MatrixOne positioned the new solution as part of a new supplier relationship management (SRM) strategy, with the new Sourcing Central application adding strategic e-sourcing, negotiation and quote management capabilities to the provider's Value Chain Portfolio suite.
The new solution, in conjunction with MatrixOne's core eMatrix product collaboration platform, promises the same types of benefits as other providers' e-sourcing applications lower overall sourcing costs and reduced sourcing cycle times along with reduced product cycle times and increased supplier involvement in the product development process, reflecting MatrixOne's background in product collaboration.
Sourcing Central offers such features as request for quote (RFQ) templates, line-item and attribute management, and change control capabilities; association of line items to part or bill-of-material (BOM) attribute information in eMatrix or via integration to other BOM management systems; negotiation capabilities with multiple RFQ round management and tracking of historical data; and management of standard contract terms and conditions and association with quality plans and templates.
Other features in Supplier Central include supplier qualification, development and certification; supplier scorecards; and product quality plans that allow companies to collaborate with suppliers to improve product quality.
Auto industry e-marketplace Covisint will be marketing MatrixOne's Sourcing Central as Quote Manager, according to Bob Matulka, quote management lead for Covisint. "With the addition of these applications, further extending the MatrixOne Value Chain Portfolio, we are able to provide an even more flexible solution to meet our specific customer needs," Matulka said.
MatrixOne also rolled out new features to its Team Central collaboration application, including improved collaborative services for organizing and providing secure access to content and documents in a virtual workspace; view and markup of 2D/3D data and other online conference capabilities; and review and approval workflow mechanisms, along with other improvements to enable designers, engineers, buyers and suppliers to collaborate early in the product lifecycle.
The latest move by MatrixOne comes as other supply chain solution providers are looking to cover an increasing range of functionality in their offerings. Earlier this month e-business solution provider PeopleSoft and collaboration player Agile Software agreed to integrate the former's supply chain management and customer relationship management solutions with Agile's Product collaboration applications.
Separately, supply chain software provider Manugistics hinted at its user conference this month that it was considering acquiring one of the current collaborative design solution providers as a way of adding a product lifecycle management layer to the company's solutions framework.
Commenting on the combination of SRM and product collaboration functionality, Karen Peterson, vice president and research director for supply chain management at technology consultancy Gartner Group, said: "An enterprise's ability to gain competitive advantage and quickly develop innovative products includes strong process management across the product lifecycle and early, tight interaction with suppliers. The integration of supplier relationship management functionality into product lifecycle management solutions will support these process changes."