EDI in the Automotive Industry, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Automotive industry migrates to the new VDA global messages

Automotive VDA global messages

The automotive sector operates under strict protocols that define the vehicle production chain from start to finish. The rigour with which each assembly phase is carried out depends to a great extent on the effectiveness of communications between the different partners involved in the supply chain. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is currently tending towards standardization of sector-specific VDA messages. The aim is to make the information exchange more efficient, improving the needs of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).

There are currently two trends in the automotive industry. On one hand, standardization of VDA messages, for which new versions have been rolled out, and on the other, the incorporation of lower-level suppliers to the information flow, to ensure traceability and the seamless exchange of information through EDI systems.

Standardization of VDA messages

VDA messages are the EDI messages used in the automotive sector and which meet the specific needs of companies in the automotive industry.

They respond to different functions required by supply chain users, for example, in orders (Forecast), to check that the goods shipped by the supplier match the purchase order placed by the distributor (DESADV or ASN); accurate information on the delivery sequence and Just in Time requirements (DELJIT), e-Invoicing (INVOIC), etc. Transmission of these data ensures the information flow between manufacturers (OEM) suppliers (TIER 1, TIER 2, TIER 3…) and customers.

Older versions of VDA messages are now being replaced by new global VDA versions that follow the EDIFACT schema:

  • Forecast goes from VDA 4905 to VDA 4984.
  • JIT forecast goes from VDA 4915 to VDA 4985.
  • The despatch advice goes from VDA 4913 to VDA 4987.
  • The receipt advice will be the VDA 4989 message.
  • The credit note will be VDA 4938.
  • The invoice will adopt the VDA 4938 format.

The purpose of this change is:

  • To improve the functions needed by the users.
  • Generate new formats that cover more of the OEMs’ information requirements.
  • Provide greater information cover.
  • Unify things as far as possible, with the option of setting up some fields specific to each manufacturer for specific needs.

Our solutions are ready to adopt these new schemas. Through new data mapping, we can quickly transform the documents to the required schema using the information from the ERP.

How to smoothly implement the new VDA messages with suppliers?

EDICOM's Partner Certification and Test portal is an online portal where users themselves perform validation and verification of the EDI messages to be exchanged.

This tool enables companies that decide to incorporate new EDI messages into their communication flows with already connected partners to test and verify them independently through this portal.

Increasing numbers of manufacturers are asking their suppliers (TIER 1) to set up channels with their suppliers from lower levels (TIER 2 and TIER 3) to guarantee traceability of information and ensure that it is exchanged correctly through EDI systems. Thanks to improved traceability, business processes (orders, despatch advices, delivery notes, billing, payment to suppliers) are significantly accelerated.

The OEM or TIER 1 operator, depending on the case, provides a supplier with the Test and Certification Portal for incorporation of the new VDA message, or to include a new partner. In both cases, the trading partners carry out the necessary tests, guided and monitored by the Portal promoter and by EDICOM, until they are ready to connect with the company and enter the production phase.

Certification portals let businesses:

  • Ensure compliance with set standards, such as EDIFACT, VDA, X12, Odette, while also allowing the incorporation of proprietary formats, etc.
  • Speed up links with suppliers, thanks to the swift integration of partners or new messages or versions.

EDICOM places a global EDI platform at the disposal of any automotive sector company, able to send and receive messages with any partner worldwide. After extracting information from the ERP, the EDICOM platform transforms it automatically into the format required by the recipient ERP and forwards it through secure communication channels.

Our value-added network EDICOMNet is a multi-standard network, able to route all kinds of messages (EDIFACT, X12, XML, FACTURAE, etc.), and multiprotocol, allowing access via Web services, https, FTP, x400, OFTP2, AS2 and AS4, etc.

Learn more about the potential benefits for your company

Get in touch with an EDICOM representative