BERLIN -- The automotive industry is under pressure to improve supply chain efficiency through data analytics. The Catena-X Automotive Network data exchange initiative aims to bring the automotive supply chain together under a single open data cloud ecosystem.
Volkswagen Group, Daimler, BMW, Robert Bosch, Schaeffler, BASF and Deutsche Telekom are part of the European initiative. The new system is designed to ensure sovereign, trusted, and decentralized data exchange, allowing network partners to share their data with others without relinquishing data sovereignty.
The initiative is just one part of an international effort currently underway in the industry to build cloud-based digital architectures relying primarily on the three major global providers -- Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
In addition to efficiency advantages in the supply chain, the network offers participants better quality and logistics processes, increased transparency and simplified master data management.
"Conceptually, this is very important," Gartner analyst Pedro Pacheco told Automotive News Europe. "Just imagine that suppliers from all tiers can directly and freely exchange data with the OEM, and vice-versa."
This system will enable the supply chain to react much more quickly to changing needs from automakers, and it becomes easier to identify areas of improvement, especially for an automaker, as it will be easier to see bottlenecks beyond Tier 1 suppliers.
Additionally, this would allow automakers to get a more precise picture of the carbon footprint of their supply chain and adjust it in order to reduce that footprint.
"The central challenge is that each company is different from each other in terms of digital architecture and also on the way it produces, processes and shares data," Pacheco said. "Hence, aligning those procedures and standards is crucial."
At the same time, those standards help make sure the data exchange between companies occurs with a higher level of security and data protection.