Providing standards, tools and services
for the automotive supply chain

A network of automotive supply chain professionals

Odette is a European standardisation, services and networking platform for the entire automotive supply chain.

Our story begins in the early 1980s

The idea was originally conceived by managers in different European vehicle manufacturers who were individually seeking to make use of the rapid developments in information and communications technology (ICT) to reduce the mountain of paper that was arriving on the desks of their companies every day.

Early work in different national associations convinced these managers that they needed to work together to develop pan-European standard electronic messages to replace the millions of paper documents that were being sent between customers and suppliers across the continent and thus the Organisation for Data Exchange by Tele-Transmission in Europe (Odette) was born in 1984.

From these early beginnings as a co-operative EDI project, Odette quickly developed into a collaboration platform where European vehicle manufacturers and suppliers could come together to work on a much wider range of supply chain issues.

Today, Odette International works in partnership with automotive industry companies and technology providers throughout Europe and across the world to set standards, develop tools and provide services which promote and support the digitalisation of the global supply chain.

The mission of Odette is to improve the efficiency and enhance the competitiveness of the European automotive industry within the global economy. To realise this mission, Odette develops standards and best-practice recommendations and provides tools and services which support the digitalisation of supply chain processes and secure the exchange of confidential commercial and engineering data exchange throughout the world.

Another major role of Odette is to build global communities where major players from the automotive industry can meet together in a neutral environment and take advantage of the immense networking benefits that arise from working collaboratively on solutions to supply chain challenges.

What's in the name?

Do you know what Odette stands for?

Organisation for Data Exchange through Tele-Transmission in Europe.

The acronym Odette was originally chosen because it could express the same concept in English (as above) and in French (Organisation pour Donnees Echangees par Tele-Transmission en Europe). Although this acronym was well suited at the time of creation of the organisation when business was still regional and EDI was at the forefront of supply chain technology, it no longer describes the scope of our activities.

We now develop standard recommendations, tools and services for a wide range of supply chain processes based on many different technologies (XML, JSON, 2D Symbology, RFID, API, …), but we have kept the original name which is well-known by everyone in the automotive supply chain. You cannot walk through any automotive facility in Europe without seeing a box, a file or a label based on an Odette standard.

Developer of Standards

Odette develops standards and best practice recommendations which help to overcome challenges faced by the automotive supply chain. To achieve this, Odette establishes temporary groups to work on specific initiatives according to priorities defined by member companies.

These temporary work groups include supply chain professionals and technical experts who are nominated by Odette member companies to use their experience to improve the efficiency of the whole automotive supply chain.

Set the agenda

All actors of the supply chain have a role to play in the transformation of the industry, so if you want to learn more, share knowledge, get fresh ideas, make new friends and influence the development of standards, don't hesitate to make the digital connection and get involved in the Odette Technology Group (TG).

The Odette TG identifies the supply chain processes which can benefit most from further digitalisation and focuses on the selection and development of the appropriate information and communication technologies which support Odette Standards and Best Practice Recommendations.

Understanding the process of standards development

Standards development is a process that involves many companies and individuals. All Odette standards are developed using a consensus process, which allows any party to provide input.

The early development work is typically done by working groups within National Associations but individual companies sometimes also develop draft documents for national and international consideration.

Comments on the work in progress are solicited on national level prior to any international meeting and within a typical development cycle there will be several national reviews prior to final approval of a standard or best practice recommendation.

At international level, work group meetings are open to any company or individual nominated by their Odette National Association. In some instances, because of logistic or language issues, the National Association will play an important role in representing the interest of their members in the meetings.

Consensus rather than unanimity is required for the approval of a standard, but all comments and objections are addressed in an effort to resolve as many issues as possible before publication.

Provider of Services

Odette always responds to the needs of the automotive supply chain and provides tools and services tailored to the operational and economic requirements of the industry with a high level of flexibility.

Odette tools and services are recommended by the major automotive customers and are used and trusted by over 5000 companies in more than 70 countries. These companies greatly appreciate the multilingual expert support provided by Odette which is adapted to the needs of all types of automotive company, from OEM to SME.

A one-stop shop for the provision of unique IDs and digital certificates which facilitate the digitalisation of the automotive supply chain and ensure secure data exchange across the world.

MMOG Platform
A cloud application incorporating the standard tool used to evaluate the Supply Chain Management expertise and capability of automotive manufacturing and logistics sites.

OFTP2 Software Testing
This service checks that OFTP2 software products offered on the market meet the latest OFTP2 specification and can fully interoperate with other tested OFTP2 software.

Builder of a Global Community

Odette and its National Associations provide unrivalled networking platforms where supply chain professionals and their service providers are able to share experience and develop answers to the challenges they face.

Who should take the lead to initiate standardisation?

OEMs have the power to implement standards but are they prepared to modify their own systems and processes to allow a standard to be established? Effective standardisation obviously requires compromise whereas taking a unilateral approach undoubtedly results in additional costs and inefficiencies throughout the whole supply chain.

Suppliers are well placed to take the lead in promoting standardisation because they suffer every day coping with the many different requirements imposed on them by their customers. Suppliers are also likely to benefit most immediately from standardised processes, whereas the advantages for their OEM customers are more long term as they reap the benefits from the efficiencies achieved by their suppliers.

Our role as an Automotive Association is to provide a platform where industry experts can come together to share experience and develop standards for a better future. We are also able to assist in the deployment of those standards. Our long experience at Odette has consistently shown that it is impossible to launch successful standardisation initiatives without full support and commitment from companies across the supply chain.

With this support, Odette can continue to develop standards based on the latest technologies to meet the newest challenges. But in order to ensure widespread and fast deployment, the industry needs Technology Providers to implement these standards in user friendly, flexible and scalable IT solutions. It seems clear that Technology Providers are the key to unlock the door to further digitalisation and they are encouraged to become more actively involved in the development of standards for the automotive supply chain.

Networking opportunities reach their zenith at the Odette International Conference and Exhibition, the flagship event of the Odette community since 1996. The Conference has global visibility and provides a unique opportunity for supply chain managers and logistics experts from across the world to come together with IT and other technology gurus to debate the issues that affect their everyday working lives.

As a senior executive of a major European OEM has said more than once: "Odette attracts the right people and I can solve more problems in one day spent at an Odette Conference than I can in a week in the office".