SAP and EDI in the Automotive Sector: Entrust Integration to a Professional

Marek Šabatka Aimtec
4. 8. 2022 | 7 minutes reading

Integration of an EDI solution into SAP is a tricky IT project and, if you think you can save money by giving the task to your internal IT department, then you could be in for a rude awakening. It is ideal to entrust it to the hands of a professional with long experience of the automotive sector and solutions directly prepared for implementation in the automobile industry. Aimtec, with its automotive SAP EDI package, is such an expert. What does the package contain?

SAP’s ERP system has been successful globally thanks to its sophistication. Administration of SAP and setting up of processes in it requires expert knowledge. Deeper external interference is, to put it mildly, a risk. In particular if a complicated mechanism like EDI is to be integrated into SAP. Key communications between suppliers and customers in the automotive sector flow through EDI today. Through EDI, a supplier accepts orders and call-off orders that are an impulse for production and sends ASN and invoices. But this is not everything, in the supply chains in the automotive industry today the Just in Time regime is standard and the sector is slowly moving to Just In Sequence. Corporate systems have to be ready for this. In the light of these facts, can every boss of an IT department in the automotive sector tell the company with a clear conscience that he/she has an expert in SAP and EDI in his team?

SAP + EDI = Aimtec

Whether a supplier in the automotive sector is introducing SAP with a view to an EDI or already has SAP and needs to expand it to include an EDI, it should get in touch with the supplier of a solution that has proved many times that it can do both. It isn’t important what version of SAP it is or whether it is a cloud solution using an online WebEDI platform or an on-premise solution. Entrusting this task to Aimtec saves time and money related to explaining the work to two different suppliers. “We ensure correct setup on both sides, without the customer having to think what the special OEM/TIER1 customer requirements are. The EDI automatically processes data formats and correctly set SAP functions help process the data and ensure consignments are dispatched with all the necessary data for ASN, labels and so on. No overwriting, no Excel and, thankfully, no paper and pens,” says Marek Šabatka, Aimtec Business Development Manager.

The benefits of having an EDI and SAP delivered by one supplier are far-reaching. A correctly configured combination of SAP and EDI enables the connection of several areas of production and logistics and the obtaining of reports from dispatch, production planning, purchasing, etc. The professional insight of Aimtec then enables the maximum to be obtained from the data and for them to continue to be used actively.

1200x627 EDI & SAP EN A 1

Automotive know-how

Aimtec’s expertise consists not only of having a sufficient number of specialists in EDI and SAP integration under one roof to ensure full implementation of EDI communication to SAP. The main benefit is knowledge of the environment and processes in the automotive industry.

This automotive know-how includes experience with all supplier concepts of OEM producers. These concepts change over time. OEM may require more information or reports in new formats in the future. There are often changes in requirements for marking in dispatch and so on. There is usually little time to respond to such new requirements. An EDI solution supplier without experience in the automotive sector has to search for specifications and apply a trial-and-error approach. Aimtec has a team of specialists in automotive communication and pre-set processes corresponding to the requirements of OEM and TIER1 suppliers.

SD Module

The SD (Sales & Distribution) module processes customer call-off orders and sends feedback. The module manages the whole sales flow of documents from a single environment, administers consignment stocks with the option of automatically monitoring levels, adapts to a user, including language versions, and covers EDI communication on the input and output sides. The module focuses on activities in sales and minimises the time needed for routine activities. The processing of a whole consignment for a customer takes place in a single environment with a link to warehouses, quality management and printing of documentation including labels. 

“Our developers alter the form of transactions in accordance with the requirements of a specific OEM, for example how the ASN should look for VW, whether the OEM requires one ASN for every delivery or transports, i.e. groupings of deliveries and so on.”

Tomáš Pašek, SAP SD Consultant, Aimtec

The Aimtec add-on for the SD module also enables easy invoicing, both in the form of a standard invoice that the supplier sends to the customer and in the form of self-billing, which is an invoicing method where the customer issues an invoice on the supplier’s behalf and immediately pays it. Put simply, if you bet on Aimtec, you obtain precise setup of the SD module for processing orders and call-off orders, generating ASN, printing transport documents and all other requisites material for electronic communication in the automotive industry, where it takes into consideration the needs of every specific customer.

IDoc Monitor

IDoc Monitor is another important part of Aimtec’s “automotive package”. An Intermediate Document (IDoc) is a standard SAP document format for the transmission of business transaction data with a tree structure. The administration of individual IDoc files in a standard SAP setup is not that user-friendly, so Aimtec developed IDoc Monitor, which, with the help of the transaction code WE02, enables the monitoring of IDoc protocols in a more user-friendly form. The user therefore sees transparently arranged IDoc files generated for a certain period and also sees at which “handling stage” they are at. In addition, IDoc Monitor enables easy searches for an IDoc file with an error, the uncovering of a cause for an error, its repair and the re-sending of a file for processing.

Lots of Satisfied Customers

Aimtec has been gathering experience of automation in automotive industry processes for more than 25 years. It has repeatedly proved its expertise by delivering tailor-made solutions to a number of important players in the automotive sector. In the area of EDI alone, they include the German autoparts suppliers RAPA, Alfmeier, the Italian Sigit Group, the Korean Hanwha group, the tyre manufacturer Matador, NVH, Dätwyler, Eissmann and others. Aimtec has supplied all of them with a customised EDI solution for communication integrated with an ERP system.

It’s easy to arrange for your company to become one of them. >> Make use of the option of an introductory analysis and consultations free of charge.

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