Heavy-duty Improvements

Caterpillar joins with IBM, i2 to improve production planning and resource scheduling.

Peoria, IL  September 7, 2001  Caterpillar Inc., IBM Corp. and i2 Technologies Inc. today announced an initiative to integrate Caterpillar and its suppliers' business systems to improve the coordination of production planning and resource scheduling.

The Value Chain Accelerator Program, developed by Caterpillar and supported by IBM and i2, focuses on strengthening the company's value chain for the heavy equipment and engine industries. The Program leverages e-business tools that facilitate measurable bottom-line savings for Caterpillar and its suppliers.

Caterpillar's main goal for its suppliers is to enable them to reduce process costs in the areas of new product development and schedule execution. Through improved supply chain visibility, suppliers can realize production efficiencies, which enables more accurate capacity planning. In addition, advanced insight into customer demand can also enable suppliers to procure and stock materials that Caterpillar and other customers require.

Tom Cooper, i2 executive vice president, said, "The traditional marketplace is being redefined. Companies are no longer measured solely on market share within a geography, but increasingly on the effectiveness of their supply chain against their competitors."

Bruce Schuver, director of materials and procurement services for Caterpillar, believes the Accelerator Program is what Caterpillar needs to be able to provide those services to its customers. The Value Chain Accelerator tools will be the vital communication link with our strategic suppliers and their supply chain," said.

The Value Chain Accelerator program will also enable Caterpillar suppliers access to the supply chain expertise of IBM Global Services and i2. The program will leverage IBM's consulting and integration services and i2's supply chain management solutions. Solution packages will also include IBM infrastructure, middleware, hardware, and IBM ASP/hosting services.

"Our relationship with suppliers starts with a readiness assessment, when IBM and i2 help company executives decide which strategy and solution set is right for their business," said Bruce Anderson, managing principal of IBM Global Services' Industrial Sector practice.  He added that his company's experience would help Caterpillar's suppliers to reach a goal of improved supply chain visibility.