ASN (Advanced Shipping Notice):
An electronic communication that details what is to be expected on a incoming receipt. This often allows receiving and/or allocation processes to be streamlined. There is a specific EDI message (an 856) that provides a standard for ASN messages, but in practice, the ASNs can be formatted in many ways. Potential efficiencies include scanning a single identifier on an incoming pallet based on ASN data that details the contents of that pallet.
The same concept applies to a carton, or even a full trailer. If the ASN indicates the quantity that was actually shipped by the vendor for a given SKU is less than ordered, it can allow changes to allocation of that receipt, such as which stores received the shorted item and by how much, or change production schedules if the item is needed for a production run.