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Automotive Services

 About Plant Link

Plant Link S.L. is a privately owned, Spanish registered company, founded in 1995. It specialises in the supply of components, services and test equipment to the automotive industry. Headquarters are in Cadiz, Spain.

Plant Link S.L. has three operating segments

Supply Management -
Management of the supply of material to European automotive manufacturers including the sale of components, memory devices & microprocessors.

Automotive Services -
Provision of engineering & supply services to the automotive industry

Custom Test Equipment -
The design, development & manufacture of test equipment for the automotive industry

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Automotive Services

Plant Link SBI Data Base
The Plant Link SBI Data Base was created after suppliers to the automotive industry were unable to reconcile payments. The problem recurred year after year. A customer with a POU warehouse can make hundreds of "line feeds" and payments per day. By the end of a year there can be thousands of payment line items. Large amounts of paper work and human effort were involved. When Plant Link were asked to work on the issue we concluded it was fundamental to firstly be able to obtain the POU line feed & payment data with out risk of error. To achieve this electronic links were built connecting in to the financial data bases of the automotive customers. Data is downloaded (weekly) from the several plants in the different countries involved.

An SBI Data Base with specialised software was built by Plant Link. It is typical that large amounts of information (thousands of payment line items with some 40 columns of data in each) will be downloaded from the customer. The calculating software in the data base matches payments to bills by comparing delivery note numbers (DNs). In a POU the multiple line feeds will mean that tens of "payment DNs" can add up to match a single "bill DN." The payments do not necessarily occur together or over a period of a few days. If the component is used infrequently or some part of the shipment has been temporarily lost in the warehouse, then there can be gaps of weeks, months even years between line feeds. For this reason we found it was necessary to get historical line feed data covering several years. This was particularly the case for "service build material" or "end of life" products that are line fed once or twice a year for repair/service replacement. The software searches through the entire data base for all occurrences of the DN, extracts them and condenses the multiple line items down to a single line. See simplified extract below.

The Data Base immediately indicates if part of a shipment has not been line fed. The customer can be alerted to correct this.

If all the data downloaded was 100% correct the reconciliation would be a relatively simple task. However, the data normally spans a period of time that is years and thousands of transactions will have taken place. Experience says the software will have to make 100s of corrections arising from handling mistakes in the customer POU warehouses and errors from the supplier. Typically we find missing digits in DNs, wrong quantities, incorrect prices, lot numbers from the wrong lot, etc, etc. As the SBI Data Base locates and corrects the errors it marks them out, adding an appropriate comment. Some 95% of the software is dedicated to the task of locating and correcting mistakes in the information. This data base extract shows a sample of some of the corrections.

All errors are permanently recorded in a table. The information is used to feed back to the customer for corrective action when appropriate. The Plant Link SBI Data Base has been successful for several years in correcting >99% of the errors and achieving reconciliations to with in a few $s. Some times it has achieved a perfect match, once the errors we have found have been corrected by customer and supplier. It is important to note the Data Base's error detection role. The Data Base keeps a watchful eye on proceedings. Regular feedback to the customers ensure the POU warehouses remain under control. The Data Base is ideally suited to working with SAP systems.

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