Shipment Notices in EDI 856, XML and Spreadsheet Formats Make Customers Happy

A distributor to automotive OEM’s using Infor’s SX.e with 15 years experience sending Shipment Notices (ASN) in X12 856 and EDIFACT DESADV formats had two aftermarket customers requiring other formats.  The customers wanted the benefit of Shipment Notices, but would not share the development cost.


Two customers requested Shipment Notices one in XML and the other in a spreadsheet (.xlsx) format.

The complication is that these new customers had two additional format requirements:

  • XML
  • Microsoft Excel™ .xlsx

Fortunately, these business documents contain the same information and the same daily process challenge: send the Shipment Notice “when the truck doors are closed” to ensure the Shipment Notice arrives before the shipment.

DCS’ EDI solution was to:

  • Adapt their existing EDI system (Sterling’s Gentran:Server™ for Windows Server™) and their existing comprehensive X12 Shipment Notices map to produce XML and .xlsx format documents.  This was straight forward but not trivial.
  • Use existing SX.e processes and message receipt reconciliation adapted in the traditional X12 processes because it is time proven.
  • Use one process to avoid confusion and errors.  Outbound XML documents could be easily automated.  (The spreadsheet .xlsx Shipment Notices were automatically attached to an email and sent.)

The level of effort was about 40 hours each for one customer using XML and one customer using .xlsx.


The result was two happy customers and little on-going I.T. support.

Let DCS EDI specialists help you set your B2B foundation or add more process automation. Setting up the foundation for these processes properly is not trivial but when done correctly sets the stage for growth of your B2B program with lights out management. We recommend our GROW™ Development service.

  • Data Communication Solutions has experience with SX.e and it is likely we have experience with your EDI system, and your key customer’s requirements as well.  We know these components intimately; we know how they must be linked.
  • We are experts with most practical, customer-oriented experience.  Unfortunately, many SX.e developers do not have B2B experience.
  • We can fine tune your processes and components, and then train users.  This increases efficiencies and avoids waste and shipping delays.
  • Finally, our solution is cost effective because no capital equipment purchase is needed.   We work with your existing components.

Your orchestration will be thorough, quick, and economical due to our many years of SX.e B2B experience. Having DCS EDI specialist configure the first few customers then having you do the remainder also may lower the cost of orchestration and hastens payback.

Using a seasoned expert who knows B2B operating processes will save you time and headaches. DCS is eager to work with your dealer or vendor. Our expertise is with orchestration, we do not sell EDI or XML software or networks. Your first step is easy; just email DCS for your FREE assessment.