March Networks is a provider of video surveillance equipment. Its products can be found in the retail and banking sectors, as well as on buses and trains. All production is done by contract manufacturers, says Montgomery.
The company's priority was obtaining a consolidated view of supply and demand. When Montgomery joined March Networks, it had three business units with separate enterprise resource planning systems, obtained through acquisition. Getting access to key information could take a couple of weeks, due to manual processes and the use of spreadsheets. The result was a serious data backlog.
March needed visibility on a global basis, in order to reach manufacturing and configuration facilities in China, Australia, Mexico, the U.K. and U.S. Vendor purchases depend on a forecast that was difficult to put together. In addition, the company needed to monitor all of its vendor-consigned inventory.
March's automated system, obtained from Kinaxis, keeps a close eye on purchasing patterns, making sure that buyers adhere to contracts with preferred vendors. "It really helps us to monitor and make sure that [contract manufacturers] are buying to our contracts at the right price and right time," Montgomery says. Other benefits of the application include better management of inventory, and a reduction in excess or obsolete materials.
March's priority on the supply-chain side is keeping costs down. "We're doing effective cost management, and working closely with our R&D group to make sure they're designing with cost-effective components," says Montgomery.
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