Glossary of Terms

for Third Party Logistics, Supply Chain Management & Fulfillment Operations

Many of the terms used in the world of third-party logistics do not appear in a standard dictionary, nor is there a dictionary of fulfillment or warehouse management definitions. We offer this glossary to help you better understand our business. If you have a term you would like defined, or have a definition that you would like to share with us, please send us an e-mail.

Jump to terms:

- EAN (International Article Number)
- e-commerce
- electronic data interchange (EDI)
- e-fulfillment
- e-logistics
- EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale)
- ESFR (Early Suppression, Fast Response)
- expedited order

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Originally the abbreviation for European Article Number, now International Article Number (though still abbreviated EAN), a 13-digit barcode with 12 data number and 1 check digit. emergency order an order that is given special priority for processing ahead of normally-scheduled orders.

(or ecommerce, eCommerce, E-commerce, and e-Commerce) Electronic commerce. Generally refers to automated or semi-automated online commerce in which the end user of a product or service transacts the purchase electronically over the Internet via a e-commerce website or via email. However e-commerce can also be through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and through intranets, peer-to-peer systems and other electronic means. An e-commerce fulfillment house is one that specializes in importing such orders into its database and then handling all picking, packing, and shipping operations, in addition to providing ongoing customer service.

EDI (E.D.I., Electronic Data Interchange)
Sometimes called Electronic Document Interchange. A computer to computer exchange of business transaction data globally-standardized protocols. The vast majority of business to business (B2B) business are through EDI. All major retailer in the United States, from Wal-Mart to Kmart to Target to hundreds of other mass merchants, rely on EDI to order merchandise receive advanced shipping notices (ASN’s), and to be invoiced by their vendors (called trading partners) . The data in EDI documents are the same as in paper documents . However, though EDI uses a common protocol, there are three different EDI standards (UN/EDIFACT, ANCI X.12, and UCS) each with its own set of required data fields, but with many other optional fields. Translation software interfaces between the globally-standardized EDI data and the local warehouse software, to ensure that the orders are being fulfilled correctly. Third-party logistics providers often specialize in processing EDI orders on behalf of their clients to make the whole operation seamless.

(or efulfillment) Fulfillment operations specializing in processing e-commerce orders.

Electronic Data Interchange

(or elogistics, e-Logistics) As it pertains to third party logistics, the management of all back-end operations as they apply to the management of data and intermodal and intramodal communication over networks.

EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale)
Usually referring to the use of scanners at cash registers for recording consumer sales. When retail EPOS data are integrated into supply-chain-management systems, inventory can be managed more efficiently through the entire supply chain.

ESFR (Early Suppression, Fast Response)
Ceiling-mounted sprinkler system that detects fires faster, and delivers more water at greater speed, to extinguish fires more thoroughly, with less damage to products.

expedited order
A prioritized order whose processing time and shipping time are shortened by special attention and/or faster end-to-end shipping methods. See emergency order.