What is an EDIFACT DESADV Message?

The EDIFACT DESADV (DESpatch ADVice) is an electronic packing slip, which contains delivery and shipment information. A DESADV message is normally sent from the supplier to the customer, however, they can also be used with a separate logistics service provider who may then send the DESADV on behalf of the supplier. It follows the EDI message standard UN/EDIFACT and is a key message type for the electronic purchasing process in manufacturing industries.

Within the automotive industry, these documents may be referred to as an ASN (Advance Shipping Notice).

Usage of the EDIFACT DESADV Message

A DESADV message is normally sent by the supplier to the customer and will contain all the details of a shipment along with a specific package and order related information. This includes the date and time of delivery, the total number of items to be received, descriptions of each item, product codes, and both the sender and receiver details. DESADVs can also include specific pallet and packaging numbers, weight and package dimensions, expiration dates, and unique dock locations for each set of items.

If a separate logistics service provider is being used, a DESADV may be sent from supplier to logistics partner for delivery, and then a separate DESADV from the logistics partner to the customer may be created.

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DESADV messages are generated via a supplier ERP system in their own ERP specific data format, such as SAP IDoc. This data is converted into the customer’s required EDI DESADV structure via an EDI solution and sent. Once received they will know what is being received on that specific delivery.

The DESADV EDIFACT message structure describes the detailed contents of a consignment of goods. Each message relates to a single dispatch point but can contain multiple destination points, such as warehouses or locations. An EDI dispatch advice message is sent, received, and processed by an EDI solution. The solution can be an EDI Cloud Service or EDI software for in-house usage.

A typical EDIFACT DESADV Message includes:

  • Purchase and other specific order reference numbers
  • Shipment number, ship-to details, and specific shipment locations
  • Delivery date and time
  • Item/product details, such as an identifier, quantity, and description
  • Pallet and package codes

Processing of the EDIFACT DESADV Message

Once a DESADV message is received by the customer, they will know exactly what items from their order will be delivered, when it will be delivered and all the specific codes relating to all packages and pallets. They will also be able to start planning for the delivery to be received and update expected stock dates for future sales.

Although there are many different versions of the DESADV document, the most commonly used are:


EDIFACT DESADV Example in the EDI Workflow

Many different documents are exchanged between business partners via EDI, specific to the industry they are working within. The below example describes a standard Automotive manufacturing workflow, showing when the DESADV would be generated and distributed.

What are the equivalents of EDIFACT DESADV in other EDI Standard Formats?

With VDA messages, the direct comparisons for the EDIFACT DESADV would be a VDA 4913 Delivery Note or a newer 4987 Dispatch Advice. For ANSI-X12, the equivalent would be an 856 Ship Notice / Manifest (ASN). VDA (‘Verband der Automobilindustrie’) is a very common EDI standard within the Automotive industry, and ANSI X12 (The Accredited Standards Committee X12) is a very common set of standards within the NAFTA region.

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Benefits of the EDIFACT DESADV Message

By using EDIFACT DESADV messages, customers and suppliers will benefit from:

  • Shipment information is received instantly into a customer’s ERP system
  • Direct computer to computer communication reduces manual errors
  • Previous order details are referenced within the DESADV, meaning there is no need to match documents manually
  • Avoids the waste generated from using paper-based systems

Benefits specific to customers

  • Detailed delivery information is known in advance so that the customer can prepare to receive and handle the specifics of a delivery
  • Items can be made available for sale earlier, as deliveries can be booked in quicker
  • Individual item expiration dates can be known in advance

Benefits specific to suppliers

  • Complicated pallet and packaging details can be described in an easy to understand manner
  • Specific shipment instructions, delivery locations and transport details can be shared
  • Extended packaging details, such as identification and returnable status

Ensure the reliable use of EDIFACT Dispatch Advice Message

The automotive industry relies on integrated manufacturing lines where small deviations can bring entire assembly lines to a standstill. The EDIFACT DESADV Message is a mission critical part of the overall Just-in-Time workflow because it provides the necessary confirmation to the customer where and when ordered parts will arrive. SEEBURGER provides you all options for mission-critical operation of B2B/EDI integration including the handling for DESADV.

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