Mapping Factory ‑ Developing EDI Conversions

Pavel Rybár Aimtec
25. 7. 2018 | 4 minutes reading

The Digital Factory doesn’t have to only mean introducing Industry 4.0 at manufacturing and logistics firms. We also have our own digital factory at Aimtec. We call it the Mapping Factory, and it’s a part of our Independent EDI Services.

A guarantee of the latest features and of sending correct data

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a key process for manufacturing companies. Even though it is not directly responsible for manufacturing, integration with suppliers and purchasers is itself of fundamental importance for practically all manufacturers, and especially for automotive suppliers. If for example ASN (Advance Shipping Notice) messages fail for any reason to be delivered correctly or they contain errors, the supplier can receive a fine (a defect charge). These have an effect on the supplier’s overall rating, and through that, on its future contracts. Invoicing also takes place over EDI, and so it is important that everything works as it should. Meanwhile EDI configuration is a very specific and complicated process that demands an IT team and EDI specialists. But for many companies, maintaining employees with these skills is very costly, and moreover they’re hard to find on the market. The solution, then, is outsourcing or the use of cloud services.

Aimtec has 50 consultants devoted to Independent EDI Services. Their advantage lies in their knowledge of multiple solution types, standards and fields that can be found at our customers. We can thus cover data interchange within automotive, logistics, and manufacturing as well. Moreover, we’re constantly watching the requirements for updates and developing new tools for message monitoring and verification. We can guarantee not only that your EDI will keep up with your customers, but also that the messages you send will be verified properly. We offer these services even to companies that are not customers of our other solutions. 

Tell us where you deliver. We’ll deliver the rest.

Configuring EDI communication is a very complicated process, and configuring it “from the ground up” can take a very long time. Thanks to our over 20 years of experience, we know the requirements of OEM companies, and so we have pre-prepared message templates. This significantly shortens the time needed for configuring EDI connections. Within an EDI project, we communicate with your partners directly and take care of all communication testing and the implementation of specific communication requirements. If you need to integrate a new partner or process into the system, naturally we’ll take care of all needed adjustments. 

A factory for developing mappings

The demand for developing EDI conversions (“mappings”) has led us to assemble a team that’s specialised in this. Thanks to our agile approach, we deliver our projects very quickly; however, we place a strong emphasis on quality, and our configured processes are one reflection of this.

When creating our mappings, we perform standard code reviews so as to preclude errors and meet the quality criteria we’ve set for ourselves. After all of the testing rounds, both automated testing at Aimtec and testing at the customer, we set up the new process on the production server. To ensure that everything will go smoothly, we offer assistance during “go-live”, either remotely or on-site.

Aimtec - Mapping Factory 
Aimtec - Mapping Factory 

You don’t call support, support calls you

Our EDI services also include monitoring of the ASN messages you send. This ensures that our operators know if an error has occurred in any of your data transmissions. After identifying the problem, they call either you or your customer and arrange a solution. Naturally, they’re ready to talk to you in English or German. 

We take care of the system even after project launch

We’re constantly watching to make sure the system is functional and “healthy”. During short daily and longer weekly iterations, our team shares know-how and works on the priorities of individual projects. This ensures that the users of our services can enjoy swift reactions to new requirements.  

EDI as the solution to a cold-war crisis

Just as with other technologies, EDI was pioneered by the military. Ed Guilbert, considered the father of EDI, developed standardised messages about shipped goods during the Berlin blockade in 1948. The first actual EDI messages were sent in 1965, and ten years later, EDI’s standards were drawn up by the Transportation Data Coordinating Committee (TDCC). Other standards were gradually developed after that, such as ANSI X12 (1981) and EDIFACT EDI (1985). They were first picked up by food-industry companies, who were then followed by banking and automotive.


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