Three tips for EDI migration in the automotive industry without a hitch

Jan Stočes Aimtec
19. 1. 2024 | 4 minutes reading

Electronic Data Interchange systems are the lifeline of communications in the automotive industry. Companies have a vested interest in keeping the systems robust and up-to-date. Migrating from legacy systems to the cloud early on can streamline processes and save money. Despite all the advantages, EDI migration comes with some risks. Aimtec, an automotive industry digitalisation partner with more than twenty-six years of experience working with suppliers and manufacturers throughout the entire automotive value chain, provides three tips for successfully migrating your EDI system.

To successfully digitalise business processes which use EDI, suppliers in the automotive industry must consider the following aspects:

1. Preparation yes, last-minute migration no

Don’t: Don’t wait until you are already facing serious problems with your EDI systems before you get in touch with EDI providers. To avoid problems with quality, time-sinks, and ultimately added costs, take time to proactively scope the market for a solution and partner which suit your needs.

Do: Make sure that the partner you’ve chosen has not only the technical skills to migrate your EDI system without a hitch, but also the organisational know-how to professionally lead your business through the entire change process – including the test and validation stage as well as communications with any partners affected by the migration. 

Ideally, your partner will have expertise in both EDI migration and SAP so they can create a seamless connection between the two systems and exploit the potential to enhance the efficiency of your enterprise IT landscape to the fullest.

2. The human factor

EDI migrations have a deep impact on the ecosystem affected. Accordingly, this change process needs to be carefully prepared and monitored not only within your internal IT, but also at your external partners in the supply chain.

Don’t: Don’t underestimate just how important it is to get all stakeholders involved early on, and don’t automatically brush aside any concerns your IT team might have. Experience has shown that internal IT departments are often reluctant to migrate if they fear that potential errors could affect their SAP system or other systems. Their hesitancy does not stem from flat-out resistance, but rather a desire to avoid fines caused by disruptions.

Do: A team of equals, not a solo effort. In other words, get all stakeholders on board at an early stage. Working with your IT team and service providers, evaluate and prioritise which EDI solutions are best suited to you and your partners. The same care you take in engaging your team should also be taken with your partners. This is the only way you can create trust and transparency in your immediate ecosystem. Regarding factors such as cost efficiency, scalability, compatibility, and rapid deployment, various solutions come into play. Your digitalisation partner will help you take the right decision and produce a clear timeline with a defined objective.

3. The right tool

Don’t: Don’t cling to an on-premises solution at all costs. Don’t underestimate maintenance and additional costs associated with having in-house IT infrastructure.

Do: Harness all the networking and compatibility potential offered by cloud EDI solutions. They facilitate access, speed up supplier involvement as well as future updates, and ensure long-term scalability. The automotive supply chain is on the move more than ever before, and cloud-based EDI infrastructure ensures that you and your ecosystem can easily keep up with future needs at no expense to data transfer quality.

Support from experienced partners helps companies in the automotive supply chain speed up their EDI migration and prevents additional costs and delays caused by wrong decisions. That’s why Aimtec offers EDI as a Service: EDI specialists accompany you through the entire migration process and take care of testing, onboarding your suppliers and partners, and validating your systems. You benefit from Aimtec’s many years of experience with suppliers and can always rely on fast expert support.

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Marek Šabatka

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