Advancing B2B Standards in the European Auto Industry

SupplyOn is first electronic marketplace to implement Odette standard for user and access management

SupplyOn is first electronic marketplace to implement Odette standard for user and access management

Hallbergmoos, Germany — November 15, 2004 — SupplyOn, a provider of Internet services for the automotive industry, this week said it is supporting the uniform "User & Access Management" (UAM) standard by Odette, enabling its customers to benefit from the standards set by the European non-profit automotive industry organization in the areas of logistics, electronic data interchange (EDI) and the exchange of design and construction data.

The European automotive industry formed Odette International to set standards for e-business communications, engineering data exchange and logistics management in this sector. The organization links the 4,000 plus businesses in the European motor industry and their global trading partners.

In collaboration with such manufacturers as BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault, as well as major suppliers such as Bosch, Michelin, Siemens VDO, Webasto and ZF Friedrichshafen, Odette developed this first European automotive standard for B2B portals.

The standard describes all the data and processes relevant in connection with user registration and provides a simplified information flow. In the future, currently time-consuming processes such as the identification of new users, the updating of personal data and access rights and the blocking or canceling of user accounts should all be easier to execute thanks to the standard.

"All of the participants in the value creation chain — from small suppliers through to OEMs — stand to benefit from the new standard," said SupplyOn in a statement. Administration input will be reduced by one-third, the solution provider said, and data quality will rise, too.

In today's business world, electronic data exchange is an indispensable factor. The flow of digital information is the lifeblood of everyday interaction in procurement, logistics, research and development in the automotive industry and beyond.

In the B2B world, business partners can receive access to their customers' computer systems, with each company having its own registration process for external users. To date, every user had to register in a different way on every individual customer portal. This incurred high administration input, low transparency and all the risks that are associated with complex structures, such as the misuse of expired access rights. In view of rising requirements in the integration of business processes, the standardization of the various systems now in place is an increasingly crucial factor.

Against this backdrop, SupplyOn is now supporting the Odette User & Access Management Standard. UAM describes the content and structure of a user profile and the XML messages for automatic data transfer. The standard specifies how processes for the users of B2B portals are set up, changed, blocked or cancelled.

In this way, business partners can create the appropriate interfaces in their systems. A standard process and data format are defined that enable standardized interfaces and an unobstructed workflow within the given company, but also vis-à-vis external partners. User profiles only need to be set up once. In the event that names change or users switch to other departments, a one-time update is all that is needed before the profile is sent to the relevant portals.

This standardization and the ensuing process automation results in a reduction of administrative input by at least 30 percent, according to SupplyOn. The automated information flow increases data quality, thereby curbing the financial and legal risks of the companies involved. Regular updating and the elimination of faulty entries ensure that data are consistently kept up to date. This also enhances security by preventing unauthorized access.

Tailored tools permitting the standardized information exchange for various customer portals have already been implemented at several participating companies. Moreover, exchange processes with other industries have already commenced.

"In view of the associated efficiency gains and cost reductions we expect that the standard will catch on quickly throughout Europe," said Markus Quicken, a member of SupplyOn's executive board.