6123830400
852 - Sales and inventory on order08-6123830100
856 - Advance shipment notice08-6123830200
All other documents (810, 816, 824, 850, 855, 860 & 864)08-6123830000


You will also have to ensure that you have unique interchange numbers for each transmission as Belk's systems reject any transmissions arriving with the same sender/received ID. To achieve this, you can create a lookup table in which you save your unique counter. Your transformation should then update the counter upon each message transmission.

Once this is set up you are all set to test and validate your integration flows with Belk.

This documentation is based on our integration projects but we'd love to enhance and update it with your own feedback and experience: support@babelway.com.

Last update: Nov 30 2017



[2] If you have never had to select such identifiers, you can refer to this section.

[3] Reverse purchase orders are used to correct (if possible) quantities for previously issued orders.

[4] VICS is a subset of X12 managed by GS1 US. It remains standard X12 but adds some constraints which standardize further the use of X12 within the retail industry. Belk's X12 specifications comply with these additional constraints and should be sufficient to guide you through your mapping.