Apple Supplier

ArcESB™ Helps Apple Supplier Move Thousands of Parts Across the Supply Chain

As one of the largest companies in the world, Apple relies on a global network of suppliers, all of which are managed through a seamless B2B EDI system. One of Apple's core suppliers provides integrated micro-component solutions for communication and IT consumer electronics, ranging from acoustic components to haptics vibrators, radio frequency (RF), and optics. These components are embedded into the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.

To maximize efficiency, Apple worked with its supplier to integrate electronic order and fulfillment processing with Apple's EDI system. To plug into Apple's system, the supplier implemented ArcESB as a core component of their SCM EDI implementation. ArcESB enabled the supplier to seamlessly integrate its SAP ERP system with Apple's EDI system to control key processes, such as purchase orders, shipment notices, and invoices.

Integration with Apple

ArcESB provides Apple and its supplier with secure file transfer (via AS2), EDI messaging, and ERP integration. The following diagram provides a high-level overview of how ArcESB is used for processing:

Secure File Transfer

The ArcESB AS2 Connector is configured to securely send and receive documents directly with Apple's EDI system, as direct messaging was a critical requirement for Apple. In addition to offering the most secure and responsive integration, direct integration eliminates the need and expense of VAN processing fees.

EDI Messaging

For order processing and fulfillment, Apple requires communication through a number of standard EDI messages. To do this, Apple's micro-component supplier uses the ANSI X12 Connector of ArcESB to transform data between ERP entities and standard EDI documents, including:

  • 850 (Purchase Orders)
  • 860 (Purchase Order Change Requests)
  • 855 (Purchase Order Acknowledgements)
  • 856 (Advanced Shipping Notices)
  • 846 (Inventory Inquiry/Advice)- For Apple, an 846 is used by vendors to notify the transfer of finished goods.
  • 810 (Invoices)
  • 997 (Functional Acknowledgements)

The following diagram outlines the basic message request and acknowledgement arrangement between the companies.

ArcESB provides Apple's critical micro-component supplier with an easy way to map values between the various ANSI X12 based EDI messages and the supplier's SAP system.

Apple's supplier worked directly with an ArcESB featured EDI integration partner to quickly implement EDI mapping and translation. Working with ArcESB's EDI integration partner allowed Apple to rapidly on-ramp messaging integration with its supplier and provided a resource for future EDI implementations.

ERP Integration

The ArcESB application is a straightforward extension to the supplier's SCM processes, and ArcESB provides direct integration with the supplier's ERP installation. Apple's supplier leverages the ArcESB iDoc Connector to transform messages and integrate them directly to and from their SAP ERP. When Apple sends requests, the messages are routed and transformed through ArcESB and passed directly into their SAP installation.

Similarly, when the supplier needs to notify Apple, the supplier simply updates its SAP ERP system. ArcESB does the rest, monitoring SAP for changes, so, when a change occurs, ArcESB maps and transforms those messages to the correct EDI document format and securely transmits the messages to Apple.

The Result

By selecting ArcESB, Apple and its supplier rapidly integrated ordering and fulfillment processes to conform with Apple's supply chain requirements. Integration was delivered on-time and under budget, providing Apple's key micro-component supplier continuous cost savings.