How Does the EDI Communication in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Car Plant Look Like?

Pavel König Aimtec
3. 12. 2015 | 3 minutes reading

The seventh largest carmaker in the world, FCA – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the USA, supports the process of electronic communication with suppliers using so called feedback messages. This technique brings benefits to both parties – the carmaker and suppliers.

The FCA concern uses a tool for communication with suppliers, which eliminates and reduces potential risks in the supplier chain. It receives a report from the supplier, confirms it, and sends back so called feedback message. In this way, the supplier obtains immediate information, whether the delivery advice (ASN) has been received by the customer, and “dropped” to the customer’s ERP system. Potential errors on the supplier’s side do not affect the receipt process, since FCA informs the suppliers immediately about any error occurred. In case of an error, no load notes are sent as usual in some European vehicle manufacturing plants.

Thus, the suppliers can promptly take corrective measures, without loading one or the other party. In the communication with suppliers, the FCA uses a catalogue with 824 definitions of error messages and warnings. In case of any inconsistency, a reason code is sent, such as for damaged packagings, product in different packaging, incorrect settings of cumulative numbers, etc. Thus, the FCA has set a complete validation of delivery process, which results in improved quality of data transferred, and their image in ERP systems. Risk of inaccurate deliveries is fundamentally reduced.

How does Odette see it?

A similar way of receipt confirmation messages has also been proposed by the Odette organization called “Automated Response to Despatch Advice”. In addition, it expanded the communication with the last step, a RECADV message informing about the number of pieces, either received from the supplier’s specific supply by the carmaker, or rejected as defective. However, this approach has not found its use at the European OEM producers.

The receipt confirmation procedure is as follows: supplier sends the DESADV delivery advice to the carmaker. The message is confirmed at the level of an EDI system at the OEM. The carmaker sends a CONTRL message to the supplier, confirming the advice receipt, and informs about errors in syntax. Then, the advice is integrated to the carmaker’s ERP, including the check of the message contents. If there is e.g. wrong part number, OEM sends an APERAK message to the supplier. In case of the FCA concern, the Application Advice (824) message is used.

Experience from a project in the American YFS company

This article is based on the experience of consultants from the AIMTEC company with the project for the American YFS Automotive Systems, Inc. company. YFS is a Tier 1 supplier to the FCA concern, specialized in design, development and production of vehicle fuel tanks. The subject of the new order for Tennessee plant is the implementation of the TradeSync Integration Manager tool for EDI communication with customers and suppliers, as well as implementation of the SD (sales and distribution) module within the company SAP information system.

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