Key Supplier Connects to Shaeffler via CData Arc AS2

Key Supplier Connects to Shaeffler via CData Arc AS2


Schaeffler is one of the world's largest family-owned companies and auto parts manufacturers. Schaeffler generated about $16.1 billion of sales during 2017 and has more than 92,000 employees. With about 170 locations throughout 50 countries, Schaeffler has a worldwide network of manufacturing locations, research and development facilities, and sales companies.

Managing its massive global supply network is a tall task, so Schaeffler set out to automate purchasing processes via EDI technologies in order to:

  • Boost supply chain efficiencies
  • Standardize processes
  • Save countless hours of manual data entry and communications
  • Reduce human error
  • Control costs

To that end, Schaeffler increasingly conducts logistics transmissions over the web using accredited EDI services. Due to their low cost, high efficiency, and reliable security, they use popular, standardized, secure online transmission protocols such as AS2, OFTP2 and SFTP to send and receive messages.

As a result, Shaeffler suppliers also needed to implement EDI technology so they can connect seamlessly with Shaeffler over AS2.

The Challenge: Complying with Shaeffler's Automated EDI Requirements

As a result of Shaeffler's drive toward EDI and business process automation, one of their biggest logistics transportation partners needed to make technology upgrades in order to comply with Shaeffler's EDI process.

All purchase orders, shipping updates, and related messages needed to be standardized. The ERP systems used by Shaeffler and their logistics partner needed to be integrated. And automated EDI flows needed to be triggered when the two would exchange key messages.

Undertaking this type of automation came with specific challenges:

  • The logistics partner had a different ERP than Shaeffler, with different message structures, necessitating EDI transformation and integration.
  • The logic behind the integration had to combine real-world business processes and screen for the right information required for each transaction - EDI validation testing would be required.
  • EDI mapping would be needed to maintain one-to-one correspondence and maintain parity.

To make the integration work, Schaeffler needed a reliable and secure EDI solution, as well as some integration expertise. Enter CData Arc and its network of EDI integration partners.

The Solution: Seamless EDI AS2 Integration with CData Arc

The logistics transportation company selected CData Arc, an effective middleware that helps users efficiently transfer information without added complexity.

Specifically, they set up an EDI connection using CData Arc's Drummond-Certified AS2 connector, providing robust security, including signatures, S/MIME encryption, digital certificates, and MDN receipts. CData Arc provides customers with a solution that's easy to operate, manage, and automate.

The automated connection works as follows:

  • The logistics company's database receives the EDI file transmitted by Schaeffler through AS2 and saves it for development and analysis.
  • When the logistics company needs to send the file back to Schaeffler, the logistics company extracts the data from its database and automatically develops and generates an EDI message.
  • The EDI message is then sent to Schaeffler via the AS2 Connector found in CData Arc.

The entire process can be easily set up and automated in CData Arc's easy-to-use visual integration canvas.

The EDI message standard required by Schaeffler is EDIFACT. The business type of docking is:

  • Logistics partner receives: IFTMIN Waybill — Cargo Address Information
  • Logistics partner sends: IFTSTA Return Order — Feedback Logistics Status

The Results: Rapid Automation and a Happy Customer

Through the integration of CData Arc and the deployment of the EDI file parsing code, Schaeffler's logistics partner can automatically parse EDI messages into an XML format, which is readable by their ERP system.

Similarly, through the deployment of the EDI file generation code, XML files can be auto-generated into EDI and directly connected to Schaeffler's system through CData Arc AS2.

The process not only saves costs, it also improves logistical efficiency, a core business function and value-added deliverable to Schaeffler. The process efficiently meets a range of needs:

  • It complies with Schaeffler's EDI specification, using a custom mapping that fits Schaeffler's specific business processes.
  • It entirely eliminates any need for human data input, saving countless hours.
  • It's a repeatable process they can easily reuse with other EDI partners.

Additionally, the entire file transfer process is safe, secure, and reliable.