IBM and i2 Technologies will offer a joint software-and-services solution for SRM (supplier relationship management) for the high-tech sector, the companies announced this week.
As part of the alliance, i2 will integrate its SRM software for strategic design, manufacturing collaboration, and procurement with IBM's consulting and implementation services.
SRM solutions are designed to help companies reduce base manufacturing costs and product design cycle time while increasing buyer and supplier collaboration.
"Companies want to reduce the number of total suppliers they have to deal with," said Tom Osterday, IBM's business-to-business solutions executive for the high-tech sector. "They want to deal with their preferred suppliers."
Using SRM during the design of a product, an engineer can refer to a database to access preferred suppliers of product components or to learn if a part soon will become obsolete, he said. During production, a buyer can continually monitor the quality of the parts being received and other factors, such as on-time delivery, Osterday added.
One of IBM's key roles under the partnership will be to ease the cultural changes for both buyers and suppliers associated with SRM technology and processes, he said.
"It's an interface point between your enterprise and another enterprise that's outside your control," he said. "You're changing the ways the engineers do business. You're steering them to specific parts of preferred suppliers."
IBM and i2 will jointly promote and implement the solution, which will be available immediately.
Time Added: 05/25/2001 09:49:51 AM