Utilities Case Study BS|ENERGY

Grace Simplifies Operations, Improves B2B Collaboration

Digital technology is transforming business today, fueling the development of new, innovative business models and the optimization of business processes. Companies across the globe are going digital with goals to increase process efficiency, improve the user experience and simplify day-to-day operations.

The Pain of Integration

To simplify their IT operations, Grace, a specialty chemicals and materials company, wanted to implement a solution to communicate with its major logistics carriers. Grace needed a solution to exchange information using the EDIFACT standard, yet be able to accommodate non-EDIFACT messages if needed. A standardized integration with SAP was a key requirement for the solution.

The major pain point of integration for Grace is the variety of message types and formats used by its carriers. Each carrier requires onboarding, which includes data transfer protocol and message management. In addition, maintaining all of its carrier connections is complex and requires considerable time and administrative effort.

To avoid this, Grace needed a data integration specialist.

Unmatched Business-to-Business Integration

As an existing user of SEEBURGER Global Trade Services (GTS), Grace chose SEEBURGER for B2B integration because it provides:

  • Add-on functionality to the SEEBURGER GTS solution
  • Standardized connections to SAP
  • Highly adaptable Business Integration Suite (BIS) available as a managed service
  • Low-code implementation including easy configuration
  • Robust and reliable technology stack made in Germany
  • Message tracking on SEEBURGER Portal
  • ISO 27001 certified cloud service data center

Oil, Gas & Chemicals


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SEEBURGER’s solution solves a huge business pain. It gives us a simple-to-use solution to connect carriers to our ERP system. It helps us integrate carrier data more quickly and speed up our shipping process. We were able to reduce the efforts for onboarding and maintaining carriers by 80 percent compared to previous years.

Hans-Dieter Reichert, Solution Architect Logistics at Grace

First Class Carrier Data Integration

A standard process model was defined for the integration of large carriers. First, Grace creates an electronic delivery-planning document. SEEBURGER receives the document from SAP via IDOC format and transforms it to EDIFACT, then forwards the message to the carrier. The carrier’s response is transferred to SEEBURGER, where it is converted again to Grace’s required format.

For carriers unable to receive EDIFACT, SEEBURGER essentially converts messages to CSV format and sends via email to the carrier. For inbound messages the solution checks, if a known sender transmitted the e-mail and converts the CSV to an intermediate format and finally to the ERP system format.

SEEBURGER’s global professional services organization was key to fulfilling Grace’s needs across multiple international locations and teams. Ultimately, SEEBURGER will help Grace optimize its supply chain, because it can now process more carrier information faster, without sacrificing quality and performance.

Project Details

  • Implementation period: 3 months from start to go-live
  • Initially connected carriers: 3 + 20 alternative carriers
  • Volume of messages: up to 2,500 monthly
  • Connection: Webservice, AS/2, E-mail
  • Extras:
    • Easily expandable carrier list
    • Fully customizable workflow
    • Advanced transformation capabilities between SAP IDOC and EDIFACT
    • Message splitting for bulk messages

About W. R. Grace & Co.

Built on talent, technology, and trust, Grace high-performance specialty chemicals and materials improve the products and processes of our customers around the world. In partnership with our customers – including many of the world’s most recognized brands – in more than 60 countries Grace develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells industry-leading technologies through our Refining Technologies, Specialty Catalysts, and Materials Technologies operating segments.
Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland Grace had approximately 3,900 employees globally with annual sales of US $ 2 billion in 2019.