Associated Spring Selects SupplyWorks

Tier 1 automotive manufacturer using procurement solution to comply with Ford MMOG requirements

Bedford, MA — May 12, 2003 — Tier 1 automotive manufacturer Associated Spring has tapped a solution from SupplyWorks to automate the company's procurement operations and maximize supply chain visibility as it moves to comply with a Ford Motor Co. initiative requiring suppliers to synchronize with their supply base electronically.

A business unit of Barnes Group, Associated Spring is the largest manufacturer of precision springs in North America and one of the largest precision spring manufacturers in the world.

Associated Spring will comply with the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) Materials Management Operations Guideline (MMOG), which defines the elements that a customer/supplier connectivity system needs to have to efficiently manage the flow of productive materials and to share information, such as forecasts and schedules, advanced ship notices (ASN) and online records.

Although AIAG's MMOG is not yet an industry-wide standard, Ford has mandated that its suppliers comply with MMOG as a way of insuring the effectiveness of the company's tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers. "Compliance with the MMOG requirements is fundamentally a sound business practice, and our work with Ford requires that we achieve MMOG compliance as quickly as possible," said Ero Selander, vice president of procurement for Associated Spring.

The spring manufacturer is using SupplyWorks' MAX solution to meet the requirements. MAX combines procurement execution, planning and management, and the solution was designed to help discrete manufacturers optimize the flow of parts and materials and manage their relationships with key suppliers to achieve greater flexibility and responsiveness while driving down costs, according to the solution provider.

SupplyWorks said that MAX is designed for automotive manufacturers that need to rapidly connect electronically to their suppliers with minimal business process change. The solution supports common automotive procurement and materials scheduling processes, as well as prescribed MMOG compliance requirements.

MMOG functions supported by SupplyWorks include the electronic communication of material schedules to suppliers, providing suppliers with a cost-free mechanism for creating ASNs to improve visibility and streamlining receiving and payment processes.

"By streamlining and automating such tasks as supplier scheduling, inventory visibility and advanced ship notices, SupplyWorks will provide a scalable platform for Associated Spring to manage our supply base, manage our inventory and enhance our customer support as well as accommodate future growth," Selander said.

He added that Associated Spring selected the SupplyWorks solution for its quick deployment time, rapid payback and minimal business process change requirements. The manufacturer plans to use the solution to implement MMOG compliance in less than 90 days at several of its divisions.

"Large players in the automotive industry are making an aggressive push for tier 1 suppliers to comply with MMOG requirements," said Jeff Herrmann, CEO and president of SupplyWorks. "SupplyWorks MAX enables automotive manufacturers to quickly and easily implement MMOG requirements today, at a low risk to their business and minimal changes to their operations."