The standard format used in electronic data interchange (EDI) for administration, commerce and transport is defined by the United Nations and is known as UN/EDIFACT. It consists of a set of internationally agreed standards, directories, and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data, between independent computerised information systems.
The rules are approved and published by UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) in the UNTDID (United Nations Trade Data Interchange Directory).
The following links explain some of the most commonly used EDI documents:
ORDERS - Purchase order message
ORDERS (purchase order message) is a message specifying details for goods or services ordered under conditions agreed between the seller and the buyer. Common commercial practice is for a purchase order to be issued for a certain shipment, to a certain place at a given moment, although a single order for different shipment locations is also possible. There are open orders (followed by a delivery order) and urgent orders (for immediate delivery).
ORDRSP - Purchase order response message
ORDRSP (purchase order response message) is a message from the seller to the buyer, responding to a purchase order message or a purchase order change request message.
Principles of the message:
- A seller may respond for one or more items or services.
- The response may be for a Purchase order or a Purchase order change request, an acknowledgment of receipt and understanding of data, confirmation of acceptance, a proposal of amendment, or a notification of non-acceptance for all or part of the message.
- This may refer to items or services related to one or more delivery schedules, etc.
- A purchase order response for cross-border transactions may contain additional information for customs.
- It may contain details for transport and destination as well as delivery patterns.
- A buyer's purchase order may be responded to by one or more response messages, according to business practice.
DESADV - Despatch advice message
DESADV (despatch advice message or waybill) is a message that specifies details for goods despatched or ready for despatch under agreed conditions. They are used as Delivery Dispatch Advice and Returns Dispatch Advice messages. The former term is commonly used to refer to both.
The message intent is to advise of the detailed contents of a consignment. Each message relates to a single despatch point and single or multiple destination points. It may cover a number of different items or packages. The message can be used both to indicate the despatch of the goods to be delivered, as well as the despatch of the goods that are returned.
It allows the receiver:
- To know when the material has been despatched or will be ready for despatch.
- To have the precise details of the consignment.
- To take initial steps towards customs clearance in the case of international consignments.
- To enable matching between despatched goods and the following invoice.
RECADV - Receiving advice message
RECADV (receiving advice message) is a message used to report the physical receipt of the goods and whether they reflect what was initially ordered. This provides visibility about discrepancies and a warning of the rejection or acceptance of goods to streamline the process. When the goods are checked and discrepancies are sorted out, the invoice can be generated with the certainty that it will not have to be modified.
INVOIC - Invoice message
INVOIC (invoice) is the electronic message that documents a payment for goods or services supplied under conditions agreed between the seller and the buyer. It also serves as a specification for: Debit Note or Credit Note. It includes information on the good or service supplied, information on the terms of payment, customs information if it is a cross-border transaction, the waybill or despatch note, order number, etc.
GENRAL - General purpose message
GENRAL (general purpose free text message) is the electronic message used to send, receive or record useful information about arrangements between suppliers and customers. Examples include the reasons for rejecting invoices or information about the opening of new centres, notifying the supplier of the details required to produce the next invoice (EAN code of the centre, address, etc.). Its absence usually implies “acceptance” of the validity of the invoice.
SLSRPT - Sales data report message
SLSRPT (sales data report message) is a message that makes it possible to see the sales that each customer makes and the sales at each point of sale. It is sent from the customer to the supplier and allows the exchange of updated sales information, relating it to the products or services supplied, including the corresponding dates, periods, product identifiers, prices, amounts and destinations.
It is used for the optimisation of logistics, planning and commercial management, financial calculations and more.
INVRPT - Inventory report message
INVRPT (inventory report message) is a message that allows us to understand the situation with the goods in the customers' facilities. It is a document sent from the customer to the supplier. When there is an intermediary logistics operator storing the goods, the message can be sent from it to the supplier. Various departments in your business can directly benefit from the advantages of this document.
PRICAT - Price/sales catalogue message
PRICAT (price/sales catalogue message) is a message that informs about the detailed list of products that a company sells. This is evolving information, which is why it must always be updated to its latest version for appropriate management. The manufacturer adds information and uses it so that its customers always have the updated catalogue with details of the existing products and information on new ones. The distributor uses it to comply with labelling regulations, to calculate orders and to inform their customers prior to purchase.
COACSU - Commercial account summary message
COACSU (commercial account summary message) is a message that includes the individual deliveries that the supplier makes to one or more distributors in a certain amount of time. Its most common use is in invoicing, acting as a compendium of invoices issued (commercial, debit notes, credit notes, amendments, summaries, etc.).
REMADV - Remittance advice message
REMADV (remittance advice message) is a message communicated between the buyer and the supplier that provides detailed accounting on the payment of a good or service on a certain date. It allows us to know that the payment is going to be made, and can relate to one transaction or several.
RETANN - Announcement of returns message
RETANN (announcement of returns message) is a document that the customer sends to the supplier to notify of the intention to return the goods, a shortfall in supply or a discrepancy in the price or discount. In other words, RETANN is a type of EDI message that simply warns the supplier so that they can take the relevant steps.
RETINS - Instruction for returns message
RETINS (instruction for returns message) is the message that the supplier sends to the buyer in response to an announcement of returns message (RETANN). It includes the instructions and procedures to follow to carry out the return.
REQOTE - Request for quote message
REQOTE (request for quote message) is a message that provides potential buyers with information about the price, delivery schedule and other conditions of the goods or services offered by the supplier.
QUOTES - Quote message
QUOTE (quote message) is a message that details the terms and conditions for the supply of the specified products or services that the supplier offers to the customer.