SIAM-ACMA announces setting up of Auto Data Exchange

SIAM and ACMA, the apex industry bodies for the automotive and the auto component industry respectively, today announced the setting up of Auto Data Exchange ‘AutoDX’, an EDI platform for seamlessly integrating OEMs and suppliers on a common data exchange standard.

The AutoDX, to be formally launched during the forthcoming Auto Expo 2014, the Indian auto industry’s flagship event, will help standardise transaction data definitions, automate data exchange amongst industry players, obviate manual data entries and provide data interchange capability across the automotive industry to enable a streamlined supply chain.

Commenting on this unique initiative, Vikram Kirloskar, president, SIAM said, “Today, most auto OEMs as well as suppliers have mature IT platforms and technology-enabled transactional processes. Most of these IT interventions have been internally focused to improve the efficiencies of the respective organisations. However, these IT interventions have resulted in customised, company-specific documents and data formats resulting in significant additional efforts by the industry in integrating with each other.”

Usually, each OEM has a dedicated portal for publishing delivery schedules, uploading/data entry of supplier transactions and publishing of financial settlement data to suppliers. Suppliers need to customise their systems to each OEM’s portal for uploading/downloading transaction data from these portals.

This hinders agile, real time data integration between industry players. At times, this complexity results in delays in shipments and dilutes OEMs’ JIT/JIS  initiatives. Further, people-based processes for uploading and downloading data on to the portals leads to errors resulting in loss of productivity.

Focussing on the urgent need for an effective, collaborative, industry-wide solution, Harish Lakshman, president, ACMA, said, “The solution has undergone successful pilot testing by 10 companies and is now ready for a progressive rollout. This common cloud-based platform can enable seamless information exchange not just between OEMs and its Tier 1 suppliers, but also with the upstream value chain, logistics partners, financial institutions and others who serve the auto industry.”

” Our broader vision is to facilitate adoption of standards wherever structured information is exchanged, be it in the form of electronic or paper document or labels such as barcode and RFID,” added Lakshman.

Vijay Sethi, chairman, SIAM IT Committee, giving details of the initiative mentioned “Exchange of information on various critical logistics and financial transactions like delivery schedules, commercial documents, logistics information etc., can be now done seamlessly between supply chain partners without any manual intervention. While improving efficiency, it will also lead to reduced transaction costs. The initiative makes digital collaboration amongst supply chain partners in the Indian automotive industry comparable to any industry globally.”

Commenting on the benefits of the AutoDX, Ravi Machani, chairman ACMA IT Committee said, “An estimated 40 OEMs (SIAM members) and over 700 suppliers (ACMA members) are expected to leverage the IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration Network solution to derive business benefits through Standardisation of information exchange and use of Common EDI Technology Infrastructure which will address a long-standing hurdle that has prevented tighter collaboration between supply chain partners.”

“It will increase supply chain efficiency, reduce transaction costs for both and in the long run, provide end-to-end tracking and traceability of goods across the supply chain,” added Machani.

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