Playing by the rules

By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2004-08-02 Print this article Print

Based on business process rules written by Schwinn and his team, the system constantly seeks inquiries that need follow-up. When an item remains unaddressed beyond the preset window of time, the system requests manual intervention by a Hasbro employee.

"We use an 80-20 rule for the system. Eighty percent of the time, something is within tolerance of rules and doesnt need any manual interaction. This allows us to focus on the 20 percent that actually need an employee to resolve," Schwinn said.

In addition, Hasbro employees are able to log on to the eConnect system to create an on-screen HTML report or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of the outstanding tasks they need to perform, which provides additional visibility into the vendor-inquiry process.

When the company is waiting for a vendor to respond to an inquiry, Hasbro employees also have the option of putting that inquiry on hold before the operations system is updated. Employees are then able to request notification once the vendor has responded.

The implementation was so successful that Hasbro has been able to take days out of the vendor-inquiry process. The company has expanded the use of eConnect to handle purchase orders, capacity analysis, shipping notices and custom interfaces, in addition to quotes for orders.

Hasbro is building on eConnect to roll out a reservations system that will enable freight companies in the United States to pick up products from Hasbro warehouses and docks and deliver them to customers.

In addition, the company has opened up eConnect to its domestic game manufacturers as well as to suppliers of raw material in the United States and in Europe.

"The purpose of a BPM system was to drive good results, and we constantly get comments from our vendors that were far ahead of other companies they deal with," Schwinn said. "We increase productivity on our end and help lower costs on the vendor end, so its really a win-win for all." ´

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As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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