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DCS Restores Effective Communication to Auto Parts Producer

Business Need

Indiana Automotive Fasteners, Inc. is a company headquartered in Greenfield, Indiana that produces fasteners for the automotive industry. They were unable to communicate with key customers in Mexico and Europe, including Volkswagen, Tesla, Honda, and Toyota. This put a strain on Indiana Automotive’s business as they were unable to deliver their products, resulting in reduced profits. Indiana Automotive reached out to Data Communication Solutions (DCS) for help. DCS EDI consultant Ron Katz was in charge of the project.

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The EDI Challenge

Indiana Automotive, whose EDI system is IBM’s Gentran:Server™ 400, was unable to communicate with their international customers because they were using different EDI standards. As a company in the United States, Indiana Automotive uses the North American standard X12. Their customers in Europe and Mexico, on the other hand, use the EDIFACT standard.

There were differing definitions between the forecast reports used by Indiana Automotive’s U.S. plant and Mexico regarding a held order versus a firm order. Due to time constrictions, the company was unable to manually process the following EDIFACT documents being used:

  • DELFOR – Delivery Schedule (also known as Release)
  • DESADV – Despatch Advice (ASN)

There was confusion between these documents and similar X12 documents:

  • 830 – Forecast Schedule
  • 862 – Shipment Schedule

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The DCS Solution

DCS performed discovery and analysis on how the Mexico plant was using the documents and discovered how changes were made to the maps. One of DCS’ findings was that they had their own Custom Business Application for the IBM AS/400, creating a bigger challenge to troubleshoot and change the mapping. DCS found several causes and then remedied the document exchange and the relationship.

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The Result

Thanks to DCS’ work, Indiana Automotive’s held orders are integrated as held and the firm orders are integrated as firm. Now, the company is able to promptly fill orders from their Mexico plant, increasing their profitability. DCS continues to assess Indiana Automotive’s EDI process.

DCS can assist you with your EDI communication challenges. Contact us today for a No Cost Assessment!

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About the Associate

Ron Katz has 32 years of IT experience, including 27 years of experience with EDI.  He has developed EDI software and has done consulting and programming on the IBM system I (AS/400) and Windows operating system. Ron’s other areas of expertise include Entrack™, IBM (Sterling Commerce) Gentran:Server™, and GXS Invois Trusted Link for i. He has worked with the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and warehousing industries.