SME Digital Connector

SMEs working with larger partners in the automotive supply chain are usually expected to use an EDI system that is mandated by the larger partner. The large number of different EDI systems makes life very difficult for SMEs who need to trade with multiple partners.

Many OEMs have attempted to overcome the difficulties of persuading their SME partners to implement traditional EDI by developing WebEDI and other B2B portal applications to exchange data with smaller enterprises. These solutions seek to overcome the diversity of EDI systems but have a number of limitations.

Auto-gration logodeveloped by a consortium of major European automotive organisations led by Odette is the solution selected by the European Commission to overcome both the  problem of diverse EDI systems and the shortcomings of other proprietary initiatives such as those incorporated in customer B2B portals.

B2B portal solutions are limited

  • Portal solutions usually involve manual data input and processing, creating additional workload rather than reducing it
  • Different portals have different layouts and processes, complicating use
  • Inter-operability between existing B2B portals exists rarely, if at all
  • The multiplicity of B2B portals on the market, creates a fragmentation problem similar to the one they are trying to solve 

Integrating SMEs in the automotive digital supply chain

With auto-gration, SMEs in the European automotive industry have an easy way to connect electronically to customers and suppliers and reap the benefits of automated data exchange. auto-gration effectively translates EDI messages from one ‘language’ to another making it possible for businesses to connect to multiple customers and suppliers using a single interface. It provides a modern, state-of-the-art technological framework for the integration of SMEs in the digital supply and distribution chains.

The auto-gration Connector

The auto-gration Connector acts as a communicator between the internal ERP system of the SME and the EDI systems of its larger partners to allow the exchange of orders, delivery instructions, despatch advices, invoices and various other structured business documents. The Connector sits between a company’s databases or EDI platform and the outside world. It uses a generic ‘auto-gration XML’ format which facilitates a quick and secure data exchange via the internet. If the receiver also uses the auto-gration connector, the incoming XML can be converted into whichever EDI ‘language’ the receiver organisation uses. Best of all, it is available from Odette free of charge.

Related content

auto-gration eBusiness guide

auto-gration Connector set up manual

How to set up a connection to the auto-gration test server

Get started with auto-gration

To implement auto-gration, an SME will need:

  • An available Internet connection
  • A hosting computer for the auto-gration Connector with access to the Internet
  • To obtain a station ID (available free of charge)
  • To download the auto-gration Connector