From Collaboration to Integration ...

Latest customer wins highlight integration, collaboration and more

Tempe, AZ  December 17, 2001  With the New Year looming, e-business solution providers continue to announce new customer wins at a brisk pace.

Here is a roundup of the latest news from Baan, Datasweep, Framework Technologies, GE Global eXchange Services, Manugistics (with Trilogy), MerciaLincs and webMethods.

·        Plant Management: Grupo Compania Azucarera Hondurena & Baan

Grupo Compania Azucarera Hondurena, the largest sugar producer in Honduras, will use Newton, Mass-based Baan Process Solutions' PROTEAN version 3.2 enterprise software for the company's four sugar processing facilities. PROTEAN is an integrated software suite designed to help process companies manage plant operations. The suite can manage a single plant or a network of production facilities, and it supports production, inventory management, asset management, procurement, planning, scheduling, customer order management and financial capabilities. Carlos Alberto Mendieta, chief financial officer of Grupo Compania Azucarera Hondurena, said his company tapped PROTEAN because the software was very process focused in its design, and its open architecture better positioned the company for integration. The company was also drawn by the software's cost-reduction model, important in a commodity-driven business like the sugar industry, according to Alberto Mendieta.

·        Collaborative Manufacturing: PEMSTAR & Datasweep

Electronics manufacturing services provider PEMSTAR is expanding its use of collaborative manufacturing solutions from San Jose, Calif.-based Datasweep following an initial implementation earlier this year. PEMSTAR plans to deploy Datasweep's Advantage to several manufacturing operations around the world that build complex electronic products for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in a variety of industries. The software will provide process control and component-level traceability capabilities to meet or exceed customer requirements. PEMSTAR will also use Datasweep's integrated data mart, analytics and Web reporting tools to determine the cause of complex quality issues and other key performance indicators. The manufacturer will use the software to generate reports for both internal stakeholders and external trading partners. Allen Berning, chairman and CEO of PEMSTAR, said his company was looking to use the software to improve its ramp to production volume, to reduce costs and to provide its OEM customers the visibility and increased control they need to more effectively manage outsourced operations.

·        Collaborative Development: ENSCO & Framework Technologies

Technology research and development (R&D) company ENSCO is set to use a collaborative project management solution from Burlington, Mass.-based Framework Technologies to streamline project management and execution and to collaborate more effectively with customers throughout the research and development process. Privately owned ENSCO, which develops engineering and technology solutions for customers in a variety of industries, currently is deploying Framework's ActiveProject within its Strategic Business Development division. The software lets a company set up a collaboration portal through which project managers can publish and share information across IT (information technology), product development, market research and other departments, thereby allowing ongoing online collaboration amongst project staff. ENSCO is looking to enable better project-related decision-making, reduce its project and R&D costs, and improve customer service. The first project using the software will involve an extranet for the Federal Railroad Administration, which ENSCO is helping to streamline the scheduling, tracking, and maintenance management of track inspection cars that travel the U.S. railroad network daily.

·        Integration: Honda Foundry & GE Global eXchange Services

Engine part manufacturer Honda Foundry Co., part of the Honda Group, will use supply chain integration software from GE Global eXchange Services (GXS) to integrate more closely with Honda Motor while retaining its existing back-office systems. Gaithersburg, Md.-based GXS' Application Integrator data transformation software will enable Honda Foundry to receive orders over the Internet in such formats as electronic data interchange (EDI), and then convert those orders into proprietary formats compatible with its back-office systems. Honda Foundry is looking to use this conversion capability to save time and reduce errors associated with manual order entry, while concurrently avoiding costly modifications to its order processing systems.

·        Customer Relationship Management: Manugistics, Trilogy & Nissan

The North American division of Japanese automaker Nissan will use a demand-chain solution from Austin, Texas-based Trilogy and Rockville, Md.-headquartered Manugistics Group to power its Integrated Customer Ordering Network (ICON) project. With its order-to-delivery approach  which includes build-to-demand, locate-to-order and build-to-order capabilities  Nissan expects its global supply chain and manufacturing operations to be more responsive to its customers' needs. With ICON, Nissan plans to enhance the ability of its Web customers to locate their desired cars and receive a guaranteed delivery date through a Nissan or Infiniti dealer. "This Web-based solution will help establish closer ties between the manufacturer, dealers and customers," said Steve Silver, director of e-business for Nissan North America. ICON will incorporate Trilogy's Intelligent Transaction solution, which provides online vehicle configuration, pricing, vehicle location and order creation. The Manugistics solution will enable Nissan to create a Web-based network linking Nissan global production facilities with dealerships throughout North America. The solution is designed to reduce customer order-to-delivery time by linking manufacturing facilities to customer-level demand.

·        Forecasting & Planning: Energizer & Mercia Software

To keep its demand chain going and going and going, battery company Energizer Holdings is expanding its use of a demand and supply chain planning solution from Mercia Software. Energizer initially purchased the MerciaLincs solution in July 2001 to be used in the United States for promotions analysis to drive Energizer's financial planning. Upon further review of global business processes, Energizer decided to expand its forecasting capabilities in Mexico with the additional purchase of demand planning, strategic inventory planning and replenishment planning modules from Mercia. Energizer will use MerciaLincs in Mexico for forecasting, inventory planning, scheduling, and replenishment to its distribution centers. "We set out to find a tool that could be used to raise the level of planning within our foreign affiliates as well as enable us to integrate the results with our other planning systems to support regional and global planning," said Bill Bennett, manager of logistics systems at Energizer. "We expect to realize an improvement in service to the local market, reduction in inventory and more efficient planning with the affiliate's suppliers due to the improved forecasting and inventory planning processes supported by Mercia."

·        Integration: Boise Cascade Office Products & webMethods

Boise Cascade Office Products has deployed an e-business integration platform from Fairfax, Va.-based webMethods with the objective of increasing the speed and efficiency of its business transactions with its 10,000-plus trading partners and customers. Boise implemented the webMethods integration platform to automate the procurement process for its customers. The solution provider says the platform has provided Boise with greater visibility into the enterprise by integrating disparate business-critical applications, while effectively expanding the current level of service and support to customers. For example, the webMethods integration platform established a direct connection between Boise and its customers, enabling information exchange to occur in real-time and synchronizing business information, such as inventory levels, which can result in more accurate and timely order processing. In addition to the enhanced ability to integrate with its customers and the improved visibility, Boise is aiming to achieve cost savings from reduced value-added network (VAN) charges and other costs associated with maintaining EDI systems. Integration should also help Boise eliminate various manual data entry processes, reducing costs and decreasing the frequency of human error.