New Solutions Wrap-up, Part 2

Mercator upgrades EAI offerings; Strategic Systems, Straightline Source roll out solutions for metals sector

Tempe, AZ  October 8, 2002  New product announcements continued to roll out of the supply chain solution provider community this week, with Mercator Software debuting the latest version of its enterprise application integration software, Strategic Systems unveiling its supply chain optimization tool and the equally alliterative Straightline Source trotting out a service for managing a company's steel supply.

Mercator Upgrades Integration Solution

Mercator debuted the latest version of its eponymous integration solution, adding a variety of new business-to-business expansion options, extended support for industry standards and new capabilities for automating the control of complex business processes.

Mercator 6.7 supports Web services and J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA), and it incorporates Mercator's Web Services Integration Package and the JCA Gateway, released this summer.

According to the provider, the new version enables RosettaNet implementations, supporting the management of processes (PIPs) and partners; supports electronic data interchange (EDI) over the Internet (AS2); extends B2B security options with the addition of S/MIME and PGP support; supports the integration of business processes into Web services; and adds support for integration with Java Messaging Systems (JMS).

Version 6.7 includes new options for invocation of Mercator operations via JCA, CORBA, COM and other integration products that require more robust integration support, and it provides better support for customers with core SAP applications, Mercator said.

The provider is also introducing new packaged integration solutions for the healthcare; manufacturing, retail and distribution; and financial services markets this quarter.

Strategic Systems Unveils Reverse-trim Software

Meanwhile, Strategic Systems International unveiled its new reverse-trim software, SmartTRIM·RT, targeting the seemingly insignificant trim waste lying about on the shop floor that can add up to millions of lost annual revenue for roll good processors.

Roll good processors trim standard coils or rolls of products such as steel, paper or plastic film to meet varying customer order specifications. SSI said its solution enables processors to minimize yield losses by allowing them to analyze order history and determine the optimal size for master coils and rolls.

As a system for trim optimization, slitter scheduling and trim history, the solution uses mathematical optimization methods to maximize production yield from coils or rolls of products. The solution analyzes order specifications and evaluates millions of possible solutions for trimming  known as slitting in some industries  a product coil or roll to minimize waste.

The software identifies the optimal solutions and provides manufacturing managers with visual representations of trim patterns and slitter setups, and it considers customer purchasing history and determines the optimal size of product coils or rolls to be procured in the future.

Roll goods managers can use this data analysis to better determine optimal size for product coils or rolls to be manufactured, which benefits downstream trimming or slitting, SSI said.

Straightline Source Rolls out Service to Manage Steel Supply

Finally, in more news from the metals sector, Straightline Source this week launched a new service to help companies manage their steel supply.

Straightline, the steel distribution division of United States Steel Corp., said its StraightEdge service could help companies lower the overall cost of materials procurement and management for processed steel products by improving supply chain management.

According to the solution provider, the service allows customers to view information related to their contractual purchase commitments and execute releases against the terms of the contract. Customers can electronically submit forecast information for each of their parts, and all information is assembled according to the customer's part file numbers.

The service provides historical views of material usage versus the customer's forecast, along with visibility into the finished goods inventory Straightline maintains and steel on reserve for future orders. Customers access StraightEdge online through the Straightline Web site.

The solution is intended to make it easier and more efficient for Straightline customers to forecast their steel needs and manage the flow of steel into their operations to meet their production requirements on a just-in-time basis. The provided tools are designed to help companies reduce on-hand inventory levels and eliminate the potential for stock outages.

The StraightEdge suite of services is offered to customers that buy on contract with Straightline.

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