Tool Speeds Supply Flow

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2004-03-08

E2open inc., the consortium founded by IBM, Hitachi Ltd., Solectron Corp. and Seagate Technology LLC, is making it easier for users along an electronics supply chain to implement and integrate supply chain processes.

The companys namesake SCCS (Supply Chain Coordination Solution), which became available last week, helps companies implement supply chain processes such as multitier visibility or multiparty, vendor-managed inventory. The software provides functionality for demand/supply planning; collaborative planning; forecast and replenishment; and automated procurement, including order and invoice management, according to E2open officials in Redwood City, Calif.

E2open SCCS includes a business-to-business integration platform and tools and methodologies to help partners use the system. An exception-based management system helps partners define, monitor, escalate and resolve supply chain issues. At the same time, reporting and analysis tools help users track and monitor performance indicators, officials said.

IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y., will use the E2open software to support its demand/supply planning and execution and to gain better visibility into its top suppliers inventory and supply operations, said Kevin OConnell, IBM director of manufacturing and procurement process transformation. By migrating away from a custom-built supply chain collaboration application, OConnell hopes to help IBMs core suppliers mitigate the cost and complexity of interacting electronically with IBM by providing a standardized methodology and tool set.

"We buy about 2 billion supply components annually, and we have a core set of suppliers," said OConnell. "We needed to figure out how to take overall costs out of the end-to-end supply chain between OEMs and suppliers in order to get the unit costs we need to stay competitive."

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