EDI 846 - Inventory Inquiry/Advice

What is EDI 846? The EDI 846 keeps retailers and suppliers up to date on inventory levels and is required for dropship or direct-to-consumer types of fulfillment models. In most cases, it is used by retailers who are asking their suppliers about current and future inventory available for their stores and warehouses.

EDI Documents

The EDI 846 format

EDI 846 Format

How it’s set up: 

BIA (Beginning segment for inventory inquiry/advice): Think of this as the title page of a book. It tells you what the list is about and when it was made.

DTM (Date/time reference): This records the date and time, so you know when the document was completed.

LIN (Item identification): This lists all the items with their respective names and codes.

QTY (Quantity information): This indicates how many of each item is in stock.

CTT (Transaction totals): This adds up how many different items there are and the quantity of each item in stock.

How is the EDI 846 used?

The EDI 846 acts as a digital list that companies use to communicate their inventory and sales with each other. It’s a way for them to share accurate updates on what’s in stock.

Benefits of using the EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry/Advice

Both buyers (retailers) and sellers (suppliers) benefit from implementing the EDI 846. Many of these are dependent on how automated and integrated the transaction is for both parties. Some of the benefits include:


Reduces manual processes and human error for all trading partners


Allows both suppliers and retailers to better manage eCommerce drop shipping


Enables the supplier to advise when product is out of stock or no longer being made


Retailers can better plan warehouse and store ordering


Supports the ability for retailers to order non-stock items/special orders from suppliers


Enables retailers to manage details on their website such as item out of stock, quantity available, or remove the item from the website

Common issues regarding EDI 846


Some companies don’t have an accurate inventory system or their stock status is not properly maintained. This can be a significant challenge since the EDI 846 requires accurate inventory information.


Retailers have different requirements for suppliers sending the EDI 846 document. It’s important to respond quickly. Often the EDI 846 must be sent every day or multiple times per day.

Automate EDI 846 – Inventory Advice with Full-Service EDI from SPS Commerce

Managing ongoing EDI tasks can be complex and time-consuming. Full-service EDI providers like SPS Commerce deliver EDI technology and associated staffing resources responsible for customizing, optimizing and operating your EDI solution.

SPS communicates directly with your trading partners to manage connectivity, setup, requirements, updates and support efforts. SPS also takes ownership of understanding
your trading partner requirements and making map changes.

SPS Fulfillment proactively monitors and optimizes your solution to prevent errors and minimize data entry.

Interested in learning more about our EDI solution?

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