856 ASN goal is to provide advance notification of shipment quantities, carrier information, packaging structure and the expected arrival time of the products

Because of its hierarchal nature, 856 ASN is one of most difficult to implement transactions in the EDI industry. The 856 ASN can be compared to an electronic packing list but with a lot more information.

The ASN 856 document must arrive at its final destination before the actual shipped goods arrive. Even if the transit time takes less than one hour, the 856 ASN must still arrive before the shipped goods. The ASN is usually accompanied with a barcode label and the most common type of barcode label is the GS1-128 label. In some industries the ASN eliminates the need for an Invoice.

856 ASN example

The example below is a turn-around ASN from the Purchase Order example in earlier post. The first item is packed into 2 cartons with 12 units in each carton. The second item is packed into 3 cartons with 12 units in each carton. The MAN-02 segment contains a 20 digit SSCC code that will be placed on the GS1-128 label. TD1-01 indicates that the packaging type is a carton.

856 ASN

GS1 – 128 Label

The GS1 – 128 (formerly known as the UCC-128 label) is most often used in the retail and manufacturing industries. This label is placed on the packaging container, usually on a pallet or a carton. When the carton is received, the recipient scans the label (usually on a conveyer belt with an automatic scanner) and the inventory levels are automatically updated. The MAN-002 element in the 856 is the unique barcode ID. The following is an example of a GS1-128 Label:

856 ASN

There are many different methods that can be used to send the ASN, the example used had the following hierarchy:

Shipment – Order – Item – Packaging – 0002

This was specified in the BSN-05 segment as 0002. There are three other packaging levels that can be used and they are:

0001 Shipment, Order, Packaging, Item

0003 Shipment, Packaging, Order, Item

0004 Shipment, Order, Item

The trading partner implementation guidelines will indicate which ones should be used and when.

The 856 ASN is probably the most complicated transaction in the retail and manufacturing industry. Some hub-size retailers heavily penalize their vendors for sending incorrect data on the ASN or sending a bad GS1-128 label. That is why it is extremely important to go through a quality testing phase before implementing production. The best method for this is to ensure that all the rules are in the implementation guidelines are crystal clear and fully tested.

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