Continental Automotive EDI Implementation Guides For Suppliers
Continental Automotive EDI (electronic data interchange) Implementation ensures fast, process-capable, and efficient information processing between Continental and suppliers. EDI replicates paper-based business communication (e.g. Delivery Schedule, Advanced Shipping Notification, or Invoices) to a strictly formatted message that is exchanged electronically between the IT-Systems of Continental and Supplier. The exchanged data and information is formatted according to predefined standards.
The implementation of Continental Automotive EDI does benefit both Supplier and Continental: because it reduces manual handling of data, transfers information faster, enhances data accuracy, and automates routine transactions. However, it is not possible to process EDI messages directly between IT-Systems. Continental’s ERP-System sends EDI messages in SAP IDoc format to an EDI subsystem where these messages are converted to a universal EDI standard (e.g. UN/EDIFACT). The EDI subsystem administrates all outgoing and incoming messages, provides a gateway to external partners, and enables communication with non SAP-Systems. Supplier’s IT-System can be connected to the IT-Systems of Continental via protocols (e.g. TCP, or EDI special protocols like OFTP, OFTP2, AS2, and VAN) or via private networks (e.g. GXS). A specific syntax is necessary so that incoming or outgoing data is processed correctly.
IT-Systems and message standards are customized to Continental’s locations requirements. This leads to a variety of different EDI standards and message formats that are currently used at Continental. However, Continental’s long-term strategy is to harmonize existing EDI connections with Suppliers. Therefore, Continental developed company specific formats for each message type with its syntax (data element, segment and EDI envelope) based on one global EDI standard (EDIFACT or VDA).
New EDI connections will be set-up according to this standard, and existing EDI connections are migrated towards one global EDI standard according to the messages type. In justified cases and if the Continental production location agrees, alternatively the following standards are possible: VDA (for mechanic Suppliers in Germany), ANSI X12 (for North American Suppliers), ANFAVEA (RND) (Brazilian Standard) or WEB EDI via SupplyOn. Upon discretion of Continental and in justified cases communication may be provided in writing via Mail or Fax. In this case, Strategic Suppliers to Continental have to accept a reduction of scoring in the yearly supplier evaluation.
Continental uses EDI in different business processes for e.g. Delivery Schedules, Inventory Reports, Delivery and Transport Data, Invoices and Electronic Transport Order. In the event any other message type needs to be implemented, the individual message type must be reviewed individually between the Parties case-by-case.