On Monday, representatives of the major players in the German petroleum industry convened at Implico’s headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, for the 12th 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 Implico managing partner Kay-Peter Buhtz. "The discussions were as stimulating as ever, and offered several interesting insights that will be used in the further development of IFLEXX."