What is EDI ANSI X12?

ANSI X12 is still the most commonly used EDI standard there is — more than 300,000 organisations worldwide now use it

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ANSI X12 is an American EDI standard developed in 1979 and stands for American National Standards Institute X12.

Although originally designed for use solely in North America, ANSI X12 is still the most commonly used EDI standard there is — more than 300,000 organisations worldwide now use it.

Although ANSI is the most widely used EDI standard globally other standards such as the Tradacoms and EDIFACT standards are more commonly used in Europe.

ANSI EDI transactions

There are currently over 275 ANSI EDI transaction codes/sets covering the full range of business transactions.

We would like to introduce you to the five most important EDI formats when doing business with the USA:

  • EDI 810: ANSI EDI 810 Invoice 
  • EDI 850: ANSI X12 EDI 850 Purchase Order 
  • EDI 856: ANSI EDI 856 Advance Shipping Notice 
  • EDI 846: ANSI EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry/Advice 
  • EDI 832 : ANSI EDI 832 Price Sales catalogue 

EDI 810: ANSI EDI 810 Invoice 

ANSI X12 EDI 810 messages represent an electronic invoice exchanged between suppliers and their customers. The 810 message is used in various industries such as in the automotive industry or in retail. Partners can use the ANSI X12 EDI 810 message to automatically exchange invoice information and match the invoices directly to the representative orders. Therefore, the ANSI X12 EDI 810 message consists of segments containing billing information for the materials/services exchanged and sender and recipient information.

A typical ANSI X12 EDI 810 message contains: 

  • Bill number 
  • Date of invoice 
  • Shipping information (shipping date of the individual items) 
  • Payment terms 
  • actual items invoiced 
  • Surcharges/discounts

EDI 850: ANSI X12 EDI 850 Purchase Order 

ANSI X12 EDI 850 is the order message sent by a customer to a supplier requesting services or goods. An electronic order message is one of the most fundamental documents for automated B2B transactions that should be part of an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) workflow. Purchasing organizations use EDI orders to order services or goods to be shipped to a distribution center, store, or end user.

The order is typically created in the customer's ERP system in an ERP-specific data format. Using EDI technology, this internal format is then converted into the ANSI X12 EDI 850 message. After conversion, the message is sent to the supplier, who creates a corresponding order for goods or services in their ERP system.

A typical ANSI X12 EDI 850 message contains: 

  • The items ordered and their respective costs 
  • The respective quantities ordered 
  • Billing information such as order number and date 
  • Delivery address (single or multiple delivery addresses as with cross-docking orders) 
  • Additional shipping information 
  • Information about the logistics provider

EDI 856: ANSI EDI 856 Advance Shipping Notice 

The ANSI EDI 856-Message contains all relevant details about the shipment.

When the EDI 856 ASN arrives at the customer and is accepted, the shipment information is automatically posted to their ERP system. In the next step, the shipping notification information can be used to plan future inventory consumption and when goods are received, the physical shipment only needs to be compared with the data from the already processed ANSI X12 856 message.

A typical ANSI X12 EDI 856 message contains: 

  • Information on delivered parts (material number, material name) 
  • Quantities sent 
  • Shipping and arrival date 
  • Delivery address (factory, dock/gate addresses) 
  • Delivery conditions that can be based on INCOTERMS. INCOTERMS stands for International Commercial Terms, where it is a set of predefined trade clauses provided by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
  • Carrier data/3PL (shipping company name, means of transport, etc.) 
  • Packaging (package number, package type, serial number) 

EDI 846: ANSI EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry/Advice 

An ANSI X12 EDI 846 (Inventory Inquiry/Advice) message is used to send inventory information between customers and suppliers and replaces the previous paper version of this document. This is used by customers to inform their suppliers about their held inventory and stock levels. They are used to describe the current availability of inventory or goods and can be used to inform beginning inventory, ending inventory, and movement of goods between warehouses for a specific period. 

A goods supplier would use ANSI X12 846 inventory query to update current and future inventory data in its customers' system. This allows customers to plan their future orders and the supplier to start selling their goods before they have been produced or arrived at the site. These messages are also used to notify customers that items are out of stock and to notify them of future products that will be added to their inventory. 

A supplier's customer would use the ANSI automatic replenishment agreement (Kanban) has been made between them. 

The EDI 846 message is a mandatory message type in some industries, such as: B. VMI (Vendor-Managed Inventory) and dropshipping in retail. Although it may not be considered mandatory in other industries, the EDI 846 message is still used everywhere.

A typical ANSI X12 EDI 846 message contains:

  • Name and address of both the supplier and the customer 
  • Item reference numbers and descriptions 
  • Quantity or goods 
  • Current ordered quantity and future order commitments 
  • Storage and delivery location 
  • Return

EDI 832: ANSI EDI 832 Price Sales Catalogue

Eine ANSI EDI 832 (Price Sales Catalog) is a message used to distribute the goods and services catalog data between a supplier and its customers and update the prices of the goods and/or services they offer.

It replaces the need for a more traditional paper-based catalog that must be updated and sent to a supplier's customer base. Theoretically, the paper version of this file could be out of date by the time it was generated. An electronic replacement can be resent and updated as often as the supplier requires. It is a crucial message type for the retail electronic purchasing process.

An EDI 832 message is generated by the supplier and sent electronically to its customers. Once received, this information can then be imported into your business software. The ERP is automatically updated and the purchasing departments are informed. The 832 message defines a variety of information about the supplier's services, along with item characteristics and the future delivery of these goods. In addition to product descriptions and prices, these can also contain other customer-specific data that is individually agreed between the provider and this specific customer.

When this data is received, the customer can then create an EDI 850 order based on this information with greater accuracy.

A typical ANSI X12 EDI 832 message contains: 

  • Name, address and contact details of the supplier 
  • Item details, description, specification and unit of measurement 
  • Packaging information 
  • Current and future price 
  • Minimum Order Quantity 
  • Conditions of sale and 
  • Promotional discounts 

You can find an overview of all other ANSI X12 EDI messages here. 

ANSI X12 is a standard that is constantly evolving. ANSI EDI standards are not set just once. The ASC -Standards that have occurred must be taken into account. The Governing Body's primary goal in discussing ANSI EDI standards is to develop, improve, and eliminate (if necessary) ANSI EDI standards to support EDI communications to streamline business transactions and ultimately practices.

One of the biggest misconceptions many customers have is that they must always have current updates to the EDI ANSI X12 standard in order to be compliant with their trading partners. The EDI ANSI X12 standard documents are covered by versions that are usually in numeric form such as 4030 or 5010.

Before asking your software vendor to sell you an update to the latest EDI ANSI X12 version, you should check with all your trading partners. Make sure you need this latest EDI ANSI X12 version. You may be surprised to know that even some of the larger retailers and trading partners still use versions of EDI ANSI X12 dating back to version 4030!

EDI standards are the requirements for the format and content of EDI business documents. EDI standards determine the correct order and location of the units of data in an EDI document. All EDI transactions are defined by EDI standards.

Although ANSI is the most widely used EDI standard globally other standards such as the Tradacoms and EDIFACT standards are more commonly used in Europe.