Automating EDI and ASNs with ShipHawk’s SPS Commerce Connector
  • Michael Stivers
October 02, 2023
Posted by Michael Stivers
Michael Stivers

To meet the delivery requirements of large retailers, you need a fulfillment solution that connects with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) providers like SPS Commerce

Retailers require the exchange of order fulfillment data from their suppliers before they receive a shipment via an Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN), which is typically done using EDI.

Both ShipHawk WMS and TMS integrate with EDI providers and requirements to ensure automation and compliance with large retailers' needs. With ShipHawk’s SPS Commerce Connector, you can now connect your order fulfillment process in ShipHawk with retailers through SPS Commerce to fully automate the fulfillment process.

Understanding EDI

Using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), businesses send information digitally from one business system to another, using a standardized format. EDI is an essential part of business automation: it replaces order processes, transactions, and communications that were once done on paper or with fax machines. 

With EDI, businesses can rapidly and accurately exchange information and conduct transactions, including purchase orders, invoices, advanced shipping notices (ASNs), and more. To do so, businesses use an EDI provider, such as SPS Commerce.

Understanding ASNs

Advanced shipping notices (ASNs) are a type of EDI document that provide recipients (such as retailers) with information about a pending shipment. ASNs are commonly used when delivering large quantities of packages to retailers so that the retailer can prepare for the placement and storage of these packages before they are delivered. 

Each retailer your business works with will have their own requirements for how ASNs should be formatted. EDI providers like SPS Commerce work with them to customize ASNs to meet their requirements. ShipHawk’s SPS Connector provides SPS Commerce with shipment information so SPS Commerce can then curate and provide ASNs to the various recipients, such as retailers.

Connecting ShipHawk with SPS Commerce

ShipHawk TMS specifically, synchronizes with item fulfillments (or sales orders) originating from an ERP such as NetSuite. When these are booked, ShipHawk communicates with NetSuite to make updates to the item fulfillment record. With the SPS Commerce Connector, ShipHawk writes back the shipment package-level information to SPS Commerce’s custom records in NetSuite. 

Note that ShipHawk does not generate ASNs or support EDI on its own.  The SPS Commerce Connector simply allows for ShipHawk to send shipment package information to SPS Commerce so that SPS Commerce can then provide ASNs directly to the recipient, such as a large retailer.

In the NetSuite user interface, ShipHawk writes package details to the custom SPS EDI Packages tab under the item fulfillment record. 

The package details ShipHawk sends to this custom tab for SPS Commerce to retrieve include the following:

  • Width
  • Height
  • Length
  • Weight
  • Tracking Number
  • Package Quantity
  • Item Fulfillment ID
  • Carton Index
  • UCC Label ID
  • Bill of Lading Number
  • Carrier PRO Number
  • Carrier Alpha Code
  • Items object, which includes the following for each item in the package:
    • Item ID

    • Item Fulfillment Line

    • Item Quantity

SPS Commerce then uses these package details to generate the ASNs.

ShipHawk’s interaction with SPS  Commerce is complete when the package details are written to the SPS Commerce’s records and the ASN file is generated. The further EDI processes for ASNs are then handled by SPS Commerce, through its retail network.

What’s Next?

ShipHawk TMS built this SPS Commerce Connector in partnership with SPS Commerce, and we are now pleased to make this available to you.

The ShipHawk SPS Commerce Connector provides your enterprise with a seamless way to fully integrate with SPS Commerce as your EDI provider. 

To learn more about how ShipHawk can help you, contact us today, contact us today.

Subscribe to the ShipHawk Blog

Recent Posts