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Agere speeds up global supply chain with E2open software

Posted: 03 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:e2open? automotive?

Supply chain management innovations enable companies to meet customer needs more quickly and less expensively. With this in mind, Agere Systems has deployed E2open's software-as-a-service technology at its four sites, including Singapore and Bangkok, to improve its global supply chain capabilities.

E2open's software provides Agere with greater visibility into its silicon manufacturing operations, thus enabling better control and management of their outsourced operations, as well as more accurate and timely direct material, spend data and work-in-process information.

According to Thomas Linton, Agere's chief procurement officer, the software is something their company needs. "It allows us to connect to E2open, which then links us to our suppliers," he said. "We don't have to connect to each of our suppliers separately--it's a cost-effective way to do business because it serves as a hub that connects us to our suppliers," Linton added.

Suppliers will benefit from Agere's increased responsiveness and forecast accuracy, making it easier for them to do the planning required for long-lead items. Meanwhile, customers will benefit from Agere's increased flexibility, responsiveness and assurance in meeting both actual and forecasted demand.

"As a supplier, you want to have visibility into your hub. As a provider, you want to keep track of deliveries and things that are coming in to make sure you don't receive them too early or too late," Linton said.

He added that the semiconductor industry is a fast-moving, high-velocity business that requires speed. "It's really an issue of operations and communications efficiency," said Linton. "The software allows us to deal with our suppliers securely by taking our data internal data and moving that information to the external."

"If I type something on E2open, our suppliers will see it right away, respond to it and commit to it more quickly than when pushing e-mails and fax information around," Linton said. "I know right away whether or not we have a mismatch in our supply and demand."

"E2open's software provides collaborative planning, collaborative forecasting, collaborative inventory management and other supply chain essentials," Linton added.

Better than old school

Traditionally, companies have relied on fax machines, e-mails and a lot of paperwork to manage their supply chain operations. But given the dynamism of the semiconductor business, tougher markets have required companies to innovate in their sourcing approaches.

"Between the 1980s and 1990s, many companies outsourced parts of their supply chain that were not their core competencies. This saved them a lot of cost, but created a different kind of problem, which was how to communicate data around the supply chain quickly, efficiently and with great accuracy," said Chris Birrell, VP for network deployment at E2open.

To solve part of this problem, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems were introduced, but that created another problem as companies tried to synchronize data across a network of companies.

"ERP works well within your four walls. But as soon as you try to integrate a process with one of your trading partners, it gets trickier," said Birrell. "E2open saw the software-as-a-service technology as a true need in the industry."

Birrell added that "In general, when you're making something, you want to do as many as you need. You want to be able to communicate the demand to your supply chain as quickly as possible so that you make the right amount of supply and have a minimum amount of inventory."

He noted that the automotive and aerospace markets, in particular, would benefit from such a technology because "When you have more real-time information moving up and down your supply chain, you'd be able to better match your supply with your demand, and thus become more efficient and profitable."

- Jerico Abila

EE Times - Asia

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