2005 Supply & Demand Chain 100 Case Study  Lucent Technologies/Agile Software

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Lucent Technologies implements a product collaboration solution to enable a virtual supply network

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Lucent Technologies implements a product collaboration solution to move from a vertical manufacturing model to a virtual manufacturing model and provide shared visibility of the product record to partners and suppliers, enabling a virtual supply network.

Company: Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ)
Company Size: Large
Company Sector: Other Manufacturing (Telecom)
Area(s) of Enablement: Product Lifecycle Management
Enabler: Agile Software (San Jose, Calif.).

SDCE 100 2005Case Study: Lucent Technologies, a global supplier of communications networking equipment, designs and delivers the systems, services and software that drive next-generation communication networks. As a global leader in the development and manufacture of telecommunications equipment, Lucent owned and controlled virtually all aspects of the design, production, implementation and support of its equipment.

But in 2000 the company announced that it was embarking on a new approach to manufacturing, one that leveraged the growing capabilities of electronic manufacturing service suppliers. This would allow Lucent to focus its considerable resources in the area where it could add the most value, namely the development and implementation of advanced networking solutions. It also dramatically changed the way in which Lucent developed and launched its products.

However, by this time Lucent's business units had long established processes for parts numbering, designing products and locally communicating product information. Their practices were, in many cases, localized and unique to the products being built. While those practices had been successful in the past, they would need to change if the company was going to move from a vertical manufacturing business model to a virtual manufacturing model.

Partnering on Collaboration

Consolidating Lucent's product design, structure, description and part information into a standard format for supply chain-wide visibility and accessibility was essential to achieving production quality, volume discounts and product design standardization it expected to gain by outsourcing.

A technological solution was required for Lucent to move from being a vertically integrated manufacturer to a virtually integrated manufacturer. To assist with this transformation, Lucent turned to Agile Software. The result? A partnership between the companies that helped Lucent address the changes in its product development process and supply chain resulting from its transition to a virtual manufacturing environment.

Agile and Lucent worked together to implement Agile Product Collaboration to assist Lucent's move from a vertical to a virtual manufacturing model and provide shared visibility of the product record by the partners and suppliers, enabling a virtual supply network.

Objectives Met

According to Agile, implementing Product Collaboration enabled Lucent to better analyze and manage aggregated projected direct material spend. These solutions helped Lucent integrate its contract-manufacturing partners into its new virtual supply chain and to coordinate product information throughout the manufacturing process.

With Agile Product Collaboration, Lucent realized the following objectives:

  • Managed 99 percent of product data in the Agile solution after consolidating data from seven legacy systems.

  • Implemented a Web-centric B2B solution to accelerate transformation to a fully outsourced business model.

  • Implemented a single solution across all Lucent business units to support manufacturing collaboration that would eliminate disparate systems and provide a streamlined, disciplined process and infrastructure for data management.

  • Gained the ability to approach its suppliers with one voice instead of multiple voices coming from the various businesses within Lucent. One voice meant a single part numbering scheme (LPN) and a global Approved Manufacturers List (AML).

  • Gained visibility to the latest data and a single location for the product data record.

Moving forward, Lucent is increasing the user base to integrate and partner with more manufacturers, as well as expanding the scope of the application to include design collaboration with external design partners.

For more stories of successful supply chain implementation, read the "2005 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100" article in the June/July 2005 issue of the magazine. Also watch the Today's Headlines section of SDCExec.com every Tuesday and Thursday for more in depth best practices drawn from this year's Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100.