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API Integration in the Automotive Supply Chain

The automotive industry is a highly complex and ever-changing sector that relies on a vast network of suppliers. As the industry continues to evolve, so does the need for efficient and effective supply chain processes. While the automotive industry is no stranger to EDI as an essential part of the automotive supply chain, this technology is currently increasingly supplemented and completed by API-technologies that enable fine-grained processing and make processes more transparent.  

In this article we’ll focus on the use of APIs in the Automotive Supply Chain, the industry’s attempt of finding a standardized and harmonized approach to API implementation in the automotive supply chain as well as eddyson’s unique solution for fast and efficient approach on API integration. 

The Use of API in the Automotive Supply Chain

The topic of API integration is increasingly coming into focus in the automotive sector. To remain competitive in the industry and to survive in the face of current challenges such as shortages of skilled labor and shortages in raw materials, effective production and logistics are essential. In order to ensure that just-in-time (JIT) and just-in-sequence (JIS) processes run smoothly, numerous individual components have to be placed into the production line right on time and in the correct order.  

These highly optimized and complex processes in the automotive industry are supported and in fact made possible through the integration of EDI.  Currently, however, the importance of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in the production processes of the automotive industry is increasingly growing, supplementing successful EDI integrations and enabling companies to quickly and easily access data from suppliers and customers, and to exchange information in real time.  

API integrations can track the status of individual parts and components in the automotive industry across the entire supply chain. This allows real-time monitoring of inventory levels as well as current locations of parts and components to ensure that the right materials are available when needed and are provided at the right time.

Industry-Wide Standardized Approach to API Integration?

Unlike traditional EDI protocols, which rely on widely accepted document standards (e.g. EDIFACT), this is not the case with APIs, as there is little standardization or restriction on how they should be created and used. That can make the implementation of APIs for B2B data exchange challenging.   

That's why the automotive industry is actively working to develop a standardized approach to API integration. As such, Odette (Organization for Data Exchange by Tele Transmission in Europe) has currently assembled an API Expert Group that includes various technology partners and industry members such as supply chain experts from Volkswagen AG. Under the leadership of Peter Höfner (DRÄXLMAIER Group), the goal is to develop a standardized and harmonized approach for easy and scalable implementation of REST APIs in the automotive supply chain.    

The group is currently defining potential use cases in which standardized API-based information exchange would be of benefit to the industry. Thus far, these include: 

  • Increased transport transparency in the automotive supply chain 
  • Optimized synchronization of packaging guidelines between suppliers and customers 
  • Commissioning and preparation of shipments at the customer's request 
  • Optimized synchronization of material and component prices between suppliers and customers

eddyson: The innovative solution for your API integration

While the topic of API integration is becoming increasingly important in the automotive industry, eddyson already provides extensive expertise in the field and has a proven track record of successful projects involving API integrations in various industries including automotive, trade and retail. Our approach to API integration is completely unique, setting us apart from other providers in the EDI/API space. 

API integration from your ERP system to eddyson's solution

As other providers rely on a proprietary consolidation approach requireing an additional translation layer, eddyson follows a standardized approach. Our solution is transforming your business data via a Canonical Data Model (CDM) unifying all information to a common readable and consumable business standard. This approach allows us to quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively complement our customers' successful EDI standardization with API technologies and guarantee perfect connectivity for all platforms in real-time.