Harmonized Order to Cash (HO2C)

What are Harmonised Order to Cash messages?

Harmonised Order to Cash (HO2C) messages are a national, sectoral standard for the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Food Service sectors in Belgium and Luxembourg.

It is a subset of the international, inter-sectoral standard of EANCOM 2002, which excludes all non-relevant parts and in which different usage scenarios are clarified by means of numerous examples. 

The manuals were developed by the sectoral trade partners within the Belgilux Working Group Transactional Data, including retailers, food-service providers as well as wholesalers and producers. 


Benefits of Harmonised Order to Cash:


Cost savings

Thanks to a one-time set-up: Harmonised Order to Cash means that the message flow can be set up for one trading partner and then rolled out for all trading partners in the same sectors (i.e. FMCG + food service) who accept these harmonised messages. 



Clearly defined guidelines for every possible scenario. For example, in the case of the EDI invoice, there is a single procedure for financial discount, empty B2C packaging, variable-weight products, the price-variation corrections, etc. 

internationaal conform

International compliance

Message documentation is based on EANCOM 2002. Where possible, international codes and practices have replaced previous national provisions, for example, when invoicing pallets.  

legaal geldig

Legally valid

Validation check with Belgian VAT authorities and the Ministry of Finance (MinFin). 

Why was Harmonised Order to Cash (HO2C) developed?

The GS1 EDI standards are generic, worldwide and multi-sectoral. As a result, the messages contain many types of data that may or may not be sent in different situations. Ultimately, what is necessary for one sector is not always relevant for another sector. A lot of data is therefore optional. Suppliers and customers who are exchanging messages can therefore bilaterally agree which of the optional data need to be sent. 

The many options have in recent years prompted various retailers to write their own EDI manual, clarifying which data they wish to receive and which they want to exclude. 

If everyone has their own guidelines/message agreements, each message type has to be individually developed for each trading partner, which results in high costs. To avoid this, GS1 Belgilux has, together with retailers and suppliers, harmonised and simplified the three basic O2C  messages - ORDERS, DESADV and INVOIC - for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Food Service sectors. 

Opportunities for everyone, but especially for SMEs! Harmonised message guidelines eliminate the need for (investment-intensive) retailer-specific developments. Thanks to uniform implementation, SMEs can make the transition (from no EDI or webEDI) to an integrated EDI solution and enjoy an efficiency as well as positive ROI. 

The more business partners, the greater the economies of scale. Persuade your trading partners (suppliers and customers) to use the ORDERS, DESADV and INVOIC Harmonised Order to Cash messages.