Increasing productivity in the supply chain

The Smart Con­nec­ted Sup­plier Net­work (SCSN) is one of the most pro­mi­sing use cases based on IDS com­pon­ents.

Digi­tal col­la­bo­ra­ti­on in the sup­ply chain is one of the goals of Smart Indus­try, the Dut­ch natio­nal Indus­try 4.0 pro­gram­me. Howe­ver, it is not easy to link ICT sys­tems bet­ween com­pa­nies, espe­cial­ly covering the sup­ply net­work as-a-who­le. Cur­rent prac­ti­ce shows that many com­pa­nies sol­ve this manu­al­ly: Employees trans­fer infor­ma­ti­on from an inco­m­ing order into their own sys­tem. SCSN is a com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on stan­dard enab­ling the machi­ne buil­ding indus­try to share data across com­pa­ny bor­ders in an easier, safer, and more reli­able way.

SCSN is led by IDS-mem­ber Brain­port Indus­tries, sec­tor orga­niz­a­ti­on for the Dut­ch high-tech sup­ply sec­tor and sup­por­ted by TNO. TNO is an inde­pen­dent rese­arch orga­niz­a­ti­on in The Nether­lands par­ti­ci­pa­ting in the IDS Laun­ching Coali­ti­on.

Manu­al data manage­ment is pro­ne to errors

Brain­port Indus­tries focu­ses spe­ci­fi­cal­ly on the so-cal­led low volu­me and high mix, high com­ple­xi­ty machi­ne buil­ding indus­try. The suc­cess of the sup­ply chains in this indus­try incre­a­singly depends on sharing lar­ge amounts of data across com­pa­ny bor­ders.

Espe­cial­ly for SMEs that have a cen­tral role in the­se sup­ply chains, recei­ving and sen­ding data is not auto­ma­ted. This means that data recei­ved from their cus­to­mers must be read, inter­pre­ted, and usual­ly ent­e­red manu­al­ly in their own ERP sys­tem. This often takes a lot of time and is pro­ne to errors.

SCSN enab­les the auto­ma­tic flow and pro­ces­sing of data. The­re are also strict agree­ments about the seman­ti­cs of the messages, so that the­re is only one way to inter­pret them.

SCSN sol­ves the dis­ad­van­ta­ges of EDI and cloud ser­vices

Nowa­days, a lot of data is exch­an­ged bet­ween two com­pa­nies via an EDI link. If a com­pa­ny wants to exchan­ge data with a new part­ner, it will have to set up a new EDI con­nec­tion. This is not necessa­ry with SCSN. Com­pa­nies must regis­ter once with an SCSN Ser­vice Pro­vi­der and can exchan­ge data with all other affi­lia­ted com­pa­nies in the pro­duc­tion chain, such as orders, invoices, tech­ni­cal pro­duct data, etc. It is the­re­fo­re not necessa­ry to con­nect to each com­pa­ny sepa­r­ate­ly.

Using cloud con­nec­tions to exchan­ge data in bet­ween com­pa­nies often means that data is stored out­side the com­pa­ny and beco­mes visi­ble to the cloud ser­vice pro­vi­der. With SCSN, a com­pa­ny keeps a grip on its own data; it deter­mi­nes which data is shared with whom. The use of SCSN results in hig­her pro­duc­ti­vi­ty of the sup­ply chain through fast, secu­re, and inter­ope­ra­ble exchan­ge of infor­ma­ti­on bet­ween com­pa­nies.

Bene­fits of SCSN

  1. Con­nect once, com­mu­ni­ca­te with the ent­i­re sup­ply chain.
  2. SCSN works for the OEM, 1st, 2nd and 3rd sup­pliers, who­le­sa­lers and steel pro­du­cers and works with most avail­ab­le ERP soft­ware.
  3. Manu­fac­tu­ring com­pa­nies in con­trol over their own data all the time.

Tech­no­lo­gi­cal archi­tec­tu­re or IDS com­pon­ents used

Tech­ni­cal infra­st­ruc­tu­re in which it is agreed how the infor­ma­ti­on can be shared in a safe and con­trol­led man­ner, based on IDS.

  1. Messaging stan­dard in which it is agreed which infor­ma­ti­on is shared in what for­mat; based on the UBL from OASIS, known as stan­dard ISO / IEC 19845: 2015.
  2. SCSN fits seam­less­ly with the e‑Invoicing agree­ments of the Euro­pean Com­mis­si­on. SCSN messages can be view­ed publicly via the Seman­tic Tree­house manage­ment envi­ron­ment. A public pro­cess gui­de is also avail­ab­le on Git­Book.
  3. Tech­ni­cal infra­st­ruc­tu­re in which it is agreed how the infor­ma­ti­on can be shared in a safe and con­trol­led man­ner, based on IDS.

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