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Advanced Ship Notification

Epitomizing supply chain efficiency

An Advanced Ship Notification (ASN) – a function within the warehouse management system – epitomizes supply chain efficiency, particularly when it comes to the distribution of goods. Indeed, businesses have long been utilizing ASNs for quite a while, with solid examples dating back 20 years. We, therefore, cannot relegate these technologies as just alien innovations but advancements that have existed with us over some time.

Savant ASN Feature List

  • Print GS1 (UCC128, SSCC) labels as part of the picking process with hand-helds.
  • Print GS1 (UCC128, SSCC) labels as part of the packing process (also called Outbound QC) with hand-helds.
  • Define EDI Trading Partners and map GS1 (UCC128, SSCC) label formats to each partner to meet their specifications.
  • Labels can be generated per box or per pallet, or both.
  • GS1 (UCC128, SSCC) barcode data can be sent to the ERP system to be used by the EDI provider to send the data. Note that Savant WMS does not perform the EDI document transmission.
Having an ASN module allows us to expand into any market, especially with today’s supply chain demands. Everyone is scrambling right now so having a complete service offering to meet these challenges is crucial and what sets us apart.
James Peacock, Founder / CEO, SKU Distribution

What's an ASN Anyway?

Savant ADCAn ASN can be described as an electronic notification sent by a vendor to a customer, a message that sets out the details of a pending delivery. Usually sent via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) – or via web, ASNs inform a customer that goods created against a previously sent purchase order (P.O.) are on their way and basic information linked to the order provided. For example, a large department store can accurately tell, with the help of an ASN, the contents of a given delivery, including the specifics of the particular delivery such as weight, the number of items received, the packaging criteria, among other details.

This kind of visibility goes a long way in providing improved efficiencies and better productivity, particularly when it comes to moving goods along the supply chain. It is nevertheless important to mention that the viability or effectiveness of ASNs largely depends on proven criteria or principles that are otherwise identified as the 4Cs. Completeness surfaces as the first critical construct, a guide that highlights the need for complete details regarding information linked to a specific delivery. ASNs are therefore incorporative of basic information – as it pertains to a given shipment – and other essential details such as product description, order information, and carrier information, to list a few.

Correctness, the second principle, highlights the importance of accuracy while relaying on ASNs. This particular principle becomes a vital ingredient to both the vendor and the customer, understanding that ASNs notify authorized parties of what is shipped and in what quantities the shipments are in. Therefore, any alterations to what was ordered are immediately known by the recipients, a needed heads up that can be instrumental to the customer, especially when it comes to planning.

The last two principles – Confirmation and Communication – are more or less secondary to the first two principles. Confirmation seeks to validate the accuracy of the details included in the ASN, an exercise that becomes paramount more so when an ASN replaces an invoice. On the other end, communication seeks to address the invaluable importance of sending ASNs in a timely fashion. It's highly advisable that vendors send ASNs immediately after dispatching a shipment, an action that consequently offers the customer ample time to plan for the delivery.

Fun Fact! In the mid 1990’s, Savant’s Diane Cawley worked on the council that helped develop the standards for ASNs and their associated barcodes!

Benefits of Deploying Savant’s ASN Module

Undeniably, checking in goods or otherwise validating shipments can be such a hassle, an exercise that can be very time-consuming, more so without the necessary tools in place. However, with ASNs, the process can take relatively less time, particularly when the vendor and the customer are known to have trusted relationships. Of course, trust hardly comes by cheaply, a reason vendors are encouraged to hold an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status. The coupling of these two elements consequently offers better or smoother transactions, precisely affording high-level assurance that in-transit deliveries are correct and thus no need to check shipment once received. A quick barcode scan alternatively does the magic.

Vendors too stand a lot to benefit from ASNs, with advantages such as product tracking topping the list. As a seller, the visibility of products in freight comes up as such a fundamental engagement. And with ASNs, this becomes an achievable endeavor, specifically through scanning barcodes. Tracking and tracing also helps as much in retrieving missing shipments or seeking loss claims in case a delivery is considered unaccounted for.

In closing, the benefits linked to improved customer service, reputation a seller admires as much. With ASNs, vendors can effectively manage to keep stock at an optimum level, particularly delivering shipments in a timely fashion while respecting the minimum reorder level needed by their customers. This, in turn, translates to reduced storage costs, a benefit clients will always cherish.

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