Why Your Customers Require Advance Ship Notices

Most major retailers and many industrial customers require Advance Ship Notices (ASN’s). Today’s post will cover a brief overview of ASN’s and then cover the substantial benefits of ASN’s for your customers and consequently why they require them.

ASN Overview

An Advance Ship Notice (ASN) tells your customer in advance that your shipment is on the way and it tells them how your cartons are packed. It is an ANSI X-12 EDI 856 transaction type. The EDIFACT equivalent is the DESADV (Dispatch Advice) message.

The ASN is basically an electronic packing slip with some of the Bill of Lading information added to it. The ASN is usually sent to your customer when your goods leave your loading dock so that your customer receives the ASN well before they receive your goods.

Each carton has a unique GS1-128 bar code label on the outside of the carton. The bar code number is also in the ASN so that the customer’s receiving dock personnel can scan the label and reference the ASN you sent. You can see a video about ASN’s here ASN video

The Benefits of ASN’s for Your Customers

Electronic ASN’s sent through EDI reduce or abolish manual processes, eliminate paper documents, and facilitate systems interfacing automatically.

Because the supplier sends ASN’s before shipments arrive, the ASN’s helps your customer in planning the logistics of receipt and distribution. The receiver can more efficiently schedule unloading labor and receiving docks usage by knowing that shipments are on the way. Your customer will know whether all of the goods requested on the purchase order are being shipped and can plan accordingly.

The bar code labels and associated ASN’s speed up receiving at the loading dock. The bar codes can be scanned and the cartons can be routed within the distribution center without having to open the cartons.

Some distribution centers have conveyor belt systems that can automatically route cartons to the correct location within the warehouse or to the correct loading dock for shipment to the final destination. This speeds up the cross docking process dramatically. Read a blog post about cross docking here Cross dock explanation

Your customer will review the ASN and your shipment and then have it automatically update their systems. This saves them the time needed for manual entry of the ASN information and eliminates keying errors.

Because the ASN information is in your customer’s systems, it improves the payment cycle by automating the match between receipt of goods and the invoices you submit.

The ASN process improves the accuracy and speed of communication of what the supplier says they shipped and what the customer says they received, saving both parties time and money.

The post next week will cover how to produce ASN’s faster.

Contact us anytime to find out more about how we can assist your small business.

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