Developing a standard for business-to-business communication protocols for finished vehicle logistics could save the European automotive industry at least €30m ($41.5m) per year, according to Odette, the standards association for automotive supply chain management.
John Canvin, managing director of London-based Odette, said that there is currently no standard method for vehicle carriers and OEMs to exchange EDI messages. The result is that many operations are being done manually, by paper, or in some cases without any automated messaging at all.
“Delivery chains have become longer and more complex, and so exchanging messages are important to efficient delivery,” said Canvin.
Odette, which has already completed a project that created a standard for business-to-business messages on
Edifact or XML, intends to do the same thing for the outbound sector. But the association has so far failed to see much involvement from OEMs, despite the fact that such a standard would be more straightforward for outbound logistics
“We are carrying out a survey to determine which standards and processes we should consider, but so far we have only had five responses,” said Canvin. “The parameters for outbound are simpler than inbound as well because there is not the huge number of part numbers and transport orders.”
Odette estimates that implementing a standard would improve supply chain communication and eliminate some unnecessary paperwork. Canvin estimates the savings to be at least €2 per car, or more €30m across European Union production.
“If anything, we think this is a conservative estimate,” he said. “We are ready to do this, but we need more involvement from carmakers.