Agile gears up for a major Euro push

US-based Agile Software is gearing up for a major push into Europe on the back of what it believes will be a continuing trend towards outsourcing by manufacturers.

Agile specialises in collaborative manufacturing commerce which allows the sharing of data across complex ‘virtual’ supply chains and distinct enterprise planning systems.

It does this by providing a central platform for the mass of information that goes to and from the various companies, and by using latest web-based open standards such as XML.

Although the company already has some European presence through deals signed with global companies in the US, it recently opened a UK office and will this year bid to increase its customer base on this side of the Atlantic.

Nadjya Ghausi, Agile’s director in charge of European strategy, claims the continent is probably no more than 12 months behind the US in the growth of outsourcing.’Many companies are moving away from handling every step of the manufacturing process themselves and outsourcing big chunks of the cost of production,’ said Ghausi.

‘But in the end it’s still their name on the product, and they need to keep control of these new supply chains.’

According to Agile, the need for manufacturers to communicate effectively with their suppliers is never greater than in new product development and introduction.

This is when the company claims web-based visibility can minimise common problems, such as specified components being unavailable.

‘It’s not only product and profit life cycles which are getting shorter, component life cycles are too, said Ghausi.

‘There can be hundreds of changes per week, and because the lifecycles are shortening, manufacturers are trying to get it right first time.’

Around 70% of Agile’s existing clients are based in high-technology fields such as consumer electronics, IT and telecoms equipment and semiconductors. Agile numbers Dell, Philips, Texas Instruments and Lucent Technologies among its current customers.

The company boosted revenues by almost 200% to $20m in its last financial quarter.Ghausi said that in Europe the company will also attempt to tap into new markets such as automotive electronics.

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