The Electronic Industry's Suite Spot

eConnections unveils applications to support electronics supply chain

Pasadena, CA - November 5, 2001 - eConnections today released a suite of applications to support Web-based interaction with supply chain partners for companies in the electronics industry.

The suite includes the solution provider's quote management system for electronics parts, Quotility, as well as an application to forecast and manage demand, a supply planning component and software to support inventory management, including vendor-managed inventory (VMI), auto-replenishment and demand pull.

eConnections emphasizes its vision of a private supply chain community for electronics manufacturers and suppliers, with only authorized trading partners allowed to participate. The suite provides private, authorized connections to a community of 1500-plus electronics suppliers, distributors and manufacturers' representatives.

The solution provider, founded in May 2000, also stresses its roots in the electronics industry. The company's CEO, Rob Rodin, formerly headed $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor Marshall Industries and became president of global supply chain management and electronic commerce solutions at Avnet following Marshall's sale to the electronics manufacturer in 1999.

Rodin points out that eConnections has been endorsed by the National Electronics Distribution Association and the Electronic Representative Association, and he stresses that his company's solutions are intended to facilitate connections between existing trading partners rather than commoditize or disintermediate suppliers.

Commenting on the new solution, Rodin said, "The rollout of the eConnections Suite of extended supply chain intelligence solutions delivers on the promise that drove the foundation of our company - to harness the Web to enable all members of electronics supply chains to optimize their established business relationships and processes."

eConnections says its suite reduces the complexity of managing electronics companies' supply chains, speeds communications and streamlines processes to enable the companies to meet their principal challenge: getting the right product to the right place at the right time in the most efficient way possible. The results, the company says, are increased customer satisfaction and improved internal efficiencies.

Rodin said the suite is tailored to address the particular issues facing electronics companies, including compressed product lifecycles, the need to build to order and cut to fit, global outsourcing and unreliable forecasts - all of which results in propagation delays, overlapping communication flows, poor product allocation and other supply chain woes.

At least one analyst agrees with Rodin. Kneko Burney, director of e-business infrastructure and services with research firm Cahners In-Stat, said, "The eConnections suite offers the only Net-native solutions specifically designed for collaborative management of the electronics industry's global marketplace, which are widely backed by the industry community."

Components in the suite include Quote Manager, or Quotility, which debuted in January. eConnections' first offering, Quotility is an authorized quote management solution tailored for the electronics industry. It provides access to some 15 million part numbers, representing over $10 billion in available inventory from 1500­plus suppliers.

The solution provider says that use of the quote manager can reduce quote cycle time. Year-to-date, companies have put upwards of $3.5 billion in quotes through the system, according to eConnections.

eConnections says its Demand Manager improves the speed and accuracy of supply chain performance by delivering a single demand signal, providing dynamically updated analyses of constantly changing forecasts. A Supply Manager tool enables extended supply planning through collaborative, rules-based exception management and advanced optimization routines, the solution provider says. Users can model complex, multi-tier supply chain networks to detect dynamic supply-demand gaps.

The suite's Inventory Manager component enables collaborative inventory management to meet manufacturer and supplier goals for VMI, auto-replenishment and demand pull solutions.

Monthly subscription fees for the suite's components, which are available immediately, range up to $60,000 per module. Fees are based on the solutions chosen, complexity and number of users.