Behr America Signs eScout

Auto supplier automating procurement, integrating with supply base in drive to cut costs

Lee's Summit, MO — June 3, 2003 — Auto industry supplier Behr America has signed a three-year deal with e-procurement solution provider eScout in a move to automate its procurement and integrate more closely with its supply base.

Troy, Mich.-based Behr America, is a subsidiary of $3.2 billion Behr Group, a Stuttgart, Germany-based supplier of air-conditioning and engine cooling systems for passenger and commercial vehicles.

In the face of a continuing difficult economic climate in the current fiscal year, Behr is taking an aggressive business stance. With a view to permanently consolidating its competitive position, the company launched a comprehensive cost offensive during the 2002 fiscal year. The aim is to achieve a more cost-effective product design, more efficient business processes, cost-optimized purchasing and lower overheads. The target is to cut costs, company-wide, by more than $280 million by the year 2005.

As part of this initiative, Behr America will use ProcureScout, eScout's requisition and procurement tool, as well as ConnectScout, a Web services-enabled integration hub that will electronically connect Behr with its trading partners, and PayScout, a reconciliation, dispute management and payment application.

According to eScout, the manufacturer's use of these solutions will advance its cost-cutting agenda through reductions in purchase order transaction time, automated order placement and electronic invoicing through a secure environment, greater business intelligence on indirect spending trends and enforced cost responsibility to each business unit.

"One of the keys to our success as a supplier to the automobile industry is our ability to integrate our components and to coordinate supervision of sub-suppliers through an effective supplier management system," said Martin Weiss, senior purchasing analyst at Behr. "eScout understands the significance of seamless integration and through its elegant ProcureScout, ConnectScout, and PayScout offerings, we will create the same efficiencies in our procurement processes that we enjoy in our own manufacturing systems."

The Behr Group plans an accelerated rollout of ProcureScout at its primary U.S. facility in Dayton, Ohio. Within Behr, the system will be known as C-Parts, and it will be used to purchase indirect materials such as hand tools, office supplies, small IT products and safety items. To accelerate deployment, Behr plans to leverage many of the existing eScout supplier relationships.