Metaldyne Tries QAD's VMI

Using QAD solution in bid to reduce inventory, speed replenishment through vendor-managed inventory

Carpinteria, CA — June 18, 2003 — Auto industry supplier Metaldyne is set to expand its use of a solution from QAD for vendor-managed inventory (VMI).

A leading global designer and supplier of metal-based components, assemblies and modules for the automotive industry, Metaldyne has begun using QAD's Supply Visualization solution to give its suppliers a secure, real-time view into its inventory so that they can monitor and replenish stock automatically.

The manufacturer also will begin testing QAD's Kanban Visualization this month as part of its efforts to better synchronize suppliers' deliveries and customers' needs, and minimize inventory holdings.

"Our first installation of QAD Supply Visualization proved fast to deploy and easily accommodated legacy applications," said Richard LeFebvre, vice president and chief information officer at Metaldyne. "QAD Supply Visualization has eliminated stock-outs and cut raw material inventory so that we are able to respond to our customers quickly, without paying for excess holdings."

Metaldyne was formed through the consolidation of three companies. It has 50 facilities in 11 countries that serve global automotive manufacturers and their top-tier suppliers, bringing in annual revenues in excess of $1.4 billion.

The company deployed QAD's MFG/PRO solution at several plants, where its ability to automate manufacturing functions and to support multiple languages and currencies contribute to greater efficiency. Metaldyne sought to implement VMI processes to further minimize its operating costs and compete more effectively for increasingly outsourced module design, production and assembly contracts.

"Supply chain efficiency is crucial to manufacturers' ability to thrive in the fast-paced real-world business environment, and QAD Supply Visualization is helping Metaldyne achieve lean manufacturing standards," said Pamela Lopker, QAD president and chairman of the board.

QAD Supply Visualization extracts data from multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and stores it securely on, a hosted exchange where authorized suppliers can access the data and initiate an electronic data interchange (EDI) message that triggers the replenishment process. Because Metaldyne and its suppliers do not have to maintain inventory management applications onsite, the company expects successful adoption and minimized costs for training and maintenance. Metaldyne's first installation of QAD Supply Visualization already has reduced raw material inventory by 20 percent and slashed inventory carrying costs.

"Strong supplier relations are central to Metaldyne's e-business practices — and to our competitive advantage," said Douglas Grimm, vice president for quality and supply chain management at Metaldyne. "QAD Supply Visualization will contribute significantly to reduction of total acquisition costs."

Metaldyne is testing Kanban Visualization, a module designed to complement Supply Visualization with specific features for management of inventory produced through kanban methods. The status and quantity of kanbans are represented graphically so that suppliers can see when stock needs replenishing and print kanban cards immediately instead of waiting for Metaldyne to send a copy.

In addition, Kanban Visualization will alert Metaldyne managers and suppliers to relevant inventory changes via their preferred device, whether phone, e-mail or mobile device, so that they can respond more quickly and ensure efficient replenishment.