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Automotive EDI: Global EDI Solutions With a Strategic Tech Partner


The complexity of the automobile industry has made it a pioneer in developing and implementing electronic data interchange systems to the point that its operation cannot be understood without EDI as a key part of its workflow. Specialized tech providers are an essential sector stakeholder, guaranteeing not just partner integration over an EDI platform, but also legal compliance with a fully compliant electronic VAT solutions and invoicing service in the global environment they work in.

EDI and its dedicated providers help sector businesses secure efficiency in three key areas:

  • Integration with supply chain providers.
  • Compliance with VAT and e-invoicing requirements across an international setting.
  • Just-in-time delivery.

Read more: "EDI - an indispensable tool for the automotive sector"

Challenges, needs, and solutions

Different stakeholders operate in the automotive industry: carmakers, equipment and parts manufacturers, and distributors, in addition to the outsourcing of different production processes.

The logistics chain is extremely complex and accuracy in its communications is essential when working with the JIT system. This system cuts management costs by optimizing the supply process so that goods reach the factory or customer precisely when they're needed and in the right amounts, eliminating storage and stock requirements, etc. The system is used extensively throughout the automotive industry and demands military-precision organization and timing, as any breakdown in the supply chain delays production and causes major loss.

At the same time, it’s important to consider that all of this occurs in an international setting in which carmakers have production plants in different countries, suppliers distribute parts at home and abroad, and manufactured units are sold around the world.

The sector modus operandi creates the following needs:

  • Exchange of large volumes of critical information such as orders and plans, goods shipping and acceptance notifications, engineering specifications through CAD/CAM files, invoices, and more, all of which are needed immediately.
  • Distinct communication protocols to connect with different sector players.
  • Secure document transmission.
  • Simplification and efficiency in administrative formalities (process automation, error elimination, etc.).
  • Simplification in invoicing and VAT administrative processes and knowledge of the regulations of each country where the business operates.

Global solutions with all your partners from a single platform

EDICOM is a technology provider specializing in EDI and e-invoicing. Its expertise in global projects and ability to deliver full compliance in 70-plus countries make it an automotive industry benchmark. Numerous sector customers have found the answer to their needs with the range of solutions the company has developed. Popular proprietary solutions include:

EDI - Electronic Data Interchange. EDI-based communication means that companies engaged in the production logistics chain operate as a single body because this technology makes it possible to integrate customer/provider processes. EDI translates multiformat data structures into the ERP proprietary language of the businesses involved in the process. It automates the generation and integration of multiformat data structures adapted to the requirements of each customer and engages in real-time information-sharing to adjust the supply chain based on knowledge of stock records, goods acceptance notifications, etc.

EDICOMNet. Many car companies have signed up to EDICOMNet, one of the core communities of commercial actors for EDI transactions in B2B environments. EDICOMNet guarantees access to most commercial partners, simplifying the delivery and acceptance of structured commercial documents with full assurances and maximum security. Joining EDICOMNet also provides access to commercial partners in other private networks, through the multiple interconnection agreements that EDICOM has signed with leading value added networks (VANs) around the world. It is a multistandard, multiprotocol network.

EDICOM OFTP Server (EOS). OFTP (Odette File Transfer Protocol) was originally designed for the interchange of data between partners in the European automobile sector. Today, it is still the most widely used communication protocol in the industry, and most European car manufacturers use it for transactions with all their suppliers. The latest version of the protocol is identified as OFTP2. EDICOM, through the EOS service, allows message exchange by OFTP versions 1 and 2. Access to EOS can be in ASP mode, through the EDICOMNet VAN interconnection service.

e-Invoicing Platform. EDICOM’s e-invoicing delivery and reception platforms are adapted to the legal specifications of the countries of origin and destination where the customer operates (digital signature, invoice declaration and storage, format requirements of communication documents or protocols to use). This solution makes it simpler to issue and send all sorts of invoices on the basis of the customer’s ERP data. The platform guarantees adaptation to regulatory changes in the countries where it operates.

Global VAT Platform. EDICOM has developed a comprehensive solution designed especially for multinationals. It is a B2B2G electronic communications platform with EDI, compliant e-Invoicing, and VAT compliance capacity at the global level. The platform simplifies communication processes with tax authorities in multinational settings.

Testing and Certification Portal: To facilitate the incorporation of new EDI flows between partners, EDICOM has created the Partner Testing and Certification Portal, an online platform where the users themselves validate and verify the EDI messages to exchange. The portal makes it possible for companies to outsource a fundamental part of partner onboarding, i.e., the verification or test phase. The EDICOM Partner Testing and Certification Portal streamlines and simplifies this process as the partners themselves have the information needed to run tests on the portal. This testing and certification portal enables companies and their partners to start working together in the short term, with the guarantee of complying with all the requirements established in the business relationship.

iPaaS: EDICOMiPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) is the application integration platform in service mode developed by EDICOM, ready to implement any project requiring interconnection between operating solutions, whether legacy, cloud, or on-premise. EDICOMiPaaS makes it possible to interconnect all of a company’s applications through powerful tools available in service mode and by outsourcing tool development, management, and maintenance to EDICOM. It operates in outsourcing mode, making EDICOM’s specialist technicians responsible for the different tasks a platform administrator would normally have to assume.

In short, with a strategic global partner like EDICOM, a company can solve and outsource its electronic processes with any partner with full guarantees. It responds to market evolution by optimizing the time and resources allocated to tasks that today’s market considers automatic and immediate.

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