There is Still Strategic Investing in IT and EDI Processes in the Automotive Supply Chain
Challenging economic conditions and budgetary constraints are motivating some automotive industry suppliers to act now rather than later. Nemak, a subsidiary of ALFA, a Mexico-based global manufacturing company that has more than 48,000 employees and operates 75 production facilities located in 17 countries is an example. Due to recent acquisitions of various businesses, Nemak’s operations around the world have more than doubled. As a result of this rapid expansion, the complexity and volume of EDI transactions has also increased. The company had various ERP solutions in place and multiple B2B platforms to support, with no way to centralize EDI coordination and management. The result of these inefficiencies was duplication of work and unnecessary expenses.
Nemak selected an SAP BPO partner to assist in the consolidation of its EDI and B2B operations to reduce complexity and expenses. “Electronic data exchange is vital to the success of business processes in the automotive industry, and we work with over 100 business partners,” said Christian Fischer, Nemak IT Director Nemak Europe & China. “We needed a strong, reliable, competent, and experienced SAP partner to help us implement a fully outsourced global B2B integration service.
Prior to implementing SAP ERP, Nemak’s EDI operations were costly and time-consuming. “With so many B2B platforms to manage, our IT staff was overwhelmed,” Fischer noted. “Two of our most pressing concerns were controlling IT costs and ensuring regulatory compliance for each location. We consolidated our B2B platforms in alignment with a centralized SAP ERP solution that gave us flexibility to continue expanding our network in a more efficient, cost-effective way.”
The initial rollout project in Nemak’s U.S. and European offices has already been completed successfully. The second rollout is currently underway in a cluster of locations in Europe and the United States. The projected timeline calls for all 28 rollouts on three continents to be completed by the end of 2009 by deploying parallel clusters in Europe and the United States. The project calls for a wide variety of data formats like ANSI X.12, VDA and EDIFACT as well as a number of communication protocols including AS2, oFTP,VAN, HTTPs and others.