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.)

Most common messages 

  1. ORDERS:This message is issued by the client and the manufacturer is the recipient. It is used to place an order for goods.

  2. INSDES: The manufacturer issues this message to make the request to prepare a new order and sends it to the logistics operator, so that they can get ready in advance.

  3. DESADV: This is the most widely used message in the logistics sector. On one hand, it is used by logistic operators to send the despatch advice notifying the customer that the goods are ready to be shipped. On the other, the manufacturer may send it to the logistics operator to give notice of procurement in store.

  4. OSTRPT: With this message, the logistics operator reports the order status to the manufacturer. As a result, it is possible to have a real-time record of the phase the process is in and estimate times in the supply chain of products to the final customer. In other words, traceability is guaranteed.

  5. INVOIC: This designates the e-message used by the manufacturer to send the bill to the customer. Including this message in our B2B communications significantly shortens payment collection times.

  6. PRICAT: This message lets the manufacturer inform the operator of their product catalogue in real time: references, product features, logistics information ... all relevant data are kept updated. This way, alignment of the master product is achieved.

  7. INVRPT: The aim of the Inventory Report is to provide the manufacturer with information on the quantity of the product in stock available from the warehouse.

  8. RECADV: Along with the DESADV message, this is one of the most widely used in this area. The logistics operator uses it to confirm to the manufacturer that the order has been received. This avoids the bill being rejected later.

What is DESADV / ASN?

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.

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

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.

EDI Messages for Multimodal Transport

In the multimodal transport world, the exchange of EDIFACT messages requires specific messages that correspond to concrete scenarios. The specific and concrete business scenarios are documented in the Business Requirements Specification (BRS). The BRS is a guideline for the development of standards that serve the needs of the logistics sector.  

IFTMBF (International Forwarding and Transport Message Firm Booking)

The “Firm Booking Message” is a unique shipping message that does not require a confirmation. The agent that books the transport service confirms the service and greenlights the transport. It is considered a commitment from the issuer to the logistical provider who executes the operation. 

IFTMBC The “International Forwarding and Transport Message Booking Confirmation” is a booking confirmation message

This message is sent by the agent performing the logistical services which would include shipping goods to the agent who solicited the service. The message does not need to be an acceptance, it can also be a rejection or a pending acceptance. It can also be applied in other supply chain environments like container terminals, shipping agents, shipping companies, depots, and many others.

IFTMIN The “International Forwarding and Transport Message – Instructions” is a message containing instructions

This message is sent by the agent that orders the transport service or expedites the goods. The shipping instructions and the accorded conditions for the shipper are included in this message. The instructing message is the only message that results in a real contract. 

IFTMCS The “International Forwarding and Transport Message Contract Status” reports the status of the instructing contract

This message is sent by the party that conducts the transportation for the agent that manages the transport of merchandise. It includes all the details, terms and conditions pertinent to the service. This message is normally sent after receiving the instruction message (IFTMIN)

IFTSTA the Transport Status Message contains logistical updates about the merchandise

It contains information about the shipment status and any change to it. It can be sent as the result of a request for shipment, or it can be programmed for predetermined times. 

The implementation of the Business Requirements Specification (BRS) through these EDI messages will enable companies to optimize their logistical processes. These messages can be applied to national and International logistics and are not industry specific. EDICOM can help implement your BRS project and adapt it to your company’s individual needs.

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.

B2B Integration Solutions for the Retail Industry

Complete automation and integration with your trading partners on a single B2B2G electronic communications platform.

Start your EDI project

EDICOM News Global | Find out more about Electronic Data Interchange – EDI

Automate all your business processes with partners without EDI solutions

How to automate processes with clients and suppliers that do not have EDI

EDICOM Participates in GS1 Connect Event on Supply Chain Best Practices

EDICOM will be present at the GS1 Connect conference in Denver between June 5th-7th as a global EDI technology provider

EDICOM Recognized by EcoVadis as a Sustainable Company

EcoVadis, the largest authority in sustainability audits, certifies EDICOM with one of the highest ratings in its sector.