Electronic Data Interchange – EDI

EDI in the retail sector, DESADV and RECADV messages

EDI retail

The DESADV and RECADV messages are structured EDI messages with key information to ensure traceability in the supply chain. The integration of these types of messages in sectors such as retail is essential for distribution logistics, so much so that more and more companies demand that their suppliers have implemented these documents.

EDI messages in the supply chain

The DESADV and RECADV messages are the most used in the supply chain and both favor good results for suppliers, distributors, and end customers. Together with other messages such as ORDERS, INVOIC or REMADV, etc., they offer a flow of real-time information that increases efficiency and productivity in commercial transactions.

These messages are used in electronic data interchange (EDI) for B2B relationships for management, commerce, and transportation in different sectors and countries. They use a standard format -UN/EDIFACT-, defined by the United Nations.

The standardized nature of EDI systems and the standardization of documents allows for smooth connectivity with any interlocutor and the integration of the various messages exchanged in a business relationship (purchase orders, invoices, inventory reports, dispatch notices, etc.)

What is DESADV?

DESADV (Despatch Advice) is the electronic dispatch note or dispatch notice. It is a message that specifies details about the goods sent.

The DESADV message is a shipping notification with two main functions. On the one hand, to verify that the goods that are going to be shipped by the supplier match the purchase order made by the distributor. On the other hand, inform the retail in advance of the delivery of the goods to their warehouse or store so that they can prepare for the arrival of new products.

Through this message, detailed information about the content of the shipment and relevant data about it is provided. For example, it would include the number of items, a description of each one, type of packaging, delivery date and time, etc. It also works in the case of returning merchandise.

The DESADV message can be as simple or as complex as the operation requires.

What is the RECADV message?

The RECADV (Receiving Advice Message) is the confirmation notice of the order receipt. It serves for the logistics operator or distributor to confirm to the manufacturer or supplier that they have received the merchandise and whether it corresponds or not to the order. Through this message, the information is contrasted, and the invoice or relevant claims can be generated in case the delivered goods do not match the initial order.

The RECADV message includes data such as:

  • Quantity received 
  • Quantity accepted 
  • Quantity returned or not accepted and the reason for the return

How to integrate DESADV and RECADV messages into my company in an integrated way?

EDI transactions can be integrated with any ERP or internal management system by simply making some system adjustments. EDICOM has developed EDI technology adjusted to the needs of the retail sector. Through the SaaS Integrated EDI solution, the platform establishes connections with the ERP, CRM and all management applications involved in electronic data exchange with customers, suppliers, logistics operators, and any partner involved in the supply chain.

It allows automating transactions without the need to modify internal work procedures. These solutions are fully automated, integrating the data from the sent and received documents with your management system.

One of the biggest advantages of this solution is its scalability, so as many EDI messages as required can be implemented according to the company's needs.

Workflows with DESADV and RECADV messages

Improving the end customer's shopping experience has become the top priority for the distribution sector. To achieve this, the main players in the retail sector strive to optimize their processes. The implementation of DESADV and RECADV messages helps improve these processes in the distribution chain. That is why more and more distributors demand that their suppliers be prepared to work with this system and be aligned with their quality standards.

The sequence of information exchange flows would be as follows:

  1. The distributor has issued an initial purchase order that the supplier has processed. When the goods are ready for shipment, the supplier sends a dispatch notice or DESADV message to their client (retailer).
  2. The distributor receives the message, which is integrated into their ERP system thanks to the EDI solution. With a glance, the customer compares the dispatch notice with the initial purchase order, as both documents are traced, and any differences become apparent.
  3. If everything is correct, the customer sends a confirmation notice to the supplier. The warehouses receive information about the new products that will arrive, so they can plan the unloading and storage in advance.
  4. When the distributor physically receives the goods in their warehouses and inspects them, they send a RECADV to the supplier with information about the received goods. If everything is in order, the supplier issues the invoice.

Benefits of DESADV and RECADV for companies

There are general benefits that both suppliers and distributors will acquire with the implementation of DESADV and RECADV messages:


  • Decrease in the number of errors thanks to the automation of the communication flow in the supply chain. 
  • Optimization of management thanks to traceability. 
  • Greater control of operations because it makes it possible to implement validation processes. For example, in the case of the DESADV message, the main advantage for distributors is that they can check immediately if the goods they are going to receive match their purchase order (ORDERS). Through EDI solutions, both documents are traced, so any discrepancies trigger an alert to the customer. If everything is correct, a confirmation message is issued, giving the green light for the shipment of the goods. For suppliers, sending the Dispatch Notice in advance allows them to have room to correct any errors in the order preparation in case the distributor's response message is non-compliant. This early verification reduces errors in the shipment of the goods. In the case of RECADV, post-invoicing reduces errors in invoices that may arise from incidents in the merchandise delivery process, and that are detected in time thanks to the use of this EDI message where any alteration of the order is indicated.
  • Operational agility. Knowing delivery times favors planning for merchandise reception. The DESADV message can also be sent to the logistics operator to notify warehouse provisioning. In the case of goods with cross-border shipping, knowing delivery times allows for streamlining procedures with customs, freight forwarders, port authority, etc.

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