Car trader saves costs with new technology

In the automotive industry, the timely delivery of the right products, at the right time, to the right place, in the right order is often mandatory. To improve communication with trading partners, Carcoustics now uses new technology from Data Interchange and thus saves around half of its costs. Just in Time (JiT) and Just in Sequence (JiS) are the magic words in automobile production.

To meet the high demands of manufacturers, suppliers must ensure smooth communication, in real time, with their their trading partners. This was not guaranteed from Carcoustics prior to Data Interchange’s involvement. "Our previous carrier was very expensive and couldn’t support the new technology, OFTP2" says Frank Mueller-Boehm, CTO and Vice President of Carcoustics Shared Services GmbH. "In addition, the response times for our requests were far too long and the scalability and the capacity no longer met our growing demand. We needed a new communications solution."

Carcoustics, an innovative, medium-sized company, with headquarters in Leverkusen, has approximately 1,500 employees at 11 locations. It develops and manufactures acoustic and thermally-effective components for the automotive industry, as well as other sectors. Thus, their customised solutions can also be found in household appliances, plant and mechanical engineering, agricultural machinery, heating technology and air conditioning technology, as well as rail vehicles.

Concrete ideas for new solutions

For networking between trading partners, Carcoustics relied on a combination of directly-secured EDI connections and indirect connections via VAN (value added network). To increase the efficiency, flexibility, reliability and transparency of the VAN solution, Carcoustics considered different providers. "We had specific ideas about the functions, for example, sensible monitoring, a high reproducibility of data and costs and OFTP2 functionality," said Frank Mueller-Boehm. "This is important for us to be able to continue to trade electronically after the ISDN switch-off in Germany. It’s the only way we can continue to provide smooth communication with our international partners, particularly in North America, France and Spain."

The Data Interchange solution

Fortuitously, Carcoustics received a call from the EDI provider, Data Interchange. The company had helped to develop the OFTP2 protocol and was one of the first providers of this service in Germany. As a subsidiary of Data Interchange Plc., headquartered in Peterborough, UK, Data Interchange GmbH provides professional B2B and integration solutions for customers in the automotive, manufacturing, logistics, retail and finance sectors. "Carcoustics has a strong presence in the automotive industry, where it enjoys a very good reputation," said Frank Mueller-Boehm. "Data Interchange’s VAN service, Dinet, is one of the largest VANs worldwide. Moreover, OFTP2 is an important standard in this industry, so Data Interchange’s solution was perfect for us."

Everything in one place

Carcoustics decided to replace their existing solution with Dinet. This global B2B communications network enables the exchange of business-critical documents using a managed integration solution. It combines connectivity, data processing, monitoring and tracking. The migration of trading partner connections onto Dinet was seamless and was completed within three months, without interruptions or cessations.

To achieve this, Carcoustics did not have to make changes to their communication processes, and only minor changes were required of their trading partners. "The price/performance ratio, the technical expertise and the support of Data Interchange are absolutely exemplary," said Frank Mueller-Boehm. "Data Interchange has prepared the project with a minimum level of supervision and has performed smoothly. We now receive all communication services from a single source of German technicians. Data Interchange takes care of the onboarding of new customers, who now establish long-term relationships much faster. This takes a maximum of two days, instead of two-to-three weeks. In perfect partnership, Data Interchange has kept all its promises; that’s how it’s supposed to be."

Numerous benefits for the business

The protocols for the transmission of business-critical data are securely handled by OFTP2. In addition, Data Interchange’s high-availability data centres are located in Europe and comply with guidelines such as ISO27001. They also ensure high throughput rates and enable data consolidation, which is how Carcoustic’s business processes were optimised.

"In addition to high performance and reliable governance, we also benefit from lower costs. We were able to reduce our expenses by more than 45 percent," says Frank Mueller-Boehm. "Since the transition to Dinet, the process-related EDI communication with our partners is more reliable and transparent. By 2018, a total of 130 partners will be switched on to direct connections via OFTP2, and the remaining 120 partners will be linked with us via a modern mailbox connection."

Next Steps

For further information, please contact a member of the commercial team
+44 (0) 1733 371311