Supply Chain Enablement Roundup

Projects at Honeywell CPG, F. Schumacher, Covansys and Syngenta cover SRM, SCM, CRM and EAI

Tempe, AZ  Just a week into the new quarter and companies are already writing checks for major technology implementations. Here are the latest deals to be announced by Honeywell's Consumer Products Group, fabrics and furnishings supplier F. Schumacher & Co., consulting firm Covansys Corp. and agribusiness company Syngenta.

Honeywell CPG Chooses Apexon

Honeywell International's Consumer Products Group (CPG) has selected a solution from Apexon to manage its supplier relationships, the solution provider announced this week.

A $1.0 billion division of Honeywell International, the Consumer Products Group manufactures and markets consumer-branded automotive products for the aftermarket consumer through retail channels, as well as for automotive equipment manufacturers and installers.

The diversity of the company's product line and customer base mandates complex supplier operations, with more than 400 Honeywell CPG suppliers serving multiple plants conducting discrete and process manufacturing. Traditionally these complex supplier operations have been managed through manual, siloed processes, creating long cycle times and high administrative costs for managing the supply base.

Apexon says its Web-based supply relationship management (SRM) software, Apexon3, will provide a single interface for managing Honeywell CPG's day-to-day business processes with suppliers of all types and sizes.

Honeywell will use Apexon3's integrated applications to manage quality, inventory replenishment and other critical business processes with suppliers. Apexon3 will integrate with multiple instances of different enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems  including JD Edwards and Avalon  in use today across multiple plants.

In implementing Apexon3, Honeywell CPG is hoping to generate savings by reducing material costs and inventory, improving quality and productivity, and tracking and managing supplier charge-backs.

"Our ability to be responsive to our customers depends on how well we work together with our suppliers," said Dave Lundstedt, president of the Honeywell division. "With Apexon3, we are creating consistent, efficient supplier processes across our many plants and product lines, which will enable us to provide our customers with lower costs and shorter lead times."

F. Schumacher & Co. Goes with J.D. Edwards

Fabrics and furnishings supplier F. Schumacher & Co. has implemented a host of applications from enterprise software giant J.D. Edwards.

F. Schumacher is a 113-year-old, privately held supplier of home furnishing products. The company's client base numbers some 40,000 strong and includes everything from interior designers to such large chain stores as Target, Home Depot and J.C. Penney, as well as customers abroad.

The company is moving to replace its current array of systems at its 23 locations in the United States and abroad, including more than 40 legacy and customized applications running on 100 servers. The disparate systems have posed a challenge in keeping many of F. Schumacher's business units and departments in sync.

In addition, because the company's clients fall into five channels, F. Schumacher sought software that would help it meet each channel's unique needs more effectively and efficiently. Moreover, F. Schumacher is seeking to decrease excess inventory levels by more accurately gauging demand, promising product availability and estimating shipping dates.

"F. Schumacher & Co. has reached a point where we need collaborative IT software to facilitate our business goals rather than simply perform a series of individual tasks," said Andre' Duncan, vice president and CIO at F. Schumacher. "Our current disparate systems do not synchronize well enough to provide the kind of companywide visibility and high level of customer service for which we're striving."

To those ends, the company has licensed J.D. Edwards 5 enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain, customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence applications.

F. Schumacher's package of applications will include a core that is standard in its industry including warehouse management, financials, advanced inventory management and sales order management. It will add J.D. Edwards' supply chain applications, including the demand planning module, to solve the problem of stocking the right levels of inventory. Meanwhile, it will be the first in its industry to integrate traditional CRM modules such as sales force automation and customer self-service into its supply chain operations, which will enable sales and customer service representatives to accurately promise products and delivery times.

F. Schumacher is looking to the J.D. Edwards infrastructure to help the company lower long-term total cost of ownership of business process maintenance through flexible applications, reduce inventory through better planning and more accurate forecasting

Also, the new J.D. Edwards solution will help F. Schumacher's inventory managers and sales representatives overcome their current planning, forecasting and delivery challenges by stocking "smartly" rather than heavily stockpiling, and the applications will assist them in making quicker and more accurate commitment of product availability and delivery dates.

"Our customers need to know what we have and when we can get it to them," said Duncan. "They make their business decisions based on this information. This places added pressure on us to be accurate and timely, which makes the real-time component of pre-integrated products a necessity in our business."

F. Schumacher licensed the J.D. Edwards products in late June, with the goal of being live with all products by the end of 2003.

Covansys Standardizes on

Global technology and consulting firm Covansys Corp. has standardized on for its CRM solution.

Headquartered in Michigan, Covansys has 4,700 employees at 23 locations worldwide. The company tapped to provide a single source for all sales and customer information through a Web-based system.

"As a global company with a geographically dispersed sales force, Covansys needed a centralized sales information tool that people could access at any time, no matter where they are in the world," said Brad Gragert, vice president of corporate sales at Covansys. " delivers the international sales functionality we need without the high costs and lengthy implementation process associated with traditional software CRM systems.

"'s lead tracking capabilities also better enable Covansys to meet the needs of prospective clients," Gragert added, "while providing us with an objective tool for calculating the [return on investment] for lead generation campaigns."

Syngenta Selects SeeBeyond

Finally, agribusiness company Syngenta has selected an integration solution from SeeBeyond to serve as its global strategic infrastructure in a bid to enable real-time, end-to-end business process management of its supply chain activities.

The market leader in crop protection and third in the high-value commercial seeds market, with total sales of $6.3 billion last year, Syngenta employs more than 20,000 people in more than 50 countries.

Syngenta will use SeeBeyond's Business Integration Suite to deliver the integration solutions needed to support its business processes. The project will be rolled out on a global basis and will integrate all applications operating internally across regions and departments, as well as link external suppliers and business partners.

Graham Heath, information technology manager of Syngenta, explained that the company is counting on the integration solution to provide a "real-time enterprise infrastructure that will seamlessly connect multiple applications and guarantee delivery, both inside and outside the firewall."