Airbus Gearing up Sup@irWorld

Aircraft manufacturer taps i2 for supply chain solutions as it moves to gain global view of supplier base

Las Vegas — May 13, 2003 — European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has gone live with the latest supply chain solutions from i2 for its Sup@irWorld integration initiative, i2 announced this week.

Airbus, like other multinational organizations, faces the complex challenges inherent in a global supply chain, and the manufacturer is working to deliver on its vision of presenting "one face" to its suppliers for all procurement related processes.

Sup@irWorld, one of Airbus' top integration projects, aims to provide Web-based collaborative tools to enhance working efficiency between Airbus and suppliers. This project intends to cover all exchanges for flying and non-flying materials, goods and services, and it represents the underlying layer behind both the Airbus supplier portal and the procurement channel of the employee portal. It will act as both the 'backbone' of the Procurement channel in Airbus people and the Airbus supply chain.

The principal drivers for the project include the current economic environment and the need to share risk and costs across the supply chain. Airbus, like other organizations, is pushing for operations to be more efficient, with less administrative cost, and for organizations to be more integrated and to improve information sharing.

The sharing of risk and cost in the aircraft manufacturing process is also an essential aspect. All the actors involved in the supply chain need to have better visibility in order to take advantage of their ability to anticipate and better manage risk.

Sup@irWorld is comprised of four domains:

  • Buyside: Automating and simplifying the procurement process for general procurement (from requisition to payment).

  • Supply Chain: Automating and securing forecast, shipment and invoicing process along with sharing and event information and collaboration to reduce risks.

  • Sourcing: Request for quote (RFQ) and auction to automate and simplify the sourcing process and enhance negotiation leverage.

  • Foundation: A single, common Airbus referential for all supplier related data.

The i2 go-lives took place in two of Sup@irWorld's domains: Foundation and Supply Chain. Foundation is live on i2 SRM Strategic Sourcing while Supply Chain is live on i2 Supply Chain Collaboration. Airbus is one of the first i2 customers to implement products from i2's latest product release, i2 Six.

i2 said that its SRM solution forms a cornerstone of the overall Sup@irworld project and has been able to provide Airbus, for the first time, a consolidated and unique view of its supplier base.

More than 70 percent of Airbus' costs are incurred through external suppliers and the Foundation domain holds the relationship between multiple material masters and the Airbus Harmonized Material Group Structure in addition to consolidating data from multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used by Airbus national companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

Future plans include enabling services and processes across Airbus entities, customers and suppliers, providing multi-functional integration and decision-making support. The solution is also expected to extend and include all procurement activities associated with quality, customer service and contract related data.

Through the implementation of i2 SCM, Airbus has developed and deployed a real-time collaborative hub to collaborate along the supply chain with its suppliers spanning multiple national companies in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. This solution covers the expression of requirements through to the delivery of goods and the subsequent invoicing process and is designed to allow suppliers to collaborate on forecasts, purchase orders, advance shipment invoices and invoices. Additionally the company can monitor the progress of shipments after goods have left the supplier.