EDIFACT in Tyre Trade:
Presentation of the Industrial Solution "EDIWheel"

Every day billions of business transactions between trade and industry are processed. From an availability request to an invoice creation as part of the order handling process. Analogue means like phone, fax or paper are used as documents or notes. These information are useful for the disposition and planning of goods as well as they accompany goods or they support the later administration of the transaction. Handling a transaction requires a considerable personal staff, it is time-intensive and often susceptible for errors caused by manual registration.

This is the point where EDI effects. The abbreviation is coming from the US and means Electronic Data Interchange. It describes the method of simplifying inter-company processes by electronic connection of company-specific application systems and to make them more efficient.

By means of EDI, it is possible to interchange structured business data between physical separated applications, so that these data can be processed by the system of the EDI-recipient. Structured business data are information that can be reproduced by means of forms.

EDI-potentials are resulting by a faultless, rapid, safe and cost-effective interchange of these – often already stored in IT-systems – business data as well as by automatic processing. As a consequence, time and costs can be saved considerably.

From the economic point of view, EDI supports quality improvement by reducing administrative work due to improved company- and inter-company-material flow.

That is why EDI is predestined for the tyre trade. Due to hard conditions of competition, tyre traders have to use instruments that contribute to minimize internal work and costs.

By implementing EDI, strategic and operative competition advantages can be realized:

Implementing EDI data interchange means to assure and increase the competiveness of the tyre trade because of its competition-efficient advantages.

Especially for the tyre trade the wdk-/BRV standard offers many other advantages. Usually agreements between tyre trade and tyre manufacturers that can be made bilaterally entail a short-term success by using transmitted data, but as soon as a further producer joins the business, problems come up. If any other partners want to be involved, the processes cannot longer be controlled. And this situation is given in the tyre trade. No tyre dealer commercializes only tyres of one single manufacturer.

With bilateral agreements of interchanging business data, any participant has to meet the requirements of all partners in content and technology. The agreements are so complex that in long term the parties will not longer be able to meet these requirements.

An industrial standard supports the requirements that trade and industry agree upon in content and form.

It provides conditions all participants benefit from. In addition to the functional point of view the investment safety is an important aspect that makes an industrial standard necessary.

The here documented standard provides all these advantages. Moreover, all tyre manufacturers with a decisive role in Germany take part in this standard.

But the potential competition advantages depend considerably on how deeply EDI is integrated. The better EDI is implemented, the higher are the benefits.

Nowadays this fact may not discourage, but should inspire to exhaust all possibilities coming up.

The documentation of the industrial standard
- Traditional EDI -

This document describes the application of the EDIFACT subset EANCOM for the trade, particularly for the tyre trade by the term "EDIWheel". This industrial specific subset contains process chains beginning with an electronic product and price catalogue (PRICAT) to orders (ORDERS), confirmation of orders (ORDRSP), delivery dispatch (DESADV) up to electronic invoice (INVOIC).

   UNB                     -┐
      UNH    -┐             |
        BGM   | first       |
        ...   | message     |
      UNT    -┘             | interchance
      UNH    -┐             | envelope
        BGM   | second      |
        ...   | message     |
      UNT    -┘             |
      ...usw.               |
   UNZ                     -┘

Any EDIFACT message consists of a determined structure. The specification of the delimiter - initial value UNA as well as the service segments UNB and UNZ having a similar function comparable to an envelope, is described in a separate documentation.

The following documentation describes structure and contents of the segment sequence UNH to UNT.

How to read the documentation?

Code values and code names in the column of coded data elements named ‘application’ are the only permitted values for the referring data element (see illustration).

The documentation uses status indications. The EDIFACT status indicators are C and M. In the documentation, The EDIFACT-status C is subdivided as follows:

It is very important that data units are structured hierarchically. A subordinated data unit may have status M- must, but the superior data unit may have status O- optional. If a segment for example has status M and the superior segment group has status O, then the segment must be sent when the segment group has been sent.

The format indicators, e.g. an..14, specify the original EDIFACT-values furthermore if possible or necessary. They are indicators for the application format. The same is valid for repetition indicators of segments and segment groups. The sequence of particular segments in the documentation corresponds to the sequence of segments in the message to send.

Some examples illustrate of how to use particular segments. You cannot draw conclusions of the contents, since they are usually generated automatically.

In the segment description you often find the abbreviation BSU in the column ‘application’ and behind it the name/ description of business information that are transported with the corresponding data element.



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