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What is an ANSI X12 EDI 855 Message?

Find out how the ANSI X12 EDI 855 message is reshaping the procurement process.

1. Executive summary

The ANSI X12 EDI 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgment is a message used by a seller to confirm that they have received a Purchase Order (ANSI X12 850 message) or a Purchase Order Change (ANSI X12 860 message). Along with confirmation that the message has been received and understood, it also lets the buyer know if it was accepted or rejected. The 855 can also report back on any changes which may have been made to make sure the bulk of the order was put through successfully. It follows the EDI message standard ANSI X12 and is a crucial message type for the electronic purchasing process in the retail and manufacturing industries.

2. Usage of the ANSI X12 EDI 855 Message

An EDI 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement is generated once a previously sent 850 Purchase Order or 860 Purchase Order Change has been received. The EDI 855 message is sent by the seller to acknowledge the file's receipt and the understanding of its contents. When generated, this order response message could confirm that the seller can supply all the items required in the order, propose amendments or alterations to one or more individual requests, or highlight any (or all) parts that cannot be supplied, along with the reasons.

These messages are typically generated via a seller’s ERP system and exported into an ERP specific data format, such as a SAP IDoc. The data is then converted from this in-house format into the customer’s particular structure via their EDI Solution. Once received by the customer, they will be able to see the feedback, and it will aid them with their planning and schedules.

3. The ANSI X12 EDI 855 message structure and example

The ANSI X12 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement message can contain a wide range of information and appear very different in various scenarios. From an entire order being accepted with no amendments to amending each of the items specific quantity and date, the content could be vastly different. 

A typical 855 message includes:

  • Message function code, stating the acceptance, partial acceptance or rejection
  • Purchase order numbers and codes
  • Dates of planned delivery
  • Specific details relating to items or goods which cannot be supplied in full, and proposed amendments
  • Reasons for rejection
  • Transport and delivery pattern information

ISA*01*          *00*          *ZZ*SENDER         *12*RECEIVER       *231014*1719*U*00401*000000001*0*P*>~
GS*PR*APP SENDER*APP RECEIVER*20231014*1719*0001*X*004010~
N1*ST*SEEBURGER AG*UL*4019315000007~

4. Processing of the ANSI X12 EDI 855 message

When the prospective buyer receives an 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement, which in turn has been generated off the back of a previously created 850 Purchase Order or 860 Purchase Order Change, their EDI system would check the file against the specification and update the buyer’s ERP system with the accepted or amended order details.

ANSI X12 EDI 855 example in the EDI workflow

Within EDI, messages are exchanged between the business partners in a typical sequence of files, dependent on the specific industry they are working within. The below example shows a standard retail workflow, highlighting when the 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement would be generated and sent, and other standard messages.

In a retail workflow, the role of an ANSI X12 EDI 855 message shows up after either a 850 Purchase Order or 860 Purchase Order Change:

5. What are the equivalents of ANSI X12 EDI 855 in other EDI Standard Formats?

Within the EDIFACT, which is widely used throughout in Europe and Asia, an ORDRSP (Order Response) would be sent in place of an 855. If the company uses TRADACOMS as their format, they would need to send an ACKHDR, an Acknowledgement message.

6. ANSI X12 EDI 855 benefits

There are multiple benefits for using ANSI X12 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement message

Instant confirmation or rejection of previously sent Orders
Avoidance of manual entry of data, saving both time and overheads
Data can be received automatically, helping all future orders and scheduling of delivery
Proposed amendments to Orders can be made
Feedback regarding a full or partial delivery of one or more orders
Better supplier ratings due to fewer errors
Cost reduction because of more efficient trading

7. Ensure stable use of ANSI X12 EDI 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgment

SEEBURGER provides you the EDI solution with the latest and greatest technology as an on-premises software solution, as an EDI Cloud Service in the SEEBURGER Cloud or in public cloud environments like for instance Google, AWS or Azure.

Do you work in a sector with its own specific needs?

Take a look at the SEEBURGER range of industry-specific solutions