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How to Generate an EDI 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement

April 18th, 2011

What is an EDI 855 Document?

The Purchase Order Acknowledgement or 855 is an EDI document sent by the vendor or Trading Partner to the customer to acknowledge the details of the Purchase Order or 850 that was received. If terms of the purchase order cannot be met then this document can also be used to provide the details of the changes to the order that the vendor needed to make (for example an item ordered is out of stock and cannot be shipped or the delivery date cannot be met).

The types of changes that need to be recorded on the 855 vary by EDI trading partner. The changes are denoted on each line item by a change code.

Common 855 Change Codes

  • DR  Item Accepted – Date Rescheduled
  • IA  Item Accepted
  • IB  Item Backordered
  • ID  Item Deleted  (Use to indicate Item is being Discontinued)
  • IP  Item Accepted – Price Changed
  • IQ  Item Accepted – Quantity Changed
  • IR  Item Rejected

Due to the nature of the information that needs to be passed across on the 855 transaction it can be more challenging in regards to integration.

Common 855 Challenges

  1. Knowing when the order has changed
  2. Knowing what has changed on the order so the correct code can be used
  3. Knowing when the changes are complete so the 855 can be processed and sent to the trading partner

As you can see from the list above an automated solution for the 855 can be a little tricky when compared to other transactions. So how does this information get from the ERP to the trading partner? Here are a few ways to generated the 855 document:

  1. 855 Web Form – The original Purchase Order can be converted through an EDI web form, like the ones on ePortal. The order is then manually edited and the proper change codes are selected. This process is very manual and involves double entry of data.
  2. Manual Extraction from the ERP – As the order is changed the proper change codes are entered in a field in the ERP for each line item. Once changes are complete the order can be manually extracted from the ERP via your EDI software and then processed and sent to the trading partner. Again this solution still involves manual work but it does eliminate the possible errors due to double entry.
  3. Automated Extraction – The order is changed in the ERP but this time instead of adding the codes into a field on the ERP manually a procedure behind the scenes monitors the order changes and then automatically populates the change codes into a field for each line item. Once the changes are completed a flag can checked on the order to denote that it is ready to be extracted and processed by the EDI software

Determining which method to use from the list above or the other options available can be a daunting task. You need to consider the requirements of the partner, the number of 855 transactions that need to be sent and as always your budget. For more help with understanding the 855 and determining which method of integration suites your company best, contact eBridge Connections and we will put you in touch with one of our integration specialists who will work with you to develop a solution that fits your company business process. As an alternative you can always post any questions you have on The Core, our online community, to receive feedback from other companies similar to yours that have been done this path in the past.

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  1. M. Kolbe
    | #1

    Regarding order changes –
    Do some customers require that they receive an 855 each time (different days) an order is changed? In other words, may we need to send an 855 for the same order multiple times?

  2. | #2

    @M. Kolbe
    Yes, it is possible that you may need to send an 855 multiple times for the same order but it depends on the trading partner’s requirements, or more specifically, the business relationship requirements you have with that trading partner. I suggest you contact your trading partner’s edi department if you’re in doubt.

  3. PR
    | #3

    Mike,

    Can I set up the 855 to “automatically reject” a PO if the shipping date/arrival dates do not match our lead time agreements? I am trying to have the EDI system somehow reject the order so the customer can put through a corrected PO without having a customer service rep manual handle anything.

  4. | #4

    @PR Are the lead time agreements consistent? If the order date and requested ship are on the order and we know that there needs to be a minimum of 3 business days, for example, this logic can be programmed in to the process prior to it hitting the accounting/ERP system which could generate an 855 rejection. If there is more variability in the logic, the validation would need to be handled by the accounting/ERP system. The 855 could still be automated but we would need to consider what is handled by the ERP system and what would be handled by the integration process. Does this help?

  5. Anna
    | #5

    Hi, can we send the 855 multiple times even if we havent received the PO again? For example if initially we thought we can deliver a line but later on , couldnt send the line.Can we send revised acknowledgement again?

  6. | #6

    Hi Anna,

    It is possible to resend a new 855 order acknowledgement. Your trading partner must be set-up to expect to receive additional 855s and be evaluating them for differing information. There are many scenarios that may entail sending a new 855 that, as you suggest relate to the ability to deliver a line, change the delivery date and/or quantity of a line, backorder items etc.

    Regarding the resend, if the process is automation the actual resend would need to be a manually initiated event caused by the exception, i.e you have identified that a particular item would not be included on the shipment.

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