Improving EDI efficiency through Managed Services

Sertec is a Tier 1 automotive supplier with a tooling operation in China and three manufacturing sites with more than 1,100 employees in the UK. They have over 50 years’ experience in the automotive industry and, in 2013, recorded a turnover in excess of £137 million. Sertec are experts in a range of steel and aluminium manipulation and assembly processes and their key customers include both Ford and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Data Interchange started working with Sertec in 2000 to provide an EDI solution for the exchange of business-critical data with one of their key customers, Ford. Over the past 14 years, Sertec have experienced rapid business growth, most recently in line with the success of JLR. This has resulted in an increase in sales and more complex customer requirements. In 2013, Sertec took the strategic decision to outsource their EDI requirements so that they could focus on their core business competencies.  

Selecting Data Interchange Managed Services meant that Sertec were able to reallocate internal resources and focus on what was core to their business and its growth, whilst also ensuring unparalleled levels of reliability. Sertec’s Systems Team Leader, Kelvin Rapley said, “A key factor of moving away from an in-house solution was reliability. Previously, we feared that our EDI server may crash, but now we can rest assured our data is safe and business-crucial messages will always be transferred successfully.”

Data Interchange’s team of experts handled the day-to-day transaction of EDI files between Sertec and their customers and suppliers. Knowing that their EDI was in safe hands took a lot of pressure away from Sertec, but they were still able to have full visibility of all transactions and processes should they wish to monitor any movement of files. “The entire transition phase was handled perfectly, with no disruption at all to our critical customer schedules,” added Kelvin.

As part of their Managed Service, Sertec are now also taking full advantage of Data Interchange’s Dinet Integration Network, allowing access to 100,000s of trading partners. “We are now enjoying the benefits of Dinet, rolling out our EDI system to our supplier base – a job which we would have really struggled with,” said Lee Chatfield, Lead Developer and EDI Specialist at Sertec. Data Interchange are working with Sertec to on-board over 180 suppliers to Dinet, ensuring full EDI take-up. Kelvin states, “We have hundreds of suppliers, some running full ERP systems and some at the other end of the scale, having virtually no ERP system at all. It would have been a huge task for us to bring on board our supplier base alone.”

As Sertec continue to grow, it has become imperative for them that they fully automate the process with EDI schedules, ASNs (for automated receipts) and invoices (for automated matching and dealing with discrepancies). 

“With Data Interchange’s solution in place, and our suppliers on-boarded, accuracy of data will improve, as will speed and efficiency. This process will also allow us to accurately measure performance (delivery against schedule and invoice accuracy) so we can develop our supplier base. We can put more resource into analysing and using the data to improve our business, resource that is currently just collecting and processing the data,” added Lee.

Both Data Interchange and Sertec are already looking at how further improvements can be made to streamline their integrated supply chain. 

Next Steps

For further information, please contact a member of the commercial team
+1 (470) 809 9345