EDI 852 - Product Activity Data

What is the EDI 852? Sellers and buyers use the EDI 852 to share sales and inventory details. Suppliers can stay updated on how their products are performing to improve their sales and inventory.

EDI Documents

EDI 852 format

In simple terms, think of the EDI 852 as a report card that gives a snapshot of how well products are doing in the market. It allows companies to make better decisions around managing their inventory, planning production and setting prices.

Visualization of EDI 852 Format

Here’s a simplified breakdown of what you might find in an EDI 852 document:

ST: Transaction set header

AIA: Beginning segment for vendor income/expense or rebate/chargeback

LIN: Item identification

UIT: Unit detail

QTY: Quantity information

DTM: Date/time reference

How is the EDI 852 used?

The EDI 852 can be thought of as a report card for products in a store. Imagine if each time someone bought a candy bar from a shop, the shop recorded which candy was bought, how many of each candy and when. Then, at the end of the week, the shop sends a letter to the candy factory to give them all these details. Now, the factory knows which candies are popular and how many more they need to make to keep selling them.

By using the EDI 852, the store and the factory can make sure they always have enough candy for everyone without making too much or too little. It’s a smart way to keep track of what’s selling well and what’s not, so the factory can produce in-demand items.

Retailers, suppliers and distributors often use the EDI 852 document to exchange data such as:

Sales information
Including quantities sold and the amount of money made from sales.
Inventory levels
To show how much of a product is still available to be sold.
Orders placed by customers
Which helps suppliers understand the demand for their products.

Benefits of using an 852 Product Activity Data

Implementing the 852 Product Activity Data offers benefits to both the retailer or distributor (sender of the EDI 852 document) and the supplier (receiver of the EDI 852 document). These benefits include:


Gain visibility into product sales performance at the store level or by product


Optimize inventory planning and management


Reduce the risk of stock-outs and overstock positions

Common issues regarding EDI 852

Inaccurate data:

Data quality issues, particularly inaccurate on-hand inventory levels, can make it difficult to rely on the EDI 852 to make informed decisions.

Time-consuming data analysis:

The EDI 852 is a complex and lengthy document. Turning the data into actionable insights can be challenging, even based on data from one retailer. Collecting, normalizing and analyzing Product Activity Data from multiple retailers is extremely labor-intensive.

Inconsistent data:

Every retailer provides a slightly different format for the EDI 852. That’s why it’s critical to discuss each trading partner’s requirements and capabilities prior to implementing this document.

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