12th IFLEXX Meeting: German petroleum industry discusses the future of electronic data exchange

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Source: Implico Group

Data transfer via ISDN ceases in 2018 – IFLEXX continues to gain ground

Hamburg -- On Monday, representatives of the major players in the German petroleum industry convened at Implico’s headquarters in Hamburg for the twelfth meeting of the IFLEXX Community. IFLEXX (International FiLe Exchange XML) is an independent standard for data communications in the petroleum industry that Implico has been developing and promoting over the last ten years with leading companies in the downstream sector.

In today’s market, no oil or gas company is entirely self-sufficient: many store their products with terminal operators, have reciprocal goods arrangements at various sites or hire forwarding agents to transport their products from tank terminal to service station, for example. Within these supply chain networks, exchanging large volumes of loading data at maximum quality and speed between stakeholder companies is an increasingly important issue. The IFLEXX Community has been working for many years on the harmonization and standardization of these flows of data. The primary purpose of what is now the Community’s annual meeting is to discuss experience, share opinion and collaborate on planning the next steps to take.

This year’s meeting on Implico’s premises was attended by 15 companies from the terminal, refinery, retail, service station and software/consulting sectors. Event organizer Implico informed the delegates about recent activities related to IFLEXX and PIDX, the international counterpart of the communication standard. During the afternoon, the Community discussed new proposals for IFLEXX extensions such as order and forwarding agent record types, non-truck movements and stock info. Other relevant topics were also addressed, such as the implications of the German IT Security Act or the consequences of ISDN being discontinued in 2018. Conference delegates discussed both the technical alternatives to ISDN as well as the potential advantages gained by using this opportunity to switch to the IFLEXX standard.

“We’re proud of the continuity of the IFLEXX meeting and are especially pleased to see how the IFLEXX Community continues to grow,” says Kay-Peter Buhtz, Managing Partner at Implico. “The discussions were as stimulating as ever, and offered several interesting insights that will be used in the further development of IFLEXX.”

About IFLEXX (International FiLe EXchange XML)

IFLEXX is a non-proprietary, open and free-of-charge standard for data exchange in the petroleum industry. IFLEXX is the successor to MPKS (“Mineral oil Partner Communications System”), introduced over 30 years ago. Data exchange using IFLEXX offers the petroleum industry many advantages. Not only does XML permit the transfer of large volumes of standardized data, but IFLEXX also enables the bi-directional exchange of loading data: both to the tank truck’s onboard computer and to the petroleum company’s accounting system.

Interested parties have been organizing meetings to discuss standardized data communications in the industry for many years now, and the IFLEXX Community now numbers 16 member companies.

About Implico

The Implico Group optimizes logistics and business processes for oil and gas downstream companies. The international consulting and software company with its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, has subsidiaries in Malaysia, Romania and the USA. Founded in 1983, the company today employs around 200 staff.

Implico provides consulting services, data services and software solutions for the entire supply chain – from forecasting, order entry, dispatching and tour optimization to data collation and invoicing. Leading oil and gas companies all over the world trust in Implico’s industry expertise and high-performance IT solutions including OpenTAS, SAP SDM, SAP RFNO and iGOS.

OpenTAS automates the storage and transportation of hydrocarbons for refineries, tank farms, and service station networks. SAP SDM (Secondary Distribution Management) steers and optimizes the complete order-to-cash process. SAP RFNO (Retail Fuel Network Operations) automates all payment and quantity flows of service station networks. iGOS (Implico Global Operation Services) offers innovative downstream solutions out of the Cloud.

Implico is a Microsoft Gold Partner, a Software Development Partner of SAP and a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork. The company has been recognized for its products and services on numerous occasions, e.g. for Supply Chain Management Software and as Oil & Gas Logistics Company of the Year 2015.

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