Everything starts with Industry Associations. The automotive industry has developed a number of industry associations. These associations provide standards for how automotive companies exchange information electronically with each other. With global expansion in recent years, the industry associations around the World now work closely with each other so that automotive companies can set up new plants and onboard new business partners as quickly as possible.
The automotive industry associations are located in the main manufacturing hubs around the world, like North America, Europe and Japan. The automotive companies in their regions attend meetings of these associations and participate in the various working groups and projects that are undertaken.
Some of the main industry associations include Odette which serves the European automotive industry. Deeper within this group, the VDA organization serves the requirements of the automotive companies based in Germany; and Galia serves the automotive companies in France. The Automotive Industry Action group (AIAG) serves the North American automotive industry and the Japanese Automotive Manufacturers Association (JAMA) serves the Japanese automotive industry.
These Associations started Industry-Specific Networks. In addition to the traditional EDI VAN providers, the automotive industry is served by a number of regional private networks. The major networks are the American Network eXchange (ANX), European Network eXchange (ENX) and the Japanese Network eXchange (JNX). These networks are the big players in exchanging information across the automotive community. JNX best describes these networks: “a reliable, secured, and high performance infrastructure for supply chain management, which will improve the information flow, and reduce the time to the market.”
In addition; ENX provide, provides rapid exchange of engineering design and Computer Aided Design files. While these networks started to be just regional for the automotives, global expansion has morphed into a need to provide connectivity between these individual networks. GXS provides interconnectivity between the various private networks allowing the automotive companies to exchange information seamlessly across the world.
How do they “Tie the Strings Together”? Sheer horsepower!