What are ASNs?
Advance Shipping Notes, or ASNs for short, are electronically-sent notifications sent from a supplier ahead of a delivery to notify a buyer that products will be delivered.
ASNs in their simplest form are a copy of the delivery note sent before the delivery arrives. In their most complex, can provide detailed information about the products contained within cartons which are packed onto multiple pallets. Both the cartons and the pallet will have a globally unique reference number known as an SSCC or a Serial Shipping Container Code barcoded label attached to each carton and pallet so it can be scanned on receipt. This allows the customer to know exactly what each pallet and carton contains when scanned.
An ASN will include:
- Delivery date and time
- Order information
- Location and product details
- Pallet codes
- Carrier’s information/mode of transportation
- Physical characteristics of shipment e.g. the type of packaging
How do they work?
The ASN is sent from the supplier through electronic data interchange or EDI. The message is received by the customer where the ASN information is then updated on the customers’ procurement system and made available to their Warehouse Management System (WMS). The ASN information will provide details on dispatch and delivery.
Where SSCCs are used, scanning the barcode label can provide full details of the package contents with information such as goods type, quantity and batch/lot numbers and serial numbers with a high level of accuracy.
What are the benefits of ASNs?
ASN ensures a higher level of accuracy as the SSCC marked against each pallet can be matched with the message sent in ASN, enabling any anomalies within the shipping process to be flagged. This empowers a smoother process and alleviates any risk of human error through automation.
ASNs also allow the customer to understand exactly what items to expect and when. Customers can utilise this information to update their consumers or customers of product availability and also provide an early indication of potential shortages to allow earlier reordering of a product.
When ASNs are combined with SSCC and packaging labels, high levels of delivery and stock automation can be achieved. Customers enabling these advanced forms of ASN can implement efficient cross docking delivery processes to their stores, where multiple supplier deliveries are combined into one single delivery direct to store.
ASN helps to optimise your supply chain, predicting accurate dispatch and delivery times, enabling your business to trade efficiently and effectively across your supply chain.
Want to learn more?
Our team of in-house experts will be hosting a FREE webinar explaining all things ASNs. Whether you’re a Trading Partner or Supplier, you’ll find out how ASNs can work for your business.
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