Who Let the Hogs Out?

BlackHog releases ClearLink 2.0

Sunnyvale, CA  April 16, 2001  BlackHog Inc., developers of the Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) application for buyers and suppliers in complex product manufacturing, today announced a new version of its BlackHog ClearLink application. BlackHog ClearLink 2.0 manages the collaboration, communication and transactional aspects of direct materials procurement by bringing disparate business processes together under a single shared application that addresses the full range of SRM issues  design, sourcing, planning and procurement.

BlackHog ClearLink 2.0 integrates with existing back-end systems, including ERP applications such as Oracle and SAP, scales to accommodate increasing demand, and comprises a complete SRM solution across enterprises for complex product manufacturing. A redesigned browser-based user interface gives version 2.0 improved performance and ease of use.

Jeff Donnelly, president and CEO of BlackHog, said, Integration with back-end systems enables a true closed-loop system between manufacturers and their suppliers. The newly designed user interface results in improved performance and makes it even easier to get started, especially for smaller suppliers where IT resources are constrained. With BlackHog ClearLink 2.0, we're greatly expanding the capabilities of our first product offering, while keeping the needs of both buyers and suppliers at the forefront of our development efforts.

Complex product manufacturing includes industries as diverse as semiconductor manufacturing equipment, analytical instruments, aerospace and industrial equipment. In most cases, complex product manufacturing is characterized by a high percentage of custom parts, high change rates, relatively low volumes, large numbers of suppliers and increasing reliance on outsourcing. These challenges mean that manufacturers can experience lower-than-standard productivity, higher-than-necessary materials costs, lengthy cycle times and missed shipment dates.

The BlackHog ClearLink application addresses these challenges by providing a shared database for common views of information, an independent database that keeps interim data in a neutral location, separate from the system of record, a shared application to standardize buyer-supplier business processes, and both human and machine interfaces to the application.

Security is paramount for an application designed to work across enterprises. BlackHog ClearLink has an object-level security model that provides a unique, self-managing security architecture. This means that users see only the information appropriate for their particular workflows. It also means that there is no requirement for costly administration of a conventional centralized access control system.

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