For the first time, we have facilities working the same way; customer service at one can support the other

What is our primary use case?

EDI with automotive businesses is our primary use case.

How has it helped my organization?

For us, it's all been about the fact that, for the first time ever our two facilities can support each other. Before, we had completely separate systems. One was doing EDI and one wasn't and our customers were trying to understand how we could be one company and not do things the same way. For the first time, we can start doing things the same way. That means that I can have customer service in one facility support customer service in the second facility.

We started with our Canadian plant first and got it running. When the next plant came on we were just able to say in SAP, "Here are some new ship-to's." We didn't have to start re-testing with the customer. That saved a ton of work. Not needing to retest for the next facility, because the customer had accepted our first test, was very helpful.

In terms of our reaction time, I can say we are 50 percent faster from our American plant. We aren't faster in our Canadian plant, but that's only because we're also looking at trying the on-premise, so it's just from looking at too much at once. For the American side, they wouldn't say "yes" to a customer for years, but now they can, which is great.

What is most valuable?

It has a lot of basic EDI already established for all the main users.

Also, it lets me share setups that I had already set up for my first plant. I was able to use them for my second one which was very helpful. I didn't have to start from scratch for my second facility.

What needs improvement?

I would've liked, from day one, to learn how to do my own mapping. It would have saved a lot of time and effort if that had been brought forward earlier. It's there, I just didn't know about it.

Also, some tidier, easier-to-use interfaces would help.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable solution. In the year-and-a-half that we've been live, we've had one or two tiny blips. But you get the warning right away and you can reissue it. And it never repeats itself. Those are pretty good stats.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's far bigger than we would ever need. Our company would never have an issue with their scalability. It goes far and beyond what we need.

How are customer service and technical support?

I know my colleague in Germany values the technical support greatly. But the system works so well that he generally only needs it if a customer sends in a map that isn't straightforward. For me, on the on-premise side, the American tech support has been super-helpful and they bend over backward for me. If we could all have Daniel work onsite, that would be a dream. But they're all super-helpful. Everyone has bent over backward for us.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We went to SEEBURGER because we needed a global solution for the first time in our company's history. Up until then, each plant used to use its own EDI solution, because we had our own ERP solution. We switched to SEEBURGER to have a global solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I gave them an Excel and they did the work. I liked that.

Due to SEEBURGER jumping right on board for us in America, we did it fast. We didn't start talking until about the end of March, and we went live July first. So the workload was heavy from the end of May and June. There was some cleanup of some stuff after that, but they really pushed hard for us.

We were supposed to have set it up with SEEBURGER Germany, but somehow that got missed. So our implementation strategy was to jump on with SEEBURGER America. They were super-flexible and they helped us get all the information and make sure we were ready for the first plant, and then we went live in the second plant in October.

The only problems were caused by us because we didn't have enough manpower here.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I find the pricing expensive. But I know that when we evaluated another company, it was about the same. That just seems to be the market. It's probably not expensive overall.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure your internal team has the manpower required and the knowledge, of course. It's big. It shouldn't be left up to SEEBURGER, the way I did. I made them do more work than they should have had to do.

To use the on-premise you need to have good technical people, not just business knowledge but also technical. That might be a drawback for some companies. The advantage is that they cover the EDI world: EDA, EDIFACT, ANSI. The American guys are great at their ANSI and EDIFACT and the European guys are great at EDA and EDIFACT. I don't know if it's true that every software company out there is able to cover all three of those worlds as well as these guys seem to.

In North America, there are only two of us using the SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite (BIS) Cloud version. It's 90 percent me doing all of the checking, communicating, and updating with the SEEBURGER team and my one SAP team member is there to back me up or answer questions. I don't think he's been on it since January 2018. We have two solutions, we have cloud and we have on-premise. Two more people use the on-premise.

Our plan is that we're actually moving everything to on-premise now. There will be two main people, myself and my colleague in Germany, who will be to the two main people for maintenance, and we're looking at one minor role in both Europe and America that will just be there to get the alerts, making sure there are no stoppages during the day. But the two of us will be the ones installing maps. If there's a map adjustment required, I would work on that, but the two of us will be doing the installing and mapping of the communication and new users.

In terms of the extent of usage and plans to grow, we have three plants using SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite (BIS), two plants on cloud, one on-premise. We just moved a small plant to on-premise last month and our plan is to move two more. Then, as our company rolls out SAP, we're looking at moving three more. If Asia jumps into EDI someday, it will grow even more, but right now the Asian market isn't using EDI. We'll see how that works out. We're hoping to, within the next year, move a Spanish plant onto it as well.

I would rate this solution at eight out of ten because it covers as much as it does. It's not higher because I think it might be missing a little bit of the non-automotive world. They focused on the big EDI-hitters, versus some of what I call the "industrial applications." That's the only place I've seen where it doesn't seem to be as strong.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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