EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry – Explaining EDI

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

What is an EDI 846?

Imagine you are a sunscreen manufacturer and you’ve got an overstock of product in the middle of winter that you’re willing to sell at a discounted rate. You would send an EDI 846 (Inventory Inquiry/Advice) to your buyers/trading partners to notify them of your on-hand inventory. Thus giving them the opportunity to make a special buy and help you off-load extra stock. A win-win for both parties.

EDI 846 documents are also commonly used for e-commerce vendors that utilize a drop ship management model. (Drop shipping is a fulfillment method that entails a store selling a product that is shipped directly from a third party to customers. The store never actually comes in contact with the product.) The third-party suppliers will send an EDI 846 to the store stating what they have on hand and on order.

What does EDI 846 include?

An Inventory Inquiry could include several pieces of data such as:

  • Product item identifiers like UPC needed with quantities listed for each
  • Date of inventory
  • Description of stocked products
  • Products that are currently out-of-stock
  • Products that will be discontinued
  • Vendor numbers

New to EDI? Check out our blog post: What is EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)?

How does the exchange work?

  1. A sunscreen manufacturer transmits an 846 to their trading partner letting the partner know if specific products in overstocked or understocked.
  2. The trading partner sends back a 997 Functional Acknowledgment. As a result, the manufacturer is notified that the 846 was properly received. Based on the scenario, the manufacturer can choose to buy overstocked products or prepare to not receive understocked products.

Why use an EDI 846?

The Inventory Inquiry/Advice is an incredibly effective document for use between trading partners to properly regulate their respective stock of a product. By receiving relevant information on overstocked, out-of-stock, and discontinued products, purchasers can optimize ordering for their warehouses and stores. Therefore, purchasers can also quickly notify their customers when in-demand products will be back online or back on store shelves.

Related Reading: Integrating Transportation Carriers – EDI 200 Series

Otif Part 3

Improving OTIF Performance

Making sure you are compliant with OTIF requirements can be tricky. You’ll need to do in-depth analysis into potential issues, such as warehouse issues and carrier delays. The various silos of your organization must interact with each other to ensure full compliance and prevent future chargebacks from happening.

Read More »

Why is OTIF Important?

Not complying with your purchasers’ OTIF requirements can be very costly, and result in hefty fines. For example, Walmart fines its vendors 3% of the cost of goods sold if the order fails OTIF requirements. In 2016, Target stores increased their OTIF penalties to 5% of the order cost, five times what it previously was. That kind of money adds up!

Read More »

How to explain OTIF to your 5-year-old

OTIF stands for On Time In Full and is a key performance indicator (KPI) of your products’ supply chain. OTIF is a crucial measurement of how well your operations team fulfills your orders according to the requirements of your customers.

Read More »
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Contact us

Drop your information in our handy form, including a brief message of what you’re looking for, and one of our sales experts will get back to you as soon as possible!


3739 N Steele Blvd,
Ste 300
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Seattle Office

1700 Seventh Ave,
Ste 2100
Seattle, WA 98101