Schaeffler Streamlines Auto Supply with ArcESB AS2

Schaeffler is one of the world's largest family-owned companies and auto parts manufacturers. Schaeffler generated about $16.1 billion of sales during 2017 and has more than 92,000 employees. With about 170 locations throughout 50 countries, Schaeffler has a worldwide network of manufacturing locations, research and development facilities, and sales companies.

The Challenge: Managing the Supply Chain and Customer Demand with Automation

Managing its massive global supply network is a herculean task for Schaeffler. Schaeffler set out to automate purchasing processes using new technologies in order to:

  • Boost supply chain efficiencies
  • Standardize processes
  • Save countless hours of manual data entry and communications
  • Reduce human error
  • Control costs

Schaeffler and one of its biggest logistics transportation partners invested in technology upgrades together. Specifically, Schaeffler sought to automate all purchasing and supply chain interactions with its land transportation partner through standard, international electronic data interchange (EDI) messages. In this process, all purchase orders, shipping updates, and related messages are standardized and automatically triggered when desired in Schaeffler's supplier and customer enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems.

Enterprises such as Schaeffler increasingly conduct logistics transmissions over the web using accredited services. Due to their low cost, high efficiency, and reliable security, these messages use popular, secure online transmission protocols such as AS2, OFTP2 and SFTP.

Undertaking this type of automation came with specific challenges:

  • Schaeffler and its logistics partner had different ERPs with different message structures, and this required EDI transformation and integration on both ends.
  • The logic behind the integration had to combine real-world business processes and screen for the right information required for each transaction.
  • The EDI mapping needed to maintain one-to-one correspondence in order to maintain parity.

To make the integration work, Schaeffler needed a reliable and secure EDI solution, as well as some integration expertise. Enter ArcESB and our network of EDI integration partners.

The Solution: Seamless EDI AS2 Integration with ArcESB

Schaeffler and its logistics transportation company selected ArcESB, which is a simple and effective middleware that helps users efficiently transfer information without adding complexity.

Specifically, Schaeffler set up an EDI connection using ArcESB AS2 capabilities, which are officially certified by Drummond and provide robust security features, including signatures, S/MIME encryption, digital certificates, and MDN receipts. ArcESB provides customers with a solution that's easy to operate, manage, and automate.

The automated connection works as follows:

  • The logistics company's database receives the EDI file transmitted by Schaeffler through AS2 and saves it for development and analysis.
  • When the logistics company needs to send the file back to Schaeffler, the logistics company extracts the data from its database and automatically develops and generates an EDI message.
  • The EDI message is then sent to Schaeffler via the AS2 Connector found in ArcESB.

The entire process can be easily set up and automated in less than a minute!

The EDI message standard required by Schaeffler is EDIFACT. The business type of docking is:

  • Logistics partner receives: IFTMIN Waybill — Cargo Address Information
  • Logistics partner sends: IFTSTA Return Order — Feedback Logistics Status

The Results: Rapid Automation and a Happy Customer

Through the integration of ArcESB and the deployment of the EDI file parsing code, Schaeffler's logistics partner can automatically parse EDI messages into an XML format, which is readable by an ERP system.

Similarly, through the deployment of the EDI file generation code, XML files can be auto-generated into EDI and directly connected to Schaeffler's system through ArcESB AS2.

The process not only saves costs, but it also massively improves logistical efficiency, which is a core business function and value added deliverable to Schaeffler.

The setup is crucial for Schaeffler and its partner for a range of reasons:

  • It meets Schaeffler's EDI specification, with a tailored mapping that fits Schaeffler's specific business processes.
  • The process entirely eliminates any need for human data input, which saves countless hours.
  • It's a repeatable process; Schaeffler can easily reuse the setup with other suppliers.

Additionally, the entire file transfer process is safe, secure, and reliable.