Electronic Data Interchange – EDI

ASN or DESADV, a key EDI message in the supply chain


Large-scale retailers are increasingly demanding use of the ASN or DESADV message from their suppliers to enhance the traceability of their trading operations and optimize the logistics chain. ASN stands for Advanced Shipping Notice, otherwise known as a shipping note. ASN is also known by the abbreviation DESADV or the term Despatch Advice when working with the EDIFACT standard, widely used in other regions of the world and mainly in Europe.

What is the ASN/DESADV?

The ASN is an electronic data interchange (EDI) message designed to ensure that the goods shipped by the supplier match the purchase order placed by the distributor or retailer. This makes it one of the most relevant messages in sectors such as retail or the automotive industry, although it can be used in all kinds of business transactions.

What information does it contain?

An advanced shipping notice reports the content of the package and order-related details. For example, it includes the number of items, description of each article, brands and sender information, etc. In any case, there is no set file structure, as one of the main advantages of EDI is precisely its adaptation to each type of market or transaction.

Some distributors opt to implement a shorter version of the ASN, mainly focused on the quantity of articles, their description and the supplier details. Nevertheless, the usual way is to develop a more complete ASN message, which provides full traceability and facilitates loading and storage tasks. In this sense, the despatch advice may include other information such as how items are arranged on the pallet, expiry dates or packaging numbers.

What are the advantages of ASN?

The main benefit of the ASN message for retailers is that they can check at a glance whether the goods they are about to receive match their purchase order. With EDI, both documents are traced, so that in the event of any discrepancy the customer is notified.

Moreover, warehouses can plan the offloading of new products in advance, as they have advance information. This way, it is possible to speed up the reception process, optimizing space and human resources. It also allows better stock control.

For suppliers, the most notable benefit of using ASN is that product delivery activities are improved, thanks to faster action. Bear in mind that EDI lets you work automatically. Once your customer’s platform receives the advanced shipping notice, the solution automatically responds with a confirmation note, which speeds up the process. This confirmation document is another advantage, as it constitutes an endorsement ensuring that the goods have been delivered.

How to implement the ASN message?

The EDI solutions developed by EDICOM are ready to use the ASN message in the X12 standard, widely used throughout America, but also in other languages like XML or EDIFACT. The software is adaptable to each company’s needs. In this sense, there are two possible rollout options:

  • Integrated EDI. This solution is recommended for companies exchanging a medium to high volume of documents, as it is integrated with the ERP and can automate transactions with no need to modify in-house working conditions.
  • Web EDI. An alternative for companies handling low transaction volumes, as no technical implementations need to be carried out in the company. The process for sending and receiving EDI messages such as ASN takes place through a private, secure web environment.

More than 17,000 companies around the world already rely on EDICOM’s EDI solutions to optimize their B2B communications. 

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