The use of electronic data interchange in business transactions has led to the creation of a plethora of different messages over the years. From all of them, today we dedicate this issue of EDI Academy to one of the most relevant, for both suppliers and distributors: the Despatch Advice.
What is 856 ASN?
The 856 ASN designation is the name given to the EDI shipping note message in X12 standard, the language most widely used in the US market. The letters ASN stand for Advance Ship Notice. However, this is not the only terminology used to define waybills or shipping notes. In the EDIFACT standard, widely used in Europe, it is known as DESADV or Despatch Advice.
In any case, all these designations refer to the same concept. The EDI despatch advice message serves to verify that the goods received by the customer match the purchase order. 856 ASN displays the contents of the package and some added shipping information. This includes the order data, item description, product features, packaging type, markings, freight operator information and the layout of the goods within the transport equipment.
One peculiarity of the despatch advice is that it can be as simple or as explicit as required by the business transaction being carried out. For example, a brief version includes reports on the sender of the package, the receiver, delivery time, products shipped broken down line by line and identified with a code (usually EAN, GTIN or SKU) and the quantity of each item.
However, it is also possible to issue a more complete ASN or DESADV, including additional information such as a list of all the products on the pallet with the batch codes, corresponding expiry dates and packaging numbers, among other details. This option is increasingly popular among businesses nowadays, as the traceability is better.
How does the Despatch Advice work?
For a better understanding of how 856 ASN or DESADV work, we’ll explain step by step the communication flow followed by this EDI message:
The supplier issues the customer (distributor) a despatch advice when the goods are ready for shipping.
The EDI solution from EDICOM integrates this message into the distributor’s ERP automatically so they can access it easily.
At a glance, the client compares the despatch advice with the initial purchase order, as both documents are traced and any differences will be obvious. In fact, this confirmation can be performed automatically by the platform.
If everything is correct, issues a confirmation note to the supplier.
The warehouses receive the information on the new items due to arrive, so they can plan the loading and storage in advance.
What benefits do we get from the despatch advice?
The use of 856 ASN provides considerable advantages for both suppliers and distributors. On one hand, suppliers improve the goods delivery management process. With this message they are able to announce the shipment to their customers beforehand, but they also have a document endorsing the goods being delivered.
On the other hand, distributors can make their stock controls and incoming order processing more efficient. This is due to total traceability throughout the process, which lets us know when the goods will be sent, when they will arrive and all the details of the shipment.
To these advantages are added the benefits obtained in general from using EDI, ranging from automation to economic cost savings.