EDIWheel eBusiness Standard Comes to the UK
In the five years Tyres & Accessories/Tyrepress.com has been publishing a dedicated e-Commerce feature, one of the most common themes has been the real need for an integrated approach to selling tyres online. Now this need is being answered with the introduction of the EDIWheel eBusiness standard into the UK, linking and automating the whole approach from stock availability through to invoicing.
The online tyre market is estimated to occupy a 4 per cent market share across Europe, however, the true potential for eBusiness in the UK tyre industry is yet to be fully realised for two main reasons. Firstly the amount of ordering websites that are not integrated with the dealer’s order processing systems or processes. And secondly, the absence of an agreed industry wide eBusiness standard for core business processes such as ordering and invoicing.
According to the group of collaborating tyre manufacturers involved, these issues are being addressed by key members of the tyre industry with EDIWheel (Electronic Data Interchange Wheel – wheel representing the distribution cycle and not a physical wheel) eBusiness standard which enables the automation of stock availability checking, ordering, order confirmation, dispatch advice and invoicing. Specifically, a forum hosted by TIF about EDIWheel for tyre manufacturers, software developers, dealers and wholesalers has been scheduled for mid-November.
EDIWheel was developed specifically for the needs of the tyre industry in Europe. The standard is already well established and proven in Germany (integrated 2000), France (integrated 2004); and Switzerland/Austria where it is supported by a wider community of tyre manufacturers, resellers, software developers and trade associations. It has been developed, sponsored and guaranteed by Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear/Dunlop, Michelin and Pirelli. Other manufacturers that support EDIWheel are Cooper, Nokian, M-Plus, Toyo, Vredestein and Yokohama.
Representatives of the panel told T&A the UK tyre industry is now working together to achieve the integration of the software over here. The idea is that while the manufacturers compete on product, they do not compete on eBusiness. They describe this cooperation as bringing benefits in a similar way to standard tyre naming convention, which is certainly to the benefit of tyre retailers even if consumers are not completely aware of it.
The EDIWheel standard would help tyre businesses to engage more easily with eBusiness. Having one standard would offer assurance to the tyre retailer about the quality, performance and reliability of the system. One of the benefits of EDIWheel is that tyre dealers can trade electronically from the comfort of their own familiar systems. EDIWheel will not make existing platforms redundant as the beauty of the system lies in integration. The standard provides tyre dealers with an opportunity to harness the power of suppliers’ eBusiness systems easily and seamlessly from their own familiar purchase management system.
The implementation is said to be cost efficient as core transactions such as ordering and invoicing are common and accessible to multiple suppliers. Processes are also expected to speed up. The time to market for projects is said to be faster than proprietary systems and support is simplified as the complexity of disparate and bespoke systems is removed.
“The standard will provide a direct connection for suppliers to the point of sale allowing faster, more responsive and reactive links to the tyre market. It is accessible to any tyre manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or software developer that wishes be part of the single electronic language,” EDIWheel proponents told T&A.
Tyres & Accessories understands that leading tyre software and systems companies such as Cam Systems and MAM Software are either already using the standard or ready to. MAM Software, for example, bought a licence from EDICETI allowing them to implement the standard in their Autopart system and is named on the initial panel that developed the standard nearly 10 years ago.
T&A also understands that, as this standard is becoming integrated into the UK market, what you might call a literal EDIWheel standard is being developed on the continent. Like its tyre related cousin, this standard seeks to standardise systems communications in the wheel manufacturing and distribution chain.