Monday, November 24, 2014

No Surprises

Use Advance Shipping Notice to move your freight into the 21st century.

Those of you who have utilized ASNs or Advance Shipping Notices and understand the benefits, move to the head of the class. Those of you not familiar with this estimable component of the modern logistics toolbox, sharpen your pencils while we explore the opportunities they provide.

Essentially, an ASN is like a packing list – but instead of appearing with the shipment, it flies ahead electronically, letting the consignee know what is coming their way well ahead of time.

Giving advance notice dramatically helps streamline logistics operations, delivering improvements in costs, accuracy and flexibility. Modern receiving operations typically don’t have time to break down a shipment, whether cartons or pallets and instead depend on quick scans of barcodes on shipping labels. The ASN provides a list of all the barcoded ID numbers and matches them to the contents of each container, saving as much as 40 percent in receiving costs.

Upon receiving the ASN, the consignee knows ahead of time any discrepancy between what was ordered and what was actually shipped, allowing them to make plans in a timely manner rather than being blindsided by short shipments. The data flows through in a single entry, linking to operational divisions, accounting, and easing the creation of accurate management reports. ASNs also dramatically reduce the volume of enquiries seeking information on expected shipments.

But perhaps the most compelling reason to use the ASN is the growing number of major corporations who insist on it. One client we helped transition to the use of Advance Shipping Notices thanked us, saying, “the abillity to produce ASNs has allowed us to increase our market share by selling to retailers who otherwise wouldn’t deal with us.” More and more of the biggest companies are joining that category.

If you are not using ASN yet, you will be, and the sooner you modernize your supply chain, the better off you will be – which should come as no surprise.

Kirk Shearer
800-989-0054 x103

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