One of the most common EDI transactions used in retail is the Advance Shipping Notice (EDI 856).Â This notice is sent by the store’s vendor to inform the retailer that a shipment is being delivered and allows the retailer to plan for the delivery of the items in the shipment.
While the ASN alerts the store that the items are being delivered and will be arriving shortly, it is not adequate to update the store’s inventory or the accounting system.Â These systems require that someone verifies that the items in the shipment have actually been physically received by the store or distribution center.
In the past, the only way to track the receipt of the shipment was a manual process.Â The store manager would receive a print out from the order management system of the expected shipments.Â Then once the shipment arrived, someone at the store would locate the printed report, match the PO to the shipping documents, receive the shipment, check that the merchandise matched the order and verify that it was not damaged.Â Finally, they manually created a paper receiving report that was sent to headquarters, and ultimately keyed in to the order management system.Â This paper based manual process is extremely time consuming and error prone.
However, with a properly designed mobile ASN receiving application, the entire processing of ASN shipments can be fully automated.Â As the order management system receives an ASN message from the vendor, a copy is forwarded to the mobile inventory management system.Â Then when the shipment isÂ received, the person at the store uses a mobile terminal to find the ASN and receive the shipment.
The mobile application then scans each carton, or even every item in the shipment, to verify that the correct items have been received.Â In addition, the application can track damaged items and rejected shipments.Â Once the shipment has been received, a message is then automatically sent to the order management system, where it is audited optionally sends a Receiving Advice message (EDI 861) to inform the vendor that the shipment was received.Â All of this with a simple to use mobile appilcation.
The mobile ASN receiving application is a cricital component of any perpetual inventory system and is typically used to track all shipments within the retailer, including shipments from the distribution center and store-to-store transfers.