New EDI Light capabilities allow late specifications of colours and coatings
Ever since ArcelorMittal first introduced SteelUser a decade ago, we have continued to develop our digital tools in collaboration with customers. SteelUser itself has evolved to become a multi-platform communication channel, enabling customers to interact with ArcelorMittal via apps, web services, and electronic tools integrated into their business systems. This has made it possible for customers to get production information, send orders directly to ArcelorMittal, and receive invoices and related documents electronically.
In a recent project with Polish customer Inter-Max, ArcelorMittal has added the ability to specify the coating and colour of a product late in the order process electronically. Inter-Max, which uses ArcelorMittal’s EDI Light service, now has full transparency over its orders and can respond quickly and efficiently to demands from their own customers.
Inter-Max, a long-term supplier of roofing solutions, first asked ArcelorMittal about using our digital tools in 2018. By March 2019, the company had agreed to adopt EDI Light. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is an electronic communication method which defines standards for the exchange of data via any electronic means.
Krzysztof Szczerba, president of Inter-Max, explains: “EDI Light integrates the entire product ordering process into our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Orders are now simpler, easier, more accurate, and faster. And by adhering to the same standard as ArcelorMittal, we can electronically exchange documents such as purchase orders, invoices, shipping notices, and many others.”
EDI Light also enables data from ArcelorMittal sales invoices to be automatically entered into the accounting modules of the Inter-Max ERP system. There is no need to print invoices or manually enter data.
Prevision orders allow late specifications
In the initial phase of the project, Inter-Max decided to use EDI Light to send and receive orders and order confirmations automatically. But in response to Inter-Max’s need to specify colours and coatings late in the order process, ArcelorMittal made modifications to the system to allow ‘prevision’ orders. Previously this had only been possible if the customer called or emailed their ArcelorMittal contact. By November 2019, the two companies were able to test and approve the new functionality which is now available to all ArcelorMittal customers on request.
“The solution is based on the latest data exchange format and uses files in CSV format,” explains Krzysztof Szczerba. “After several months of intensive work, Inter-Max successfully began placing prevision orders for coiled sheets from ArcelorMittal. It means we can submit an order for a steel substrate, and define the type of coating and colour later in the process.”
Inter-Max now sees all orders placed with ArcelorMittal in its own software. They can also see when shipments are due. “This enables us to be much more efficient when we are planning production schedules,” says Krzysztof Szczerba. “It also helps with our own logistics, the analysis of market trends, and the strategic planning we do for Inter-Max’s future activities.”
For Inter-Max, the EDI Light system with late specifications has transformed its business notes Krzysztof Szczerba: “EDI saves us time and money as it prevents the chance of operators making mistakes. We no longer need to spend time chasing these errors. That translates into a higher level of organisation within the company, and has a positive impact on our economic results.”
Inter-Max makes extensive use of ArcelorMittal’s metallic and organic coated products including Magnelis® and Granite® HDS