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Business Error Notifications – RVCF Supply Chain Guidelines

An EDI transaction can successfully pass through an EDI translator, receive an “Accepted” FA, and still fail in the receiver’s application if there are fatal errors in the data itself. For example, the GTIN was provided in the ASN, but it doesn’t match the GTIN in the retailer’s system. In this case, an additional form of error notification is used.

As indicated above, the most common method for sending ASN business error notifications is a report sent via email. Retailers may also include photos or videos of carton damage, item shortages, torn labels, and so on.

In addition to email, there are a number of EDI transactions designed to notify trading partners of ASN business errors.

  • The EDI 824 Application Advice is designed for business error notification, but is not widely used. It is intended as error notification for all EDI transactions including many used outside of retail. There are hundreds of codes listed in the transaction set; many are duplicates or ambiguous in meaning and use.
  • The EDI 864 Text Message was used many years ago in retail and is still used by some retailers. The transaction has a free form text field and the error codes sent are unique to each retailer.
  • The EDI 812 Debit / Credit Adjustment provides detail information for chargebacks, including those related to the ASN and shipping label. Although there has been interest in this document over the years, it is not widely used and again, contains a very long list of adjustment codes that are not well understood or standardized in retail. The timing of the Debit / Credit Adjustment is generally not acceptable for ASN’s because it accompanies the payment information. However, some retailers can send the Debit / Credit Adjustment when an ASN error is discovered.
  • The EDI 861 Receiving Advice / Acceptance Certificate provides information on goods received by the retailer and may provide error information to the supplier if what the retailer received differs from what the supplier sent; i.e. the receipt doesn’t match the ASN. This transaction is not widely used in retail.

The one thing these error notification methods have in common is a lack of standardized coding including well defined and specific reason codes with an understanding of the appropriate response.

For example, the error message “Missing SSCC” could mean:

  • The Serial Shipping Container Code was not on the label;
  • The SSCC was on the label, but defective;
  • The SSCC was on the label, but the label was not in the correct location on the carton to be read;
  • The SSCC was on the label or in the Ship Notice, but the number itself was invalid;
  • The SSCC on the carton didn’t match an SSCC in the Ship Notice;
  • The Ship Notice was never received so all SSCC’s in the shipment are “missing”.

The supplier needs well defined, specific, and actionable information to determine ASN error root cause and fix the issues. To help with this, RVCF has put together an ASN Error Code Matrix with the following information:

Error Code Matrix

  • Error name;
  • The type of error (EDI, Label, Missing / Duplicate / Invalid Data, etc.);
  • Notes with a description of the error, possible causes and fixes;
  • Where applicable, the EDI Segment / Element (e.g. BSN04)
  • Possible matching error codes used in the EDI 824 Application Advice;
  • Suppliers or retailers may add a column to indicate the codes used for that error.

To learn more about EDI and become a CEDIAP® (Certified EDI Academy Professional), please visit our course schedule page.

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