HON Selects Manugistics

Office furniture producer seeks streamlined operations; Manu announces speed boost on Sun systems

Tempe, AZ  December 18, 2002  HON INDUSTRIES has selected software company Manugistics to provide supply chain solutions to optimize the company's transportation network throughout North America in a bid to streamline operations and enhance customer service by increasing the visibility of on-time delivery performance.

One of Forbes' 400 "Best Big Companies" for 2002, $1.6 billion HON provides a variety of home and workplace products under such brands as HON, Allsteel, Gunlocke, Heatilator and Heat-n-Glo. The company, based in Muscatine, Iowa, is the largest U.S. producer of mid-market office furniture and the third largest office furniture manufacturer in the United States.

HON has been seeking opportunities to improve its efficiency in the area of transportation and logistics to reduce costs and improve customer service, according to Jerald Dittmer, vice president and chief financial officer at HON.

"We anticipate that the solutions provided through Manugistics will further enhance our customer service capabilities and strengthen our competitive position," Dittmer said in a statement.

Rockville, Md.-based Manugistics provides supply chain management and pricing optimization solutions in a variety of vertical markets, from retail chains to the U.S. Department of Defense.

In other Manugistics news, the software company said it has joined with hardware specialist Sun Microsystems to fine tune its applications for Sun platforms in order to boost performance and lower the cost of entry for enterprisewide fulfillment and replenishment planning systems for retail customers.

This week the two companies announced that performance results for Manugistics NetWORKS Fulfillment 7.0 on the Sun configuration netted a 22 percent performance improvement over previous benchmarks on other, higher-priced platforms.

During recent testing at Sun Microsystems Enterprise Technology Center Garrison Labs, engineers from Sun and Manugistics completed a 42-day stock-keeping replenishment plan of 12.4 million stock keeping units (SKUs) in one hour and 22 minutes. The performance test determines throughput for complex retail supply chain management.

Engineers calculated more than nine million SKUs or 381 million planning elements per hour, results that are 22 percent greater than previous non-Sun performance results per processor and on an overall throughput basis.

Sun engineers tested the retail solution on 32 UltraSPARC III Cu processors running at 900 MHz on a Sun Fire 6800 server and a Sun Fire V880 server, with Sun StorEdge T3 disk arrays. The Sun configuration used approximately one-tenth of the memory and approximately half of the storage used in a competitor's previous test.

The two companies said the Sun configuration has a significantly lower cost than competing platform configurations. Both companies said that the results were aided by Manugistics' leveraging of Java technology and intensive engineering collaboration and performance tuning.