Supply Chain News Bites - Only from SCDigest

- Apri 21, 2011 -


Supply Chain Graphic of the Week: Level of ASN Accuracy


New Report on ASNs Finds Wide Variances in Level of Accuracy on ASNs Sent from Vendors; Do Handling Units Explain much of the Difference, or Not?


By SCDigest Editorial Staff



What is the level of accuracy of Advanced Ship Notices (ASNs) sent from manufacturers to retailers?

There has actually been very little data available on this metric, and challenges in finding meaning in any data that does exist, because there are many variables. For example, one would assume that ASN accuracy at a full case level would be much higher than ASNs at a "pick and pack" level, where picking errors will be much more common, and picking errors that do occur much more difficult to catch before shipping.

That said, we were glad to review the 2011 version of a report on ASN performance first developed in 2010 by Dr. Brian Gibson and Dr. Brent Williams, both of Auburn University, based on funding from Compliance Networks and the Vendor Compliance Federation (VCF). A full copy of the report is available here: ASNs in Retail Benchmark Report 2011.

The chart below on ASN accuracy, taken from the report, is based on survey data from almost 30 retailers in a variety of segments, though with about 33% in the apparel/department store category.



Source: An Analysis of ASNs Benchmarks and Best Practices 2011,

Gibson and Williams


The report defines ASN accuracy as being not just that what is on the ASN is what is received, but also that the EDI transmission meets the retailer's technical requirements and can be processed automatically. As best as we know, there is no clearly accepted way to define ASN accuracy across the industry - in fact, we recently received a reader question on this specific topic, which we will do our best to answer on SCDigest shortly.

This is interesting data, especially the range of data, with accuracy levels from 73% to almost 100% across the retailers surveyed. We would have liked to have seen a cross tab with the handling unit (full cases, split cases/pick and pack) as well, however, as it could be thatthis variable explains much of the difference in accuracy levels, though Dr. Gibson tells us there was a wide range of ASN accuracy even among the soft goods/apparel retailers, which likely all receive substantial levels of split cases shipments.


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