The VDA 4905 Message Explained

Electronic data interchange (EDI) has set itself apart as the most optimal way for businesses to communicate and synchronise with one another. And VDA standards in particular have shaped the backbone of EDI in the automotive industry. 

These standards ensure that different systems used by car manufacturers and their numerous suppliers can communicate seamlessly, reducing errors, saving time, and optimising logistical operations.

Today, we’ll explore the VDA 4905 message. Read on to discover what it incorporates, its benefits, and how its application can improve your B2B communications.

Need more of a starter on the VDA standard? Check out our comprehensive guide to VDA.

What is VDA 4905?

The VDA 4905 message is specifically designed for “delivery call-offs,” which are instructions sent from a car manufacturer to its suppliers.

In essence, the VDA 4905 message contains detailed information about what parts or components the manufacturer needs, the quantities of each, and the schedule for when these parts should be delivered. This system ensures that manufacturers receive the right components at the right time for their production processes, helping to maintain efficiency and minimise inventory costs.

What are the benefits and use cases of VDA 4905?

VDA 4905 messages offer several advantages due to their automation, integration, and record-keeping capabilities. These features allow for:

  • Fewer manual interventions and risk of errors.
  • Precise and clear communication of purchase orders and relevant details.
  • Smooth integrations with most ERP systems, allowing for easier information management.

The VDA 4905 can be effectively used in several scenarios:

  • Order placement: The VDA 4905 can detail purchase orders effectively, outlining the specifics of required goods, quantities, and delivery times.
  • Inventory management: Given its detailed nature, VDA 4905 can assist in inventory management and future procurement planning.
  • Supplier communication: It can serve as a streamlined communication tool, facilitating better supplier relationships by providing clear expectations.
  • Delivery scheduling: The document can assist in planning resources needed for receiving deliveries effectively.

What does a VDA 4905 message include?

A typical VDA 4905 message has several segments, each holding essential information related to the purchase order. Here’s an example of what that would look like.

511 4905 1 20210810 1512 1 20210815 10513 1 37437f94-8da3-11eb-8dcd-0242ac130003 OIL FILTER 10513 2 374384e8-8da3-11eb-8dcd-0242ac130003 AIR FILTER 10515 1 20210815

Here’s a more comprehensive breakdown of the purpose of each segment and what they represent, as per the example above.

SegmentExampleDescription
Document Header (511)511 4905 1 20210810 1Marks the beginning of the VDA 4905 message, specifying its type (4905), its sequence (1st purchase order), and the date of issue (2021-08-10).
Delivery Schedule (512)512 1 20210815 10Provides the delivery schedule, detailing the sequence (1), the delivery date (2021-08-15), and the total number of items (10).
Items (513)513 1 37437f94-8da3-11eb-8dcd-0242ac130003 OIL FILTER 10 <br> 513 2 374384e8-8da3-11eb-8dcd-0242ac130003 AIR FILTER 10Lists the items in the order. Each item line includes the sequence (1 or 2), the product ID, the product description (OIL FILTER or AIR FILTER), and the quantity (10 for both).
Dates (515)515 1 20210815Provides relevant dates tied to the order. In this case, it confirms the delivery date (2021-08-15) for the order.

Optional segments of a VDA 4905 message

Like most EDI documents, the content of a VDA 4905 message can vary depending upon the needs of the businesses involved and the nature of the goods being procured. For example, there are two optional segments that may be included in the message as well:

  1. Contact Information (517): This segment provides the contact details of the person or department responsible for the order, useful for any necessary direct communication.
  2. Texts (524): Texts can contain any additional or explanatory information that does not fit into the standard structured fields of the other segments.

How are VDA 4905 messages processed?

The processing of a VDA 4905 message involves the following steps:

  1. Creation: The VDA 4905 document is generated by the buyer, providing detailed information about the purchase order.
  2. EDI conversion: The document is then converted into the standard VDA 4905 format using an EDI translator, ensuring its compatibility with the supplier’s systems.
  3. Transmission: The message is transmitted electronically via an EDI network to the supplier.
  4. Receipt and translation: The supplier’s EDI software processes the message, translating it into a readable format.
  5. Integration: The data from the VDA 4905 message is integrated into the supplier’s systems for further processing and order fulfilment.

Keep in mind that the specifics of this process can vary depending on the EDI software, network, and internal systems used by the buyer and supplier.

What are the equivalents of the VDA 4905 message in other standards?

The VDA 4905 message serves a unique role within EDI — but because it’s closely related to delivery schedules and forecasts, it does have equivalents in other EDI standards.

EDI standardEquivalent of VDA 4905
ANSI X12830 Planning Schedule with Release Capability
EDIFACTDELFOR Delivery Forecast Message
TRADACOMSDelivery Schedule Message (closest equivalent)
EANCOMDELFOR Delivery Forecast Message
ODETTEDELINS (Delivery Instruction Message)
RosettaNetPIP3A8 Delivery Forecast

Each of these EDI documents, although different in terminology and structure, provides a similar functionality to the VDA 4905.

Pro tip: It’s worth noting that the content of a VDA 4905 message can be adjusted according to the specific requirements of the businesses involved, the type of goods being procured, as well as any legal or regulatory requirements.

Better navigate EDI with the help of Data Interchange 

Having the above insights and knowledge on the VDA 4905 message is incredibly important to helping you navigate EDI with your suppliers and partners. But there’s a lot more that you can do to improve how you go about communicating with them in the long-term.

As useful and crucial as EDI is to B2B industries, it can also be difficult to fully grasp and execute without help. 

That’s why we at Data Interchange have invested our 35+ years of experience in EDI into creating best-in-class EDI software solutions and offering bespoke managed and consulting services to our wide range of clients. If you want to see how we can help you better navigate the world of EDI today, just get in touch

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