What is an ANSI X12 EDI 856 Message?
ANSI X12 856 messages are used to inform customers about deliveries shipped by the supplier. The information contains all relevant information referring the shipment.
When the EDI 856 ASN arrives at the customer and is accepted, the shipment information is automatically booked into their ERP system. In the next step the ASN information can be used to plan the future inventory usage and when receiving the goods the physical shipment just needs to be aligned with the data from the already processed ANSI X12 856 message.
An ASN message uses segments and elements defined by the ANSI X12 EDI 856 guideline. EDI solutions – which can either be an on-premises solution or EDI Cloud Service – send, receive and process EDI messages like the EDI 856. It is required to follow the ANSI X12 EDI 856 standards to ensure a high quality of the process.
A typical ANSI X12 EDI 856 Message includes:
- Information concerning parts that are shipped (Material No., Material description)
- Quantities that are sent
- Shipment and Arrival date
- Ship to address (Plant, Dock/Gate addresses)
- Terms of delivery which can be based on INCOTERMS. INCOTERMS stands for International Commercial Terms which are a set of pre-defined commercial terms provided by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
- Carrier data (Carrier name, Means of transport, etc.)
- Packaging (Package No., Package Type, Serial No.)
The supplier generates an ANSI X12 EDI 856 message typically at the moment a shipment is done for the customer. On customer side the receiving system validates the ASN message from the supplier against the ANSI X12 EDI 856 specifications and sends back a functional acknowledgement (ANSI X12 997 message) confirming the reception of the ANSI X12 EDI 856 message. After reception the ASN message is forwarded to the ERP system where it will show up as planned shipment.
ANSI X12 EDI 856 Message in context of ANSI X12 EDI 830- and ANSI X12 EDI 850 message
An EDI 856 ASN is used typically in the manufacturing and in the retail industries in conjunction with order processes, delivery schedules and purchase orders. In both industry scenarios the customer first sends an order message either as ANSI X12 EDI 830- or as ANSI X12 EDI 850 indicating what the supplier has to deliver and when. At the delivery step the supplier is creating an ANSI X12 EDI 856 message answering either of the two document types triggering the shipment.
EDI Workflow for processing of the ANSI X12 EDI 856 Message
Documents exchanged between EDI trading partners follow a typical sequence of business processes. The sequence of exchanged ANSI X12 messages depends on the industry. The figures below show the role of an ANSI X12 EDI 856 standard in a manufacturing scenario and in the retail industry:
In the Northern America region ANSI X12 has seen a wide adoption as the primary EDI standard. In Europe and ASIA EDIFACT and VDA messages are encountered more often. The EDIFACT defines DESADV as standard for exchanging ASN information. In the automotive industry, you also come across the VDA 4987 and VDA 4913 standard to exchange shipment information.
Problems that occur when exchanging ASN messages are commonly based on wrong data referring to the shipment. Wrong package information or reflecting the package structure incorrectly in the EDI 856 ASN are errors customers usually face. Because of that some customers also started to introduce penalties for suppliers not sending in the proper ANSI X12 EDI 856 format or send no EDI 856 ASN at all as it raises significant effort on their side to correct or key in the data manually. Typical issues when sending ANSI 856 messages are:
- Quantity in ASN does not match with the quantity actually shipped
- Packaging numbers are wrong or missing
- Packaging structure (which boxes belong to which pallet) is not in line with the actual shipment
ASNs are key to your supplier rating and/or your reliable supply chain management. When you look into replacing an outdated EDI solution you worked with so far, you should evaluate all options how to reliably operate your next generation EDI solution. With SEEBURGER you have all choices wide open including on premises as an in-house operation, or using an EDI Cloud Service in the SEEBURGER Cloud or in public cloud environments like the ones from Google, Azure, AWS etc.