Real-time data Integration between a leading automotive aftermarket supplier’s Magento digital eCommerce Platform and ERP system.

Conceptual image of communication and connection

Real-time data Integration between a leading automotive aftermarket supplier’s Magento digital eCommerce Platform and ERP system.

A well-known automotive parts supplier to the retail supply chain has been a Customer of AdvanceFirst Technologies Ltd for over 20 years, using their Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and IBM iSeries systems integration services, enabling real-time data communications between retail clients and trading partners within the UK motor trade.

Based on the confidence of working with AdvanceFirst in delivering first class EDI and data integration solutions, the Customer commissioned a project to manage and integrate data flows between their IBM AS400 based ERP system and their recently established Magento digital eCommerce platform.

The Solution

The solution (AAPI – Advance Application Programme Integrator) provided by AdvanceFirst sits as a piece of middleware between the Magento storefront and the Customer’s ERP system to broker the exchange, update and transformation of real-time stock availability and order data. Data is collected by AAPI from the Storefront in its native data format, translated, validated and routed to the IBM AS400 in a format required for auto-import directly to the ERP system. Similarly, the ERP system responds through AAPI with updated stock availability and order tracking data which is again translated into the data format needed by the Storefront. The whole process is fully automated with notifications and alerts sent to nominated IT staff if and when errors in the data flow are detected. AAPI was designed to work independently of external applications so can be readily used with any backend ERP system.

AAPI also connects to and manages the exchange of delivery fulfilment related messages with DPD, the Customer’s principal fulfilment partner. Once orders are collected and processed, the ERP system generates despatch notifications which are sent to DPD through AAPI in a data format required by DPD’s internal business applications. Similarly, DPD’s responses and delivery confirmations are directed back through AAPI and routed to both the ERP system and Magento.

The AAIS Customer’s IT Manager commented

"We have a culture of outsourcing services to the best of breed solution providers. We engaged a leading Magento distributor to assist us with building our eCommerce Storefront and AdvanceFirst as the data integration specialists to integrate data flows between the Storefront platform and our IBM iSeries based ERP system. The solution provided by AdvanceFirst was developed with flexibility and contingency to grow with our future data integration needs. As specialists in this area, they provide a fully managed messaging service which is independent of their customers’ internal business applications - assuring confidence in continuity of service whenever we upgrade our IBM platform or need to extend the solution to exchange data with other business partners.”

Process Overview

ERP to Magento process map

About AdvanceFirst

Since 2003 AdvanceFirst Technologies has rapidly become one of the most successful specialist EDI companies in the UK with hundreds of clients and connections around the world. AdvanceFirst provide both managed and on-premise EDI management solutions together with bespoke, messaging based process automation middleware. If you’d like to explore where we could help you or assist your organisation with similar solutions, call us on 01932 230 024 or email to speak with one of our data messaging specialists.
Nick Garner

Nick Garner

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