Based on survey responses from companies around the world, Supply Chain Insights’ new study “EDI: Workhorse of the Value Chain” documents many of the benefits of using EDI for competing in today’s economy. One EDI document in particular is cited as being critical to business success – the Advance Ship Notice (ASN). Using ASNs in the shipping and receiving processes enables both the supplying and receiving companies to compete in a business environment in which fast, efficient delivery of goods to the right place at the right time is a key to success.
Here’s what survey respondents said:
1. ASNs save time.
56% of study participants indicated that when ASNs and barcode labels are notused, the goods receipt process takes longer. That’s because of the need to first manually inspect those boxes/pallets/packages to determine their contents and then how they should be routed.
With an automated EDI process, the ASN electronically provides the details of a shipment of goods including carton identifications, content descriptions, and transportation details. The ASN often includes the identifying numeric characters of the barcoded shipping label affixed to the pallet of goods, which is read into the buyer’s warehouse management system (WMS). When a shipment arrives, receiving personnel scan the barcode on the shipment, which is then automatically matched to the records in the warehouse management system to verify shipment accuracy. As a result, inventory levels are updated and warehouse personnel are notified where to forward the received goods. It’s all automatic and efficient.
2. ASNs save money.
As you see in the chart below, on average, shipments without ASNs cost $78/order extra.
Businesses save those costs when they eliminate the manual processes described above.
In addition, getting ASNs provides the visibility needed for proper labor planning, thus eliminating unnecessary labor expenses. For example, knowing which containers with what products are arriving at any time enables you to ensure that the right doors of your distribution center are set up for receipt and/or cross-docking. Or, for international shipments, you avoid having goods arrive at the port without your knowledge, which would otherwise require personnel to scramble to get the goods moved to your distribution center. Also, you avoid increased container costs when such shipments remain at the port for extra days.
Furthermore, when businesses lack visibility to shipments from their suppliers they need to expedite shipments more frequently because they are uncertain of arrival dates and cannot afford to disappoint their customers.
In my next blogs, I will continue to share additional statistics from Supply Chain Insights’ report with you. In the meantime, if you would like to read the entire report, you can get your copy here.