EDI 846 - Inventory Inquiry/Advice

EDIFACT INVRPT

An EDI 846 is an electronic version of a paper inventory update. This document is also known as EDI Inventory Inquiry/Advice, EDIFACT INVRPT and x12 846. It is most commonly used by retailers to inquire about a supplier’s inventory levels and for suppliers to advise on the number of units they have on hand. This document also informs the retailer what inventory will be available in the future.

An EDI 846 can be sent by suppliers at different frequencies, ranging from multiple times a day to a few times a week. The Inventory Inquiry/Advice is most commonly used in e-commerce order fulfillment, specifically for drop shipping.

EDI Documents

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:

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Retailers can better plan warehouse and store ordering

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Reduces manual processes and human error for all trading partners

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Allows both suppliers and retailers to better manage e-commerce drop shipping

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Communicates to the retailer when the item will be available again if out of stock

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

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

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

Key data elements included in an EDI 846 Inventory Feed:

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Inventory date

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Identifying number

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Product item identifiers/services such as UPC/EAN/GTIN needed with their respective quantities

Additional data that may also be included in the Inventory Inquiry/Advice are:

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Vendor number

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Discontinued products

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Supplier warehouse locations with on hand amounts by item

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Item description

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Out of stock items and restock dates

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Additional item identifiers such as buyer item number and vendor part number

Common issues regarding EDI 846

Accuracy: 

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.

Timeliness:

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.

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