Chennai: AT Kearney Procurement Solutions, and UGS Corp, today launched Asian Sourcing Network, an initiative to enable manufacturers to electronically source machine parts from low-cost countries.
Calling the new joint solution the Asian Sourcing Network (ASN), the companies are teaming with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading information technology and engineering services organisation, to open the first ASN centre in Coimbatore, India.
AT Kearney Procurement Solutions is a global sourcing services firm that also augments the strategic sourcing expertise of AT Kearney, while UGS Corp is a provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) world-wide.
Through the ASN centre, which the companies opened on March 4, the three companies will locate and develop companies from low-cost countries from which manufacturers and their suppliers can electronically source engineered machine parts. ASN will provide companies with a perpetual local presence, critical to the success of low-cost country sourcing activity.
"Identifying and building effective long-term relationships with the right low-cost suppliers will be a distinguishing characteristic of leadership companies going forward," said Joseph Raudabaugh, president, AT Kearney Procurement Solutions. "Finding, developing and on-boarding these key suppliers and getting them fully embedded into supplier-partner networks is critical."
"ASN combines the extensive supplier research assessment and negotiation capabilities of AT Kearney with the collaboration, content exchange, and sourcing enablement of UGS technologies and the far reaching business experience and recognised quality services of TCS to offer low-cost country sourcing as a packaged solution," added Raudabaugh.
ASN will target the increasing need for manufacturers to tie low-cost country suppliers into their global innovation networks to help reduce cost. According to the research firm Aberdeen Group, for the global technology-driven value chain, medium and large enterprises expect to double their average spend in low-cost countries from approximately 20 per cent in 2005 to 40 per cent in 2008.
The new category-specific ASN centre, focused on engineered machine parts, will include 100 dedicated collaboration workstations, engineering support and supplier development services. The centre will initially target over 400 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) that provide machining services.
"The ASN represents a major step forward in enabling companies to leverage global innovation networks by establishing the local presence critical to the success of low-cost country sourcing activity," says Raj Khoshoo, vice president, strategic initiatives, UGS.
He adds, "The fusion of technology, services, content, data integration and best practices deployment is a logical extension for existing UGS Teamcenter customers. In addition, both existing and new customers will reap benefits including improved process coordination, reduced travel demands and radically enhanced supplier performance."
Says Dr Ravi Gopinath, vice president, engineering and industrial services, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, "This initiative by AT Kearney Procurement Solutions, UGS and TCS will enable the global manufacturing industry to achieve desegregation of their value chain and restructure their supply chain to include global suppliers based on the selection criteria of an optimum combination of capability and cost. TCS' extensive understanding of the manufacturing industry puts it in a unique position to make this initiative a big success. TCS is committed to enhance the competitiveness of the manufacturing and SME sector in low-cost countries through supply network management and guiding continuous improvement cycles."
ASN focuses on addressing both classical sourcing needs, such as supplier identification, supplier assessment and evaluation, and sourcing negotiations as well as providing for critical process and supplier management requirements, such as:
Supplier participation through global collaboration to enable key operational processes, for example, quality monitoring, engineering changes, and inter-company teaming
Supply market transparency in low-cost countries
In-country engineering services support
Technical capabilities mapped to support requirements-driven sourcing analytics
Version control and tracking of all inter-company documents and communications
Joint project management and issue tracking
Configurable workflows and performance tracking