Supply Chain Help on the Way
SeeCommerce Inc. and Oracle Corp. are rolling out upgrades to their respective enterprise applications that give manufacturers the ability to better maintain control when dealing with partners and suppliers.
SeeCommerce, of Palo Alto, Calif., last week unveiled Version 5.0 of its SeeChain software that has tools that enable users to maintain control over inventory. Oracle, at its OpenWorld event in London last week, announced the 11i.10 version of its E-Business Suite, which includes a Channel/Partner Management Dashboard for more efficient and accurate communication.
The Oracle E-Business Suite upgrade, available within two months, also includes radio-frequency identification support for supply chain management processes, according to officials at the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.
SeeCommerces SeeChain 5.0 is designed to help manufacturers avoid overstocks and shortages with consignment inventories. Using a browser, users are automatically alerted when inventory thresholds are missed, or there is an issue with off-site inventory. Both of these metrics are difficult to keep track of, according to Jerry Quell, senior manager of inventory management at DaimlerChrysler Corp.s Mopar Parts Group.
The primary distributor of parts and accessories for all Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealerships worldwide, Mopar is using SeeChain 5.0 to manage more than 280,000 parts and process 200,000 dealer order lines per day.
Quell customized SeeChain 5.0s Consignment Inventory Module so each of his suppliers has the ability to send a weekly EDI (electronic data interchange) snapshot of inventory that is actually on the shelf. That list is compared with the inventory levels in Mopars mainframe system to match up recorded inventory levels with actual inventory. Alerts are generated with links to root-cause data that enable users to discover discrepancies.
SeeChain 5.0 tells the user when the buyers actual inventory level does not match the inventory sent from the suppliers so corrective action can be taken. Flagging those discrepancies has enabled Mopar to improve its accuracy rate at 17 suppliers from somewhere in the low 60s, to 98 percent accuracy, said Quell.
"Before, I couldnt tell who was a good supplier and who was a bad supplier. Now I can go in and tell you who my worst supplier is," said Quell, in Center Line, Mich.
Suppliers, too, have the ability to go into 5.0 using the Internet to view their score card to see if there are issues, which allows Mopar to maintain centralized control and its suppliers to continue to use their own internal systems, said Quell.
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