The VDA 4915 Message Explained

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has been fundamental in powering seamless communications between businesses in a wide variety of industries. And the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) standard stands as arguably the most important framework for the automotive industry.

As part of our collection of guides to major EDI standards, messages, and transaction sets (T-Sets), today we’ll be delving into the VDA 4915 message.

From its core purpose to how it’s structured, we cover everything you need to know about this incredibly important message. Let’s dive in!

Suggested reading: Learn more about the VDA standard with our guide, VDA Explained: Message Standards and Transaction Sets 

What is the VDA 4915 message?

The VDA 4915 message was designed for communicating shipping and packaging information between suppliers and manufacturers. It essentially provides detailed information about the contents of a shipment, including the types and quantities of products, packaging details, and shipping information. 

This message is crucial for logistics and supply chain management, as it helps manufacturers plan for the receipt and storage of incoming goods, ensuring that the right components are available at the right time for production processes.

What are the benefits and use cases for the VDA 4915 message?

VDA 4915 messages are structured to convey precise information about the parts needed, their quantities, and the exact timing for delivery. This specificity aids manufacturers in maintaining a lean inventory, reducing storage costs, and ensuring that production lines run without delays due to part shortages.

The more specific benefits of VDA 4915 messages include:

  1. Less manual processing: Automating the communication process minimises human error.
  2. Clarity and visibility over orders: Each message clearly outlines the requirements, leaving little room for ambiguity.
  3. Seamless ERP integrations: These messages can be easily integrated into existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, facilitating better data management.

VDA 4915 can be employed in various scenarios, such as:

  • Just-in-Time orders: It’s particularly useful in JIT environments where timing and accuracy of part delivery are critical.
  • Inventory control: Helps in precise inventory management and forecasting future needs.
  • Supplier interactions: Enhances supplier relationships through clear and consistent communication.

What’s the typical structure of a VDA 4915 message?

Here’s an example of what a typical VDA 4915 message would look like.

511 4915 1 20220301 1
512 1 20220305 20
513 1 4b29bd84-8da3-11eb-8dcd-0242ac130003 BRAKE PAD 20
513 2 4b2a42b2-8da3-11eb-8dcd-0242ac130003 CAR BATTERY 20
515 1 20220305

And here’s what each of the segments within a typical VDA 4915 message represent, based on the example above.

Document Header (511)511 4915 1 20220301 1Marks the beginning of the VDA 4915 message, specifying the type (4915), sequence (1st shipment), and the date of issue (2022-03-01).
Delivery Schedule (512)512 1 20220305 20Provides the delivery schedule, detailing the sequence (1), the delivery date (2022-03-05), and the total number of items (20).
Items (513)513 1 4b29bd84-8da3-11eb-8dcd-0242ac130003 BRAKE PAD 20 <br> 513 2 4b2a42b2-8da3-11eb-8dcd-0242ac130003 CAR BATTERY 20Lists the items in the order. Each item line includes the sequence (1 or 2), the product ID, the product description (BRAKE PAD or CAR BATTERY), and the quantity (20 for both).
Dates (515)515 1 20220305Provides relevant dates tied to the shipment. In this case, it confirms the delivery date (2022-03-05) for the order.

How is a VDA 4915 message processed?

The processing of a VDA 4915 message typically involves:

  1. Creation: Generated by the manufacturer, detailing the JIT call-offs.
  2. EDI conversion and transmission: Converted to a standard format and transmitted to the supplier.
  3. Receipt and integration: The supplier’s system processes and integrates the data for fulfilment.

What are the equivalents of the VDA 4915 message in other standards?

While VDA 4915 is specific to the German automotive industry, its counterparts in other global EDI standards serve similar purposes, albeit with different structures and terminologies. 

Here’s a guide on what those equivalents are in other major EDI standards.

EDI standardEquivalent of VDA 4915
ANSI X12856 Ship Notice/Manifest
EDIFACTDESADV Dispatch Advice Message
TRADACOMSDispatch Advice Message (closest equivalent)
EANCOMDESADV Dispatch Advice Message
ODETTEAVIEXP (Advance Shipping Notice)
RosettaNetPIP3A4 Shipping Notification

Advance how your business uses EDI with Data Interchange

The VDA 4915 message and VDA standard as a whole are clearly important. And this guide will definitely help you in understanding how best to utilise and benefit from them.

However, it is worth calling out that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a wide variety of EDI standards, messages, and T-Sets that are crucial for your business to address in order to see greater communications and relationships with your partners. 

Seeing that through is best realised with an EDI managed support services partner that has the expert knowledge and solutions required to help. At Data Interchange, we can offer that very expertise.

With 35+ years of experience and a comprehensive, robust range of EDI software solutions, we can support any EDI-related processes your business undertakes. To discover how we can start guiding your business to better EDI today, just talk to one of our experts

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