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for the automotive supply chain

VW and Continental adopt JAIF Global Messages

30 Sept 2011

In the Volkswagen Group, Mr Thomas Sieck, responsible for EDI Co-ordination, is tasked to work with these messages wherever and whenever possible. The first message VW introduced was the Global DELJIT as a despatch call-off within Volkswagen’s ‘New Logistics Concept’ (NLK).

The reason for choosing the Global DELJIT, Mr Sieck explained, was because it is a globally recognised message. The requirements of a new supply chain process couldn't be covered by their existing VDA messages. He had to decide which message standard met the following criteria:

• satisfies the functional needs of the supply chain
• is future-proof
• has worldwide applicability. 

All criteria where fulfilled by the Global DELJIT, which is now in use by VW all over Europe as well as in their Chattanooga plant in the USA.

Currently, JAIF Global Messages can be introduced only in new projects where other EDI message types are not already in use. A wholesale switch to Global Messages from other message standards, such as VDA, is not realistic at the moment. 

During 2011, Volkswagen, in common with many other German vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, is introducing the Global INVOIC (as VDA Subset 4938) because it complies with the latest EU and German invoicing legislation. It will, however, become the one and only Invoice message standard in the future and will also be used outside of Europe. Mr Sieck expects the USA to be the next location where the Global INVOIC will be introduced.

Continental Automotive is another recent example of a major company moving to JAIF Global Messages. A study of the various messages in use for the different business processes showed that they were using a wide variety of EDI standards with suppliers, depending on region. In many cases suppliers were faced with different message standards and old versions were often in use causing many complaints. There was no possibility to add new data fields, the applicability for the Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) or Consignment Stock processes was limited and it was generally preventing a global harmonisation within Continental.

By implementing the Global DELFOR message, Mr Josef Radlbeck, IT Manager at Continental Automotive explains that they have been able to:

Standardise the EDI interface with their suppliers with less time spent on queries and consultation 
Achieve more flexibility to enhance the process with additional data (e.g. min and max stock, longer field lengths etc.) 
Harmonise business processes with all suppliers 
Allow for new processes such as Kanban and VMI to be realised automatically with more flexibility and transparency 
Provide for more flexibility to meet new logistics processes in the future.
From starting the project in September 2010, Continental aims to migrate all 760 of its suppliers by the end of November 2011.