Supply Chain Projects Update

Part 1: Initiatives in the electronics, medical equipment, food and plastics industries  and beyond

Tempe, AZ  March 4, 2002  Can't keep up with all the supply chain enablement projects underway in your industry? iSource Business is here to lend you a hand.

This week iSourceOnline will bring you briefs on initiatives underway in a variety of companies and industries.

Today's supply chain enablement stories include vignettes from the worlds of electronics, medical equipment, food and plastics industries  and beyond.

·        Future Electronics, an industrial distributor of electronic components, has completed a three-month project to implement a content management solution from software company i2. The software, Discovery Knowledge Manager, is enables companies to publish and syndicate product information, enhance it with data from reference catalogs and upload this information in a standardized format so buyers can search and access it.

In combination with i2's industry-specific electronics reference catalog, Future is counting on the software to offer customers a one-stop source for all electronic component needs. Future Electronics, which says it is the only vertically integrated industrial distributor of electronic components supporting customers of all sizes worldwide, has 5,000 employees in 220 offices in 35 countries.

·        Thermo Labsystems and Thermo Clinical Labsystems, suppliers of analytical and monitoring instrumentation equipment and divisions of Thermo Electron, will implement product collaboration solutions from Agile Software in an effort to reduce new product introduction cycle times and streamline regulatory compliance processes. Thermo Labsystems produces such complex products as microplate instrumentation and optical biosensors, while Thermo Clinical Labsystems manufactures laboratory automation and clinical chemistry analyzer systems.

With multiple manufacturing facilities spanning five countries, Thermo Electron needed a global approach to managing its product collaboration process across multiple sites. The company will initially deploy Agile to about 350 users in its Life Sciences Business unit, including Thermo Labsystems based in Helsinki, and Thermo Clinical Labsystems based in Espoo, Finland. The deployment will ultimately be rolled out across five time zones, encompassing operations in Finland, Russia, China and India. The project will encompass key suppliers, since both divisions outsource the majority of the manufacturing sub assembly with the final assembly of the product managed at Thermo.

Using Agile, both divisions of Thermo Electron are looking for 20 to 30 percent reductions in the time to market for new products, which today can take up to two years. The divisions also expect to be able to better manage their regulatory submission cycle process by providing greater transparency into its product management process. Stonesoft e-solutions, an e-business integrator, will implement the Agile solution at the Thermo Electron divisions. Thermo Electron, based in Waltham, Mass., reported $2.2 billion in revenues in 2001 and employs approximately 12,000 people worldwide.

·        The North America Sweetener (NAS) business unit of agribusiness giant Cargill is tapping into an online logistics network to reduce its logistics spend through online execution and intra-company collaboration. The network, operated by Nistevo, provides Internet-hosted transportation execution capabilities.

"Improved collaboration within our supply chain is an important logistics strategy for Cargill," said Jeff Greavu, supply chain logistics manager at Cargill NAS.

"With Nistevo, we will be able to improve our interplant logistics performance through better inbound visibility and collaborative tours." Craig Probst, motor carrier logistics manager at Cargill NAS, said that Nistevo's technology would allow Cargill and its core carriers to realize more efficient business processes. "For example, we can jointly manage our existing contracts and rates on-line as well as recognize movements that will reduce non-revenue miles and improve asset utility," Probst said.

Cargill is an international marketer, processor and distributor of agricultural, food, financial and industrial products and services, with 90,000 employees in 57 countries.

·        Teknor Apex, a compounder of plastics and thermoplastic elastomers, recently signed up to implement a suite of enterprise applications from solution provider Intentia. Teknor Apex will implement virtually the entire spectrum of Movex applications, including the enterprise resource planning suite, advanced production planning & scheduling, business performance management, supply chain e-collaboration, corporate portal and e-business suites.

Implementation will begin immediately at Teknor Apex's corporate headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I., with rollout to additional sites beginning later this year. The software, when fully implemented, will serve approximately 800 users.

Privately held, 78-year-old Teknor Apex is comprised of seven business units that service domestic and international markets in the plastics, rubber and chemical industries. Teknor Apex employs 2,100 employees at eleven manufacturing locations, and has numerous sales and distribution sites across the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

·        Investment holding company British American Group has gone live with financial applications from Oracle, completing a 68-day implementation. Oracle is supplying the software as an online service Online Services  from the Oracle data center in the United States. Under this arrangement, Oracle installs and manages the software on its own servers and uses its own in-house professionals, while British American Group employees simply access the applications on the Internet.

British American, with interests ranging from financial services and media to travel and property development  as well as a presence in eight countries on four continents  was looking for a standardized set of applications to run its businesses across the globe. David Connoley, program manager for British American Group, said that Oracle's online solution was a good fit for his company's need for a flexible and scalable information technology (IT) environment to meet its acquisition and growth requirements.

British American selected Online Services to deliver the following Oracle Financials modules: General Ledger, Payables, Receivables, Cash Management, Assets, Internet Expenses, Financial Analyzer and Property Manager, as well as Purchasing and Projects. Approximately one hundred users will access the applications via a standard Web browser.