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Tradec Inc. is enhancing its software for helping manufacturers manage direct procurement costs with a new set of services aimed at integrating content and intelligence into the sourcing process. As suppliers increasingly hail from various parts of the globe and more manufacturers move to outsource product production, it becomes even more critical to have access to data on supply risk, market intelligence, and supplier discovery.
The 5-year-old company says its new Tradec Network Services network, generally available Monday, will extend its mission to "implement processes" for repeatable and sustainable savings. It already counts as customers for its existing Tradec Cost Management System companies such as Brocade Communications, Force 10, Juniper Networks, and Solectron. "Direct material costs are the largest opportunity for making a difference" to the bottom line, says Edwin Winder, chairman, president, and CEO. According to Tradec, they account for up to 80% of costs in manufacturing companies.
Some customers have been piloting Tradec Network Services during the last year. Web-services technology lets third-party content providers deliver to Tradec Cost Management Systems users real-time data on international currency, alerts that a vendor is discontinuing a part used in a manufacturer's product, and price forecasts for electronic component groups. "This is a real-life example of how Web services can be used to solve business problems," VP of marketing Troy Augustine says.
The first partners for the Tradec Network Services include worldwide financial-information provider ComStock, whose services will let procurement managers normalize quotes data for various currencies to do intelligent analysis; electronic component life-cycle information provider PCNAlert, whose services will allow procurement managers to act early on to switch out parts that engineers have used in their designs rather than learn down the road that the product is being discontinued; electronic component data provider SiliconExpert Technologies, whose services give procurement managers the information they need to find parts that are functionally equivalent to those requested by engineers but may come from suppliers not on a company's approved supplier list; and electronic-component supply-chain market-intelligence provider iSuppli, which provides market-trends data that commodity procurement managers can use to objectively measure how good a job they're doing at getting the best prices, as well as measure the performance of outsourced manufacturing partners and suppliers on pricing issues.
The services will be available to customers for a monthly or annual subscription fee. Prices range from about $1,000 monthly for currency data to $10,000 monthly for more specialized information.