MatrixOne adds to SRM suite

In a move that leverages its product collaboration roots, MatrixOne Inc. on Thursday unveiled a new SRM (supplier relationship management) suite designed to help customers lower procurement costs while boosting profit margins.

The new MatrixOne Sourcing Central adds strategic sourcing, negotiation, and quote management to the company's two existing supplier management applications.

The suite is designed to reduce sourcing and product cycle times to quicken time-to-market, while also increasing suppliers' involvement in product design and quality initiatives, according to company officials. By centralizing supplier data and boosting its visibility, companies are able to eliminate the popular but inefficient use of spreadsheets to track buying patterns, said Rohit Tangri, MatrixOne's director of product management.

"There is no way you can operate on data from multiple spreadsheets," Tangri said. "Our customers have indicated pain when management asks them to show, over the past five years, what they have been spending on their commodity and who their suppliers are. There is no way to get to that data."

Although some e-procurement solutions have expanded recently to include strategic sourcing applications, most do not have the access to vital product specifications that MatrixOne boasts because of its eMatrix product design collaboration platform, Tangri added. As a result, MatrixOne's SRM offering can bring suppliers into the design phase of a product's lifecycle for critical input on parts availability and other issues.

In addition, the product bridges the traditional gap between product designers and purchasing departments because the solution allows the current versions of ever-changing product illustrations to be available to purchasers when ordering parts.

"We are coming at it downstream," Tangri said. "We have product data and we know what the processes are in handling product data. A buyer can do a search on a part that eMatrix is managing to see any pending engineering changes to the part. Suppliers are looking for a drawing or a model. They are not going to give you a quote until they see a drawing or a model."

Sourcing Central will be used by online automotive industry marketplace Covisint to enable strategic sourcing for its customers, said Bob Matulka, Covisint quote management lead. Covisint customers will benefit from being able to make profitable decisions in the design and sourcing of direct materials and engineered goods, he added.

The new application provides e-sourcing and negotiation capabilities with Request for Quotes templates and the association of line items to parts and Bill of Materials information in the eMatrix system.

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