HAHT Offers Vertical Solutions

Demand chain specialist rolls out suites targeting chemical, consumer products and discrete manufacturing sectors

Raleigh, NC  January 31, 2003  Demand chain management specialist HAHT Commerce this week released three industry-specific solutions targeting the chemical, consumer products and discrete manufacturing sectors, adding functionality for companies in each vertical on top of the provider's flagship suite.

HAHT offers sell-side solutions for order management, product and brand information management, customer services, business intelligence and channel management, providing software intended to reduce the complexity of coordinating and managing customer-facing business processes across multiple channels.

The provider contends that while manufacturers in different industries share some common needs, they each have their own demand chain priorities. Consumer products manufacturers may be more concerned with managing and sharing branded product information, for example, while a typical commodity chemicals company might be more interested in increasing market share via segmentation and customer service levels, and discrete manufacturers might focus more on their channel partners than the other two.

The provider says its new Consumer Products, Chemicals and Discrete Manufacturing suites, all based on HAHT's core Commerce Suite 7.1 technology, will allow companies in these industries to pursue their demand chain initiatives in line with the operational priorities of their own sector.

Specifically, the functionality in the Consumer Products Suite gives companies in this industry the ability to define multiple packaging configurations for each product, allowing them to manage complex packaging relationships. A new product introduction workflow process can help decrease time to launch, HAHT says, while electronic-to-paper print controls can streamline hard-copy product data sheets and catalog creation.

The solution also offers workgroup-level security, edit controls and validation rules for product information, as well as UCCnet Global Registry support for item synchronization and market groups to simplify maintenance.

The Chemicals Suite offers quote management tools to help shorten the length of time it takes to reach a price agreement with global customers during negotiations; auto-replenishment based on collaboration, events and order history, designed to reduce errors and improve customer service; and "FaxPO" functionality that automatically converts faxed purchase orders directly into an enterprise resource planning system in order to reduce errors and processing costs.

This suite also supports Chemical Industry Data Exchange (CIDX) 3.0 Chem eStandards to provide for greater integration options, and improved business intelligence features are intended to allow for better analysis of sales channels and customer segmentation.

Finally, the Discrete Manufacturing Suite offers catalog customization for channel partners using dynamic templates and partner-defined fields, co-branded site functionality that lets channel partners customize manufacturer's content, channel-defined product bundles to support collaboration and optimized shipping-point models tied to individual channel partners.

This suite also provides functionality to do line-item order history searches and personalized, context-sensitive e-mail alerts to save channel partner time when completing transactions.

The suites are modular, so a company can implement the solutions on a piece-by-piece basis rather than putting in the entire suite at once. HAHT also offers industry-specific implementation services to along with the verticalized solutions.

Rowland Archer, chief technical officer for HAHT, said that as early as 2000 the provider began to work on creating verticalized programs to accommodate the different ways that chemical, discrete and consumer products companies go to market.

This latest move, grouping HAHT's modules into logical suites for specific industries, allowed the provider to offer functionality that makes sense for a particular company's sector and, perhaps equally as important, to exclude that functionality that doesn't make sense for the company's industry. "We looked at how we talk about the products and how we could help customers understand which groupings of products make sense for them," Archer said.