Caterpillar, IBM and i2 Technologies have announced an initiative, dubbed the Value Chain Accelerator program, to integrate Caterpillar and its suppliers’ business systems to improve the co-ordination of production planning and resource scheduling.
‘The integration of supplier systems will allow Caterpillar and its suppliers to co-ordinate material flow, thus improving Caterpillar’s ability to meet customer needs,’ said Michael Hackerson, director of e-business for Caterpillar.
‘Our goal is to partner with our suppliers to drive costs out of business operations and speed product introduction cycles through more efficient design collaboration, improved inventory management, and more cost effective ordering and fulfillment processes.’
Suppliers can realise production efficiencies through greater supply chain visibility, enabling more accurate capacity planning. Advanced insight into customer demand can also enable suppliers to procure and stock materials that Caterpillar and other customers require.
‘The ultimate goal is for Caterpillar’s suppliers to see reduced process costs in the areas of new product development and schedule execution. The Value Chain Accelerator tools will be the vital communication link with our strategic suppliers and their supply chain,’ said Bruce Schuver, director of Materials and Procurement Services for Caterpillar.
The Value Chain Accelerator program will enable Caterpillar suppliers access to the supply chain expertise of IBM Global Services and i2.
The program will leverage IBM’s consulting and integration services and i2’s supply chain management solutions. Solution packages will also include IBM infrastructure, middleware, hardware, and IBM ASP/hosting services.