When ImagePoint, the largest provider of retail signage and identity solutions, needed a supplier relationship solution to better manage its sourcing processes, it chose SupplyWorks MAX. According to Steve Hammond, ImagePoint's vice president of information services, the decision has turned out to be one of the best the company has ever made.
"We needed a solution that integrates with existing enterprise resource planning installations and integrates supply flow execution, collaborative supply planning, and strategic sourcing into a single web-based product," says Hammond. "We deployed SupplyWorks MAX to support the full set of business processes between our manufacturing plants and supply base."
From an IT standpoint, Hammond says that SupplyWorks MAX was straightforward to deploy and has proven to be easy to manage and easily accessed by buyers and suppliers. Since the application is hosted and managed by SupplyWorks, ImagePoint was able to avoid implementation and scaling challenges. SupplyWorks MAX leveraged ImagePoint's existing ERP investments and aggregates technical and process requirements from multiple plants. ImagePoint's employees were able to transition to SupplyWorks MAX immediately with minimal training - saving it from having to consider an expensive yet low-value-added replacement or upgrade of its ERP system.
SupplyWorks automates order processing, tracking and expediting, and provides direct support for supplier development, request for quotes and strategic sourcing, according to Hammond. By giving production buyers tools to manage the process more efficiently, manufacturers can focus on more important aspects of the buyer/supplier relationship (price, quality, risk) and realize huge return on investment. Hammond says that he nominated SupplyWorks because the software vendor is the only solution that ImagePoint was able to identify that handles the full range of supply management business processes.
"SupplyWorks goes beyond procurement automation to include collaborative planning, real-time updates, performance measurement and strategic sourcing in one integrated solution," he says.
ImagePoint's objective in selecting SupplyWorks MAX was to deploy a complete supplier relationship management solution that would underpin its purchasing processes and enable the company to focus on controlling, managing, and reducing direct spend. Specific goals included:
• Realization of a "lights-out" environment for direct procurement, which automates a substantial portion of the purchasing group's line volume, to eliminate the overhead of routine transactions and free up buyers to function as true supply managers.
• Improve the purchasing group's ability to focus on higher-value-added activities aimed at improving relationships with suppliers and driving down costs.
• Coordinate purchasing and procurement across multiple plant locations to improve execution efficiency, eliminate unnecessary inventories, and maximize ImagePoint's ability to leverage enterprise-wide contracts and pricing.
• Support strategic sourcing, including requests for quotes, proposals and information; supplier qualification; and supplier management functions to improve ImagePoint's supply base and drive reductions in materials costs while maintaining quality and strong vendor relationships.
"Since ImagePoint completed installation of SupplyWorks MAX at our first plant in December 2002, our production buyers and planners are now able to coordinate purchases and inventory across multiple locations, to maximize the efficiency of direct materials usage and further improve cycle times and internal scheduling accuracy," says Hammond.
Using SupplyWorks MAX, ImagePoint is planning to automate over 25 percent of the purchasing group's line volume. The project is on track to achieve 10 percent savings in ImagePoint's annual direct material spend, which amounts to a savings of over $10m per year.
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