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SAP AG has introduced the Supplier InfoNet site. The cloud-based service links companies to a business network which is geared to improving their supplier base and managing multiple tiers of vendors. The offering enables collaboration with other participants in the network, helping users to define best practices and develop supplier benchmarks in the form of key performance indicators. Following a successful pilot with such companies as Powell Electronics and Dresser-Rand, it is now commercially available in North America. Supplier InfoNet collects historical and current performance metrics and combines them with structured and unstructured external content that can identify potential disruptions, such as news of natural disasters or pending litigation. It delivers benchmarks on suppliers' performance, comparing them with peers and assessing their service to other customers. Drawing on proprietary machine learning models, customers can view predictions of future supplier performance as well as root causes, to proactively mitigate any disruptions. The conclusions are presented via a social network which allows the customer to see relationships among participants, and determine weaknesses within multiple tiers of the supply chain.
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