Filling the Product Pipeline

Freemarkets, Log-Net aim to link suppliers, producers.

Freemarkets Inc. and Log-Net Inc. have upgraded their respective supply chain offerings to help speed the movement of goods from suppliers to manufacturers.

Pittsburgh-based FreeMarkets last week released Supplier Implementation 2.0, which features new tools for creating BOMs (bills of materials), as well as advanced analysis and reporting capabilities. The upgrade of the global supply management software enables companies to more effectively create, manage and track complex supplier implementation projects, officials said.

The tools for creating an interactive BOM also provide the ability to manage projects around such a bill. At the same time, the project data analysis module provides simplified task management and process creation capabilities that include Gantt charting and calendar controls. Upgraded reporting features help users manage projects against costs, the officials said.

Separately last week, Log-Net released Version 5.0 of its namesake collaborative logistics software, enhanced for global operations. It is designed to address the around-the-clock needs of a company dealing with partners around the world and with the U.S. Customs Services 24-hour ruling requirements.

To address customs needs, Version 5.0 includes security enhancements that allow for dynamic documentation integrating document creation, management of shipments and customs classification information.

On the trading partner front, Version 5.0 includes a Dynamic Allocation feature that helps users view summaries of inventory in storage and transit, regardless of time or location.

Log-Net, of Little Silver, N.J., also increased the capabilities of its softwares order management, transportation management, customs and compliance features to support greater integration with a global supply chain.

Exel plc., a third-party logistics provider for major retailers using Log-Net for freight management, is implementing Version 5.0. George Makin, vice president of IT at Exel, likes the fact that Log-Net has moved off a client/server architecture. "5.0 is Internet-based, so it gives us access to [customers] who have access to the Web so they can log on and have access to the applications," said Makin, in Paramus, N.J.