Total Eclipz for Budd

Auto supplier expands use of supply chain management software

Northville, MI -- March 7, 2002 -- Tier-one auto supplier The Budd Co. has announced plans to expand its implementation of supply chain management software from solution provider Future Three.

Budd, which first implemented Future Three's Internet-based Eclipz system within its Plastics division, will now begin to deploy the system for use within the firm's Stamping and Frame Division, starting with the Detroit Stamping Plant.

Budd Plastics selected Eclipz to extend both their recently implemented SAP environment and their electronic requisition system. With a vision of streamlining the order and fulfillment processes, Budd began mapping out its current process, paying close attention to questions such as "How do we take cost out of the transaction?"

With this in mind, Budd Co. began to rationalize the events that take place in the "order-to-cash" cycle. Budd's goal was to develop a methodology that could be extended outside the organization as well as used internally. Once this was accomplished, Budd would be able to reduce supply chain cost and human resources. Said David Bayus, Budd Plastics division materials manager: "We wanted to think outside the box and design a solution that could be used by both our production material and MRO suppliers."

In looking at solutions, Budd had specific areas where the company was looking to achieve costs savings, including eliminating such manual processes as faxing releases, reducing telephone costs and the effort required to communicate changes in demand, reducing manual data entry during the receiving process and being able to send data in a format consistent with a particular supplier's capabilities.

Future Three said Eclipz allows Budd to transmit releases and purchase orders electronically over the Internet to suppliers, and changes in demand are similarly transmitted and supplier awareness is monitored through the software. The solution also enables a "scan to receive" process by providing suppliers with downloadable barcode label templates. The templates are automatically filled with shipment data at the time a shipment is created within the software, and the supplier can print these labels to use with shipments. And finally, all release, purchase order, advance ship notification and receiving advice data can be transmitted and received in ANSI EDI, UN EDIFACT, XML or CSV formats.

In addition, an "event management console" provides both buyer and seller with views of current demand, late orders, shipment status and other pertinent trading partner information.

Budd Company's initial implementation of Eclipz began by conducting a supplier survey to better determine communication and business process capabilities. Budd Plastics then selected a small number of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) suppliers to its Carey, Ohio facility for a pilot using the Eclipz service.

Production use of Eclipz began in late July 2001. Budd Plastics and Future Three consultants developed a matrix to track the objectives and report on the results, and early results were sufficiently positive that Budd increased the number of participating MRO suppliers and added production parts suppliers. The implementation scope also expanded to include all four of the Plastics' Division plants.

A division of Germany's ThyssenKrupp Automotive, The Budd Co., with annual revenues of $2.6 billion US dollars, employs 13,000 people in 39 facilities worldwide. Budd produces body components from sheet metal, composites and aluminum, as well as chassis frames and modules, castings, prototypes, cold weather products and air bag components.

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