EDI has been used by the automotive industry for over 40 years. The watch-like precision of a car production line relies on the lightning-fast and flawless exchange of EDI and other business documents between the car manufacturers (OEMs) and their huge supply chain.
A lot of the business processes used around the World to manufacture cars started out with a production system developed by Toyota and W. Edward Deming. The two best known practices are Just-In-Time (JIT) and Lean Manufacturing. Both depend upon EDI to quickly transfer business documents, provide visibility of inventory levels and notification of when shipments are due to arrive.
The automotive industry is very global. Does not matter where in the World the suppliers are, they must be onboarded VERY QUICKLY. So EDI must stretch around the World. This means not reachable only by sophisticated EC providers, but also by providers with simple tools for small suppliers. The communications and document standards vary by country. Thanks to several regional EDI networks, all is possible.