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Automotive Manufacturer Resolves EDI Problems Before They Become Customer Problems

Posted by Tracy Loetz on May 30, 2018 2:26 PM

Automotive Manufacturer Resolves EDI Problems Before They Become Customer Problems

The Challenge

Perception is everything, especially a customer’s perception. When customers began calling out EDI problems before their automotive interior manufacturer knew about them, the manufacturer knew it was time to upgrade EDI.

The biggest challenge was visibility. One of the EDI environments had limited visibility, making it difficult to identify and resolve issues before they impacted customers. The second EDI environment, which was outsourced, had no visibility, making it impossible to identify and resolve issues. When the manufacturer contacted the outsource company for assistance, it responded 24 to 48 hours later, even when the matter was critical.

Visibility wasn’t the only challenge. Monitoring and reporting weren’t available in either of the EDI environments, so it was hard to plan, forecast and manage EDI. Moreover, the manufacturer’s EDI environments ran software that required time-consuming, customized coding and mapping.

The manufacturer’s general manager said the company had three requirements for better EDI.

“We needed full visibility into EDI, the ability to track documents through monitoring and reporting for proactive issue resolution, and timely help when we had questions,” he said. “We didn’t want good customer support; we wanted excellent customer support.”

The Solution

The manufacturer chose the REMEDI Framework for IBM B2B Integrator. The REMEDI Framework is a service-based implementation of IBM B2B Integrator software, which automates business processes with customers, trading partners, and other external entities. IBM B2B Integrator is the next generation of Gentran Integration Suite, which ran the manufacturer’s EDI environments.

The REMEDI Framework includes pre-built, parameter-driven business processes, services, and reports that reduce deployment time and simplify administration and management. Key components of the REMEDI Framework include visibility, monitoring, and reporting.

“Across the board, we achieved exactly what we wanted to achieve with REMEDI,” the general manager said. “We have complete visibility into data, thorough monitoring, detailed reporting, and excellent support—all of which help us improve the customer experience. From the beginning, REMEDI had the mindset to meet our requirements. They read our needs, heard what we had to say, and delivered a proposal that hit our target. Their competitors did not.”

The manufacturing company’s assistant general manager said the REMEDI Framework streamlines business processes in IBM B2B Integrator, making it easy to use.

“We’re continuing to grow our EDI footprint by turning more and more suppliers onto EDI from being web-based,” he explained. “And we’re doing that with the same number of staff as we had before deployment of B2B Integrator. Our colleagues in the plants navigate B2B Integrator quite effectively as well. They spot problems, which reduces demand on the EDI team. In the past, the EDI team spent a few days each week tracking down plant-related issues, but that’s not the case anymore.”

The general manager said the manufacturer’s credibility with customers has improved.

“We were on the phone with a customer and a contracted manufacturing supplier,” he explained. “The supplier complained we hadn’t sent EDI, and our customer wanted to know why. I pulled up a screen shot showing we had sent EDI to the supplier and that the supplier had acknowledged receiving it. We knew more about the supplier’s data than the supplier did. Our customer suggested the supplier stop complaining.”

In addition to improved visibility, monitoring, and reporting, the REMEDI Framework has saved money for the manufacturer. As an IBM Gold Business Partner, reseller, and preferred professional services provider, REMEDI took the manufacturer’s licensing for Gentran Integration Suite to IBM and negotiated a migration plan to IBM B2B Integrator that was $78,000 less expensive than competitors’ bids. The manufacturer saved another $120,000 per year (and reduced complexity) when it severed ties with the EDI outsourcer and migrated that data to IBM B2B Integrator. REMEDI also provided the manufacturer with onsite consultants at a rate significantly lower than competitors’ rates.

“Having someone on site is the difference between success and failure with EDI,” the general manager said. “From the beginning, the REMEDI team has delivered on everything promised. They do exactly what they say they will do.”

The assistant general manager agreed. “REMEDI is a good partner to work with,” he said. “They have reasonable rates and they react quickly whenever we need help. EDI is the lifeblood of our business, and REMEDI helps us keep it flowing.”

The Results

Provides full visibility

The REMEDI Framework for IBM B2B Integrator provides the manufacturer with much-needed visibility into EDI workloads. Documents can be searched by source and destination, which reduces the time needed to research and resolve issues or processing exceptions.

Offers current and look-back monitoring and reporting

The REMEDI Framework monitors workflows, data translation, and file transfer, and it reports on transaction dollar amounts, transaction numbers and kilobytes by company, division, trading, partner, and document type. Reports also display error percentage per partner, enabling visibility down to the transaction level.

Improves customer service

With the REMEDI Framework for IBM B2B Integrator, the manufacturer remedies issues and exceptions before customers are impacted. Overall, the Framework simplifies management and administration of IBM B2B Integrator.

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