EDI mapping in automotive? A quick and affordable solution exists

8. 6. 2022 | 4 minutes reading

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is an essential part of business, and this naturally applies to the automotive industry as well. However, as companies use different in-house systems, information sets need to be tailored to ensure that communication runs smoothly. This is a task for so-called EDI mapping, which is becoming an indispensable tool for automotive suppliers.

EDI mapping is used to "translate" the communication between a corporate ERP system and the EDI system. It converts structured EDI messages into a readable form for the ERP and in turn prepares the data from the ERP for the EDI system to send it in the required structure to the trading partner.

Overloaded IT guys

EDI mapping is thus becoming a critical part of data communication in business and therefore needs to be approached with due seriousness. However, its development and maintenance are time consuming and require advanced knowledge of EDI and logistics processes. Companies often handle this internally, which can work, but only temporarily. Experience to date shows that entrusting these tasks to the internal IT department often leads to its overload due to the large number of other tasks and the complexity of this topic. One solution could be to recruit new EDI mapping experts, if the job market offers any.

For everyone separately

Why is it so complicated? In the automotive industry, each large customer (like BMW, Volvo, etc.) and usually each of its plants requires EDI messages in a slightly different structure, so it is necessary to prepare EDI mapping for each customer and each of its plants separately. In addition, over time customers often change the requirements for the structure of EDI messages, which means that the finished maps need to be updated regularly. Once a company has multiple customers, managing EDI mapping becomes very time consuming. At the same time, this area is also evolving rapidly, which increases the demands on training of the internal team and therefore the company's costs.

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The customer won't wait

Managers watching the helplessness of an overloaded internal department often have no choice but to turn to external help. And here comes the second problem. Large suppliers of EDI mapping solutions focus on all segments and thus can only offer universal products that do not take into account the specifics of individual industries. Another difficulty is that if the mapping is developed by an on-premise EDI vendor who is an EDI expert but lacks automotive know-how, mapping is often lengthy and expensive. It probably goes without saying that if a supplier fails to process or update EDI maps for key customers in a timely manner, it can lead to a downgrade of the supplier's rating and, in the worst case, termination of the cooperation.

Fast and at a fixed price

Therefore, the ideal solution is a product that is narrowly focused on automotive and automotive supply chain operations and can be expected to comply with the EDI message structure requirements of the largest players in the industry (OEM and Tier 1). Aimtec's Mapping Factory solution is of interest to both companies that have just started considering outsourcing and those that are already using a product and looking for a better one. Its advantages are a fast delivery time, usually between two and four weeks from the order, and above all a fixed price per map (from 990 euros), unlike the common practice where companies charge a price per map based on the developer's time.

„For one of our last jobs, Mapping Factory delivered the first version of the map to the client within 14 days for testing. Our special know-how and automotive focus is the main reason for the speed that surprised the client.“

Marek Šabatka, Business Development Manager, Aimtec

Fine tuning

Even ordering will not take too long. All that is needed is basic information about ERP and EDI systems and the required message structure. At the subsequent meeting, the interested party will receive a price offer. Within a month, he can look forward to fully functional EDI mapping, which converts structured EDI messages into XSLT, BOM, RTE and other data formats depending on the client's ERP system.


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Marek Šabatka

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