Sun Tries Web-based Planning Environment

Uses Manugistics solution to extend planning visibility to multi-tier supply chain

Rockville, MD Ñ March 3, 2003 Ñ Sun Microsystems has deployed solutions from Manugistics to provide a Web-based planning environment for its global network of external manufacturers and suppliers.

Sun worked with Manugistics to build real-time visibility for more than 100 products throughout Sun's global supplier network, with the goal of reducing the planning cycle time from weeks to days. Using the solution, Sun can provide both internal and partner planners with immediate updates to plans, commitments and exceptions.

"The Manugistics collaborative planning solutions extend across Sun's multi-tiered supply chain, helping Sun aggregate planning data into a single view that is shared in real time with our key partners," said Ted Dagnese, Sun's director of supply planning.

Dagnese said Sun is already beginning to realize benefits from using the solution, including improving the company's ability to reduce inventory, control costs and improve its overall operational efficiency.

Vinay Asgekar, an analyst with technology consultancy AMR Research, noted in a February 19 research alert that with a supply chain that extends three levels deep, Sun needed a collaborative process that could bring all the levels together and expedite planning lead times.

"To achieve this, it needed a tool that would facilitate uniform and auditable multi-tier communication with its supplier base," Asgekar wrote. "It turned to Manugistics' Collaborative Supply Planning product because of its flexibility and ease of configuration. The tool is designed to be a centralized collaborative platform in which extended supply chain partners can share demand and supply plans, commitments, orders and shipments while managing exceptions and events."

The project, which Sun initiated out of its Six Sigma quality initiative, took eight months from requirement definition to go-live, according to Asgekar.

Gregg Westerbeck, vice president of communications and high technology solutions for Manugistics, said that the solution provider was looking to build on Sun's early gains from using the solution to extend the reach of the collaboration tool.