MindFlow Updates Sourcing Suite

Version 4.1 beefs up lane cost analysis features, global trade capabilities, analytics and reporting functionality

Plano, TX — March 11, 2003 — Sourcing solutions specialist MindFlow Technologies this week took the wraps off the latest version of its flagship suite, beefing up its applications' lane cost analysis features, adding global trade capabilities and expanding the solution's analytics and reporting functionality.

MindFlow offers a mix of software and services to help companies reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) for raw materials, components and other goods. The provider said that its Sourcing Suite version 4.1, comprised of five applications built on a common architecture, automates, integrates and optimizes sourcing processes spanning bid, category and enterprise management.

The five apps in the suite include Sourcing Analyzer, Bid Analyzer, Auction Analyzer, Spend Analyzer and Performance Analyzer. The modules provide extensive capabilities for building customized, complex requests for request-for-information, -proposal and -quotation (RFx), along with functionality for analyzing supplier bids and running through "what if" scenarios to determine TCO.

Version 4.1 improves the sourcing system's ability to design advanced global spending models, conduct reverse auctions and electronic RFx bidding events, determine the TCO and increase reporting and collaborative capabilities.

Specific upgrades in the new version include greater breakdown of lane cost analysis. Customers can now assess the impact of a variety of supplier ship-from/buyer ship-to combinations in their TCO models, including inland freight, ocean freight, import duties and world tariffs.

The improved request for quotation (RFQ) features are intended to allow companies to capture international commerce terms, payment terms and such other bid attributes as necessary lead-time to establish a more comprehensive TCO model during the RFQ process.

In addition, the solution facilitates more real-time collaboration during the RFQ process by allowing suppliers to view the impact of changes to ship-to locations, item demand, currency exchange rates and other components on the TCO model.

Expanded reporting features now enable companies to analyze spending across the entire enterprise, allowing them to better leverage their supply base across all business units and geographic operations. These reports also handle increased global components, including differing units of currency and measure as well as different bid types.

New security features in the solution are intended to protect against intentional and unintentional unauthorized access. The features include auto password expiration and encryption, automatic inactivity logoff and a variety of other conditions for user identification suspensions.

Finally, the solution includes updated sourcing models with strategies, tactics and best practices captured through category templates.

Privately held MindFlow focuses on the process, consumer packaged goods and high-tech manufacturing industries, with customers like Shell Oil, Wendy's and Dell, as well as Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC).

Technology consultancy Aberdeen Group, in a September 2002 research report co-authored by researchers Tim Minahan, Frances Howarth and Mark Vigoroso, wrote that the MindFlow solution "is distinguished by its ability to automate and enhance strategic sourcing programs using advanced optimization-based analytics and strategy modeling. The solution is most appropriate for organizations with complex, global sourcing and allocation requirements."